Revised “diversity priority” proposed for Department of Education competitive grant programs: In 2010, the Department of Education approved a series of funding priorities that could be included as incentives or threshold requirements in Department competitive grant programs – including a priority for promoting racial and ethnic diversity in schools. However, since the priority was approved, it has not appeared in most competitive grant funding notices, with the exception of the charter school notices, where it has been a fairly weak incentive, as compared to program incentives to maximize the number of low income children. This week in the Federal Register, the Department has proposed a set of revised funding priorities, including a revision to the diversity priority that includes socioeconomic diversity (in addition to race/ethnicity). We welcome this development insofar as it signals that the Department will now begin utilizing the diversity priority in all of its K-12 grant programs. However, we are concerned that it could represent a retreat from the Department’s stated commitment to racial diversity – and we will be watching how this plays out in the next round of funding notices. Economic diversity is related to and complementary to racial integration in schools, but the two goals are not interchangeable.
Chicago regional convening on fair housing and community development: We were pleased to be a part of an excellent meeting in Chicago between fair housing advocates, affordable housing developers, and community development groups, to build consensus on issues of “affirmatively furthering fair housing” in differing urban and suburban contexts. This is the most recent in a series of meetings sponsored by the Ford Foundation and supported by the Open Society Foundations. To read and see some of the highlights of the conference, go to the conference website at cafha.net/chicago-convening.
“One Nation Indivisible” has posted two new “stories from the field” highlighting positive examples of local community efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. The two latest stories are from Fort Wayne, Indiana and Montgomery County, Maryland.
More reactions to “Race Not Place”: Two noteworthy reviews of Sheryll Cashin’s new book from Richard Rothstein in The American Prospect and from Sam Fulwood, with the Center for American Progress (we hosted a discussion of Cashin’s book in the most recent issue of Poverty & Race).