City Wide Committee for Integrated Schools, “School Boycott! Flier,” Queens College Civil Rights Archives,

NOTE: The following is a description of the schedule for the 2021 institute, and will be revised for 2023.

During the first week, participants will become better acquainted with Harlem’s geography, and with Harlem’s rich legacy of artistic, intellectual, and political production in the twentieth century. Participants will use their prior knowledge of Black educational history in combination with selected readings and primary sources to think about how and why Harlem has been both a center of Black cultural production and of educational contestation and advocacy. Then, they will begin studying Harlem’s educational movements in the 1920s and 1930s, including how Gertrude Ayers, for a long time the only Black principal in New York City, and Mildred Johnson Edwards, founder of the Black independent Modern School, pursued social change through education. Next, through a combination of lectures from visiting scholars and archival research, participants will study the educational activism and pedagogy of Arturo Schomburg and Ella Baker. The exploration of community activism will continue with studies of school boycotts to protest segregation during the 1950s and 1960s. At the end of the week, participants will have an opportunity to begin creating and revising curricular materials.

“Community Protests,” 1968 Columbia in Crisis,

Participants will begin the second week learning about the first iteration of Harlem Black Panther Party. After discussions with Dr. Brian Jones, participants will explore the Schomburg’s archival materials on the Harlem Black Panther Party to consider why these young people chose to focus their energies on school reform. Following this, participants will read, discuss, and explore archival materials related to the battle over IS 201, a school originally promised as an integrated middle school, which eventually became a flash point in the movement for community controlled schools. The institute will then provide space for participants to study Harlem activism during the 1968 protests at Columbia University and draw connections to earlier demands for equality. Next, participants will review the work of Columbia students who have researched the 1968 protest to further consider the pedagogical possibilities of history classrooms while working on their own curricular materials. The institute will conclude by connecting the past to the present. Participants will trace the evolution of educational justice struggles after the 1970s through the work of a Harlem parent activist. Then, they will have the opportunity to hear from current Harlem students about their experiences in schools today. Finally, participants will be able to share and receive feedback on their curricular ideas and engage in discussions about possible next steps and bringing ideas and resources into their respective classrooms.