What: a community conversation on school diversity: a priority for our children, our community and our future
Where: Glastonbury East Hartford Magnet School, 95 Oak Street, Glastonbury, CT
When: Monday, November 16, 2015, 6-9pmRead more
Open Communities Alliance is pleased to announce its Advisory Board!
The OCA Advisory Board is comprised of highly respected national and state experts in the areas of poverty prevention, civil rights, housing, and education. Several members have deep roots in faith communities, communities of color, and networks of progressive thought and action in Connecticut. These ties are critical to OCA as it moves forward with its mission of empowering an urban-suburban interracial coalition advocating for access to opportunity for all people in Connecticut.
As OCA works to support our partners focused on generating opportunity in areas that are under-resourced, the Advisory Board will support our particular focus of ensuring that affordable housing opportunities, disproportionately needed by families of color, are simultaneously created in higher opportunity communities.
Please join us in welcoming our Advisory Board!Read more
On April 30th, 2015, Erin Boggs appeared on Rich Answers with Rev. Shelly Best. In this show, Reverend Best and Erin Boggs talk about the connection between the history of segregation and current segregation challenges, and real solutions to address them.
This American Life covered Hartford's efforts to integrate it's schools!
It's a fascinating listen!Read more
Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times, Aug. 5, 2015, available here
If its goal is to move up the ladder, where should a poor family live? Should federal dollars go toward affordable housing within high-poverty neighborhoods, or should subsidies be used to move residents of impoverished communities into more upscale – and more resistant — sections of cities and suburbs with better schools and job opportunities?
John Eligon, New York Times, Aug. 8, 2015, available here
Questions about whether minorities have access to good jobs, high-performing schools and low-crime neighborhoods have been fiercely debated. And for many, one question informs all those others: Can the barriers that keep blacks out of prosperous, mostly white communities be toppled?
Connecticut Law Tribune, May 29, 2014
Connecticut is racially, ethnically, and economically segregated. This segregation hurts us all because it keeps people of color, who on average earn about half of whites, from equal access to critical resources like good schools. We also know that the effect of unequal access to those resources that lead to success in life is generational – if parents do not have access to opportunity, it increases the likelihood that their children will be "stuck in place," as recent research by sociologist Patrick Sharkey of New York University demonstrates. It is good to know we now have a strong advocate for improving access to affordable housing in areas where it is needed.Read more
Terry Cowgill, CT New Junkie, June 24, 2015, available here
As longtime observers can tell you, Connecticut can be slow to respond to commands from on-high. Whether it’s the court-ordered Sheff vs. O’Neill decision to end “racial isolation” in the state’s public schools or the federal Fair Housing Act — both well intentioned, to be sure — we independent-minded Yankees don’t especially like being told what to do.
But now the Obama administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development is taking the FHA one step further, unveiling something called the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. You heard right. It’s not an “act” duly voted into law by a legislature, as the FHA was, but a set of rules handed down by unelected policymakers in the FHA office.Read more
On June 29, 2015, one of Open Communities Alliance's innovative strategies for addressing Connecticut's entrenched segregation was featured on the New York Times' editorial page. Check it out!
Nancy Chapman, Nancy on Norwalk, May 2015
NORWALK, Conn. – Connecticut is excelling in unpleasant ways – it’s one of the most racially, ethnically and economically segregated states in the country, according to a fair housing advocate who visited Norwalk this week.
The biggest education achievement gap in America and high incarceration rates are connected to rampant segregation, Open Communities Alliance Executive Director Erin Boggs said at Part II of the Norwalk Fair Housing Advisory Commission’s “Race, Place and Opportunity” presentation, given Tuesday in City Hall. Boggs offered solutions, including suggesting “carrot and stick” measures to encourage richer – whiter – communities to provide housing for those who are less fortunate.
“We need to make sure every town in an area is taking on a fair share of families that need help,”Boggs said.Read more