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CoastLine: UNC Center For Civil Rights Director On School Desegregation

Gerry Dincher

New Hanover County shows significant demographic and achievement disparities across its 42 schools.  That’s according to analysis from the Inclusion Project – a report out of the University of North Carolina’s Center for Civil Rights in Chapel Hill.  Between 2006 and 2010, New Hanover County’s School Board adopted a neighborhood school model that, according to that report, has exacerbated the disparities.

Today, 66% of the schools in New Hanover County are racially imbalanced.  The district’s four magnet schools are now racially isolated, high-poverty schools.

But can racial segregation in schools be separated out from other issues of racial disparity - especially housing segregation?  If racial segregation in schools is allowed to persist, how does that affect the self-image of a child of color and impact his ability to meet his potential?  Do segregated schools negatively impact white children?  If so, how?

On this edition of CoastLine, these are some of the questions we explore with a man who has spent his professional life fighting for racial equality – particularly in the field of school de-segregation. 

Theodore Shaw is the Julius L. Chambers distinguished Professor of Law and the Director of the University of North Carolina’s Center for Civil Rights at UNC Law School in Chapel Hill.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.