Friday, September 18

va: presentation

-The freedom to choose: Equity/Fairness
-Narrowing it down, tackling the core obstacles

-Scott Hall | Vice President Strategic Initiatives, KC Chamber of Commerce
-drastic divide along Troost, high correlation between income and race
-we wanted to delve into the core issues of why this happened and something that would guide the city into the right direction of diversity

-After researching about the main causes of divide, it boiled down to education and the home environment. 
-Since the Kansas City Missouri School District was created in 1867, there were separate facilities for blacks and whites. 
-By 1940, 88% of minorities had to change their place of residence in KC to live in an integrated neighborhood. 

-Racial segregation in housing and schools have been defining features of the KC Metro area for over a century.
-Today Kansas City continues to be one of the most segregated metropolitan areas in the nation. 

Things that reinforce this:
inner city disinvestment
school segregation

-On an economic level, Kansas City’s economic future is at risk due to widening racial gaps in income, health and work opportunities. 
-Only through improving the city’s equity profile can this trend improve. 
-Improving the economic lot of the area’s racial minorities is essential because the population of minorities is increasing. 
-By 2040, 42% of the area is likely to be composed of minorities. In 2010, the white population only grew 5%. "The whole workforce must be well-educated and engaged if you want this area to succeed." 

-Integrating disadvantaged black students into schools where more-privileged students predominate can narrow the black-white achievement gap. 
-School integration, both racial and socioeconomic, can complement improvements in students' early childhood care, health, housing, economic security, and informal learning opportunities. 

-Segregated schools with primarily poorly performing students can rarely be turned around - “the tipping point” of no return

-In areas of concentrated poverty, even though the schools were well-developed and had good teacher-principal collaboration, this made no difference in these neighborhoods. 
-All students were residentially mobile, black, and had low-income parents with little education). 
-Attendance at high-poverty schools causes disadvantaged students’ performance to decline

Benefits of integration: the behavioral outcomes
-improved graduation rates, higher rates of employment, higher earnings in adulthood, avoidance of teen childbearing, delinquency, homicide and incarceration. white students’ outcomes were unaffected 
-poor students in mixed-income schools do better than poor students in high-poverty schools.
-Low-income students’ performance rises, all students receive the benefits

-Socioeconomic integration in education is the way to help KC succeed
-It can help shift break up concentrations of poverty and provide more diverse learning environments for all students
-It’s a way for low-income students to tap into the academic benefits of high-achieving peers and high-quality teachers. 

Academie Lafayette: a starting point in Kansas City
a charter school - full French immersion
same funding as public schools - not private, no tuition
operated by teachers, parents and community groups
anyone can attend a charter school - limited by space
charter schools are able to & held accountable for the achievement
parents in the district got together and formed this charter school together
-started 15 years ago with a 60:40 minority ratio, but now numbers have flipped
-number of students that have free/reduced lunch has not changed, has actually decreased over the years
-number of minorities have not changed much, still primarily white and increasing

Michael Zeller - Board Member of Academie Lafayette
-Currently, many families in the city are actually looking for diverse schools in Kansas City, but there are no good schools in the metropolitan area
-What's crucial about the school is its trust that the school has developed in the community. Parents trust the school, which brings them to enroll their kids. 

Melvin Merritt: Penny Mill
“make people understand that we’re human”
has a different approach - more about encouragement, bringing communities together
purpose is to instill ethnicity

Darron Story - Parents Promoting Diversity
-middle-class black who lives on the east side of Troost
-stays with a sense of mission/responsibility
-Parents Promoting Diversity
-The problem of the population of minorities decreasing at AL
-wanted to bring parents together to address problem
-parents on the east side of Troost are not aware of AL or have a negative perception of it
-they are not as neighborly in the past, people do not “talk to each other”
-vs. places like Brookside, spreading info about AL word of mouth
-Academie Lafayette Expansion
-AL is well-known in the white community, distrusted in the black community
-Darron works on the Marketing & Communications Department of the high school expansion for AL
-definitely want to the school to be east of Troost

How can we aid the Communications Subcommittee in the group Academie Lafayette Expansion in order to improve the perception of Academie Lafayette in Kansas City, especially on the east of Troost, or raise awareness, in order to increase the enrollment of minorities at AL?

-Audience: Ultimately, parents and their children in Kansas City (particularly east side of Troost)
-Trying to reach: Potential parents of children who can enroll in Academic Lafayette

-Needs: Integrated education racially and economically. They need a trustworthy way of learning about Academie Lafayette (Darron’s point about having a representative who the people can relate to)

-Current level of understanding: People on the east side of Troost either do not know about the charter school, or have a negative perception of Academie Lafayette as a “privileged school” 

-Best way to reach them: Have to hear information from someone they can relate to/was in their own situation. 
Organizations that already has access to these people 
Parents at Academie Lafayette in Parents Promoting Diversity

How do you plan to immerse yourself:
Niles Children Home Center
Boys & Girls Club
sitting in on community meetings (Academie Lafayette Expansion), Penny Mill Foundation

Community Leaders: Darron Story, Melvin Merritt
Where are you volunteering: Boys&Girls Club

Changing the negative perception of Academie Lafayette with branding and spreading information about the school at community events

Audience’s Current Position: If they do know about Academie Lafayette, they have a negative perception of it. But most do not know about the opportunity to enroll. 
What will nudge or change this: Increasing the visibility of Academie Lafayette and improving their rap with the east side of Troost
What would change if your project was successful: The percentage of minority and reduced-lunch students to be more integrated into Academie Lafayette
Resources: A PR representative, funding, a platform for communication
Resources available: the existing organization, the school and its funding

For the perception of Academie Lafayette to improve, and as a result, increase enrollment of minorities to encourage integration.

We will measure our success by how well we supply the Expansion committee at Academie Lafayette with the tools that can help them 

va: calendar

Monday, September 14

va: problem statement + schedule

Problem Statement
How can we start the conversation on integrating schools in Kansas City and create a sense of urgency? 
How can we use design to raise awareness and create a sense of urgency in the community about the racial/class divide in Kansas City's education system? 

va: interview prep | Darron Story

Darron Story

Where are you from? Why did you move to Kansas City?
What area do you live in and how long have you lived there?
What do you do (for a living) at Intrepid Entertainment LLC?
When so many flee your area, what makes you stay?
What is your mission/goal in terms of the future of Kansas City?

How would you define the community you’re living in? (physical boundaries, traits, characteristics of the members)
What do you think the current condition of Kansas City’s educational system is like?
Why do you think people are leaving Kansas City?
What needs do you think are most immediate in the community?
Who are the community leaders?
Do you think a lot of people know that there’s a problem with segregation?

What do you think is the best way to reach them and develop trust?
What do you think is the root cause?
In what ways can we strengthen our community/promote equal opportunity?
Anyone else we should talk to?