The Impact of Educators of Color in our Community: Then and Now
Wednesday, February 3, 6:00 pm
The Rockbridge Regional Public Library will host the first of two virtual panel discussions exploring multi-generational experiences related to “The Impact of Educators of Color in Our Community.” The event is open to all who pre-register by requesting the GoToMeeting link from librarian Debi Ratliff, email@example.com.
After a historical overview of Lexington’s two schools for Black students (1865-1965), the panel considers: How did area schools build a tradition of black teachers and mentors, from late 19th to mid-20th century? What can be learned from the diverse experiences of integrating schools in Lexington, Rockbridge and Buena Vista, along with job losses for many local Black faculty? Looking ahead to the educational and civic growth of all local students and graduates, how do today’s circumstances both echo & differ from earlier histories?
Panelists bridge 3 generations of students and faculty in area public schools: community members who grew up and taught here, during and after the local transitions from segregated to integrated schools. The experiences of 4 teachers of color (who taught in elementary, middle & high schools across all 3 school divisions) span both segregated and integrated eras, 1960s-2000s. In the coming weeks a second panel will focus on the “Now.” Two college students will speak to their years at RCHS and LDMS, joined by others involved in the continuing work of education today.
Speakers’ remarks will be followed by Q&A, and audience members are invited to share their stories and to address current conditions and goals for local school systems today. The series has been organized by a coalition of community organizations and committees from the Rockbridge Historical Society, 50 Ways Rockbridge, Rockbridge NAACP, CARE Rockbridge, and Grace Episcopal Church.