My Experience of the Boston Busing/Desegregation Project

Posted: December 1, 2014 by NGriffin in Uncategorized

“For Truth, Learning, and Change.” This is the brief version of the BBDP mission, and it reflects my experience of the project. Through the story circles and the collected interviews, I have come to learn more of the truth of Boston’s history. Through the meetings and networking, I have gained a glimpse of how change can come to pass, slowly but surely, when we are part of a larger community working together.

I attended my first story circle several years ago, and only became more involved in the last year, as I dedicated myself more fully to the struggle for racial justice.  The project and the (perhaps unintended) mentorship of Donna and others have been important for me in my journey, as I slowly figure out my role as a white person in this struggle.

I haven’t experienced all that has happened over the years with the project, so I can only write about what I have experienced.  For me, the project has demonstrated a great model for connecting people of the Boston area: bringing people together for story circles and other events, including them in the learning network, involving facilitators with different strengths and styles, and establishing an environment where people listen to and learn from one another.  Through caucusing by racial group and small group meetings based on shared experiences, people are able to speak more freely and be pushed by others who share something in common.

Every individual who comes to the project is included as having something to share.  They may not have experienced Boston’s school desegregation in the 70’s, but they bring their own experiences, knowledge, skills, connections, and access to resources.  For example, today’s teenagers weren’t there in the 70’s, but they can share their experiences of the schools now.  People have hosted the group conversations in large, wonderful spaces, others have shared their expertise and care in leading groups, and many people have helped make connections that expand the community.  These things and more all add to the project, and the project gives back valuable connections for the community, bringing us together and empowering us to make change happen, bit by bit.

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