Education

New ‘Flood Center’ to focus on access, equity and educational opportunities for school children

Dr. Dudley Flood

Dr. Dudley Flood became a champion of school integration in North Carolina after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in the school desegregation case.

Flood traveled to every corner of the state trying to unite communities divided over the 1954 ruling in which justices unanimously agreed that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional.

The Public School Forum of North Carolina announced Wednesday the opening of a new center to address issues of equity, access and opportunity that carries Flood’s name.

The Dudley Flood Center for Educational Equity and Opportunity will serve as a hub to identify and connect organizations, networks and leaders to inform discussions on policies that impact equity and social justice, according to a press release.

The Flood Center, the press release said, will also “support and advance equity-focused educator programming and promote discussions around how schools are funded at the local and state levels.”

“All my life I’ve worked for the same concept — that we can, whenever and wherever we choose, educate any child whose education is of interest to us,” Flood said, repeating a phrase he’s often used during discussions about education.

The idea for the center grew out of findings and recommendations of the Forum’s Study Group XVI: Expanding Educational Opportunity (2016), co-chaired by Flood and the Forum’s Color of Education partnership.

The Study Group XVI’s second committee focused on how race affects student outcomes in North Carolina, and the equity issues implicated by the effects.

“Through the Flood Center, we will bring together all those who have made critical contributions to equity in education—and those who are willing to make such contributions — and together we will advance equity for this state and for this nation,” Flood said.

The Flood Center will bring together education stakeholders over the next several months to hear directly from students on topics related to equity and education.

The center will host a series of Webinars over the next several months as part of the Flood Center Student Voices Webinar Series:

  • Webinar 1: Teaching History: 1619, 1776, and Today.
  • Webinar 2: Critical Conversations and Deeper Learning: Pedagogy with an Equity Lens.
  • Webinar 3: Increasing Diversity in STEM.
  • Webinar 4: Student Views on Equity: Discipline, Policing, and Access.

Mary Ann Wolf, executive director of the Public School Forum of NC, said the Flood Center’s launch comes after a year of planning and collaboration.

Wolf also released the names of the center’s 17-member board that will guide its work and “continue Dr. Flood’s legacy by addressing issues of equity in education across North Carolina.”

Here’s the list of people who will serve on the Flood Center’s inaugural board:

  • Dr. Tawannah Allen, High Point University.
  • Tom Bradshaw, Jr., emeritus board. Member.
  • Matt Bristow-Smith, Edgecombe Early College High School.
  • Tracey Burns, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
  • Renee Cavan, Truist.
  • Nicky Charles
  • Dr. Scott Elliott, Watauga County Schools.
  • Dr. Alice Garrett, Flood Group.
  • Dr. Anthony Graham, Winston Salem State University.
  • Dr. Patricia Hilliard, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.
  • Dr. Martinette Horner, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Dr. Connie Locklear, Public Schools of Robeson County.
  • Ann McColl, The Innovation Project.
  • Dr. Marjorie Campo Ringler, East Carolina University.
  • Dr. Kathy Spencer, Southeast Education Alliance.
  • David Young, Participate Learning, Public School Forum BOD Representative.
  • Dr. Dudley Flood, Honorary Member

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