I believe that this upcoming website will inform the citizens of Charlotte, North Carolina, or anyone in the world of the stories of Blacks and their experiences in the CMS education system.
~ Ariana Anderson, 17
Victory Christian HS
On September 5, 2018, the Charlotte Observer published an article highlighting that eight CMS schools experienced a decline in graduation rates by more than 10 points. The article stated that high poverty neighborhood schools were hit the hardest by this decline in graduation rates, and predominately Black, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged students were impacted most. Additionally, national data in the United States has indicated that Black students consistently perform significantly low on academic assessments compared to White students. These factors and more, contribute to disproportionate rates of school discipline enforced upon Black students. According to the Civil Rights Data Collection (2015), Black students made up 72% of Out of School Suspensions in CMS schools. The need to foster conversations that connect our past to create potential remedies for our future community is critical towards building social capital and empowering economic mobility in Charlotte, NC.
For this reason, The Education of Blacks (1920 - 2020) Online Youth Exhibition project captures the educational experience, past and present, of Blacks in Charlotte, NC. This invaluable initiative bridges history with critical media pedagogy and digital arts to build understanding and empower action in our community. The project was a collaboration with the UNC Charlotte Urban Education Collaborative, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, I AM not the MEdia, Inc., Scholar Pamela Grundy, and educators from five local schools. The team worked to assist students in capturing historically marginalized educational experiences of the past and exploring today's educational system through digital media. This initiative encompassed historical workshop sessions for students led by Pamela Grundy and archival research sessions led by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Community interviews were recorded and edited by students from the Carolina School of Broadcasting and digital media workshops were conducted by I AM not the MEdia. After completion of the workshops, students developed an archival website with photographs, audio interviews, and digital artifacts that captured the educational experience of Blacks in Charlotte to the present day with the goal of educating the community.
EXHIBIT LAUNCH AND STUDENT PRESENTATIONS
Watch the recap of students launching The Education of Blacks in Charlotte Youth Exhibition on Facebook Live on February 22, 2021.
This Online Youth Exhibition is Funded by the NC Humanities.
Project Creator and Lead Coordinator
Doctoral Student, Urban Education Collaborative at UNC Charlotte
Wally K. Burgess
Project Coordinator and School Partner
Middle Grades Educator, Druid Hills Academy
Project Historian and Workshop Facilitator
Historian, Writer, and Author
Project Resource Librarian and Workshop Facilitator
Outreach Coordinator, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Digital Media Workshop Coordinator
Operations Director, I AM not the MEdia, Inc.
Area Director, Communities In Schools
Communities In Schools Coordinator, Myers Park High School
Communities In Schools Coordinator, Julius Chambers High School
Principal, Victory Christian High School
High School Educator, Mallard Creek High School
Video Editing & Web Design
Website Content Editor
Founder, Educational Writing Services, LLC.
Antwanard Massey and Nathaniel Powell
Video Production and Video Editing
Carolina School of Broadcasting
***Read full reflections from student participants, additional articles, and watch full interviews that were not captured in the exhibit.
ABOUT THE URBAN EDUCATION COLLABORATIVE AT UNC CHARLOTTE
The Urban Education Collaborative at UNC Charlotte will be a national model of excellence for partnering with urban schools, community organizations and the business community to improve economic, educational opportunities and the quality of life for our nation’s urban students.
To advance the intellectual, social, economic and educational conditions of urban students in the state of North Carolina and the nation through knowledge dissemination, innovative programming and strategic partnerships.
Dr. Chance Lewis
Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education