Sunday, November 11, 2007

Recap for November 11, 2007

During introductions we welcomed two new members.

Today we heard David’s story. He mentioned a book his father showed him, “Melanin: The Chemical Key To Black Greatness” by Carol Barnes. Some of the discussion that ensued explored sources of African American identity, and Members expressed anticipation of the next installment of his story. One theme questions and discussion kept circling back to was the sacred trust between the adults and the children—we heard examples of how to keep that trust.

We heard a brief report from the education group. Sunday, December 2, Tom is leading the discussion, and we are likely to include the activities of the Conversation’s education group. One Member noted that part of the education group’s work involves pointing out the workings of Whiteness—the way the school board selected the previous superintendent, the way they selected a replacement, without examining how the advantaged group regards its position as the social norm, and how this affects their policymaking. If you want to see more about the education policy group, about the recent Johns Hopkins report referred to in today’s meeting, or the outcomes of the group that went to the Harvard workshop on the achievement gap, please go to

We began our discussion of the documents put together by Susan and Dexter, about our values and mission. We assembled into groups of five to discuss the drafts. There were many, many comments about the draft. Each group is forwarding their notes, and they will be incorporated into new drafts, to be posted here soon.