“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.” G.K. Chesterton

METCO, the longest continuously running voluntary school desegregation program in the country, which began in the late 1960s. Created at the height of the Civil Right Movement; its mission and mandates are as relevant now as ever. Living the Legacy of METCO is a 45-minute performance that give the audience the historic context which made the program necessary. 

The 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown V. Board of Education dispelled the ugly myth that children of color were getting a "Separate but, Equal" education.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

- Nelson Mandela

While the south became the lightning rod for educational equity, do not think for a moment the north embraced change.  In Boston, the school committee was emphatic no change is necessary.  "We here in Boston do not believe that premise." Louise Day Hicks Boston School Committee.

Run down buildings from the last century. Racist materials and lower per-child funding defined the Black student experience.  Yet, nothing to see here.  Jonathan Kozol described "cruel and unequal" system in his book "Death At An Early Age"

It won the National Book Award. 

The Black parents in the city did not need a book to know that their children were being crippled.  They protested.  They advocated.  They innovated.  They fought against the school board anyway they could and in the process they found an unlikely ally.  Suburban white  parents  Above and beyond the immorality, they knew that segregation did not serve their white children either so they built a cultural exchange model.

Many people could research and tell the METCO story, however you have a unique ability to tell stories by telling the human story behind the bigger story, with heart, love, compassion and punch. I was totally drawn in for the ride.

- Larry Jay Tish,  Massachusetts Resident & Parent

Living the Legacy of METCO is not just the tale for one regions struggle for educational equity, it is  story that reflects the ongoing national issues of educational disparities.  Some would argue (Kozol among them) that we have been moving backward since the 80's

Living The Legacy of METCO

It also addresses the world that we live in now and why we must never take its mission for granted. Financial prospects, health outcomes, even life expectancy have been tied to Zip Code.  Urban Zip Codes still suffer from separate and unequal resources and educational opportunity.

Though the Boston School System has gotten significantly better in the last decades, education disparities are still too easily tracked across urban to suburban boundaries and with it the cultural divides that conspire to rip us apart.

 ”The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”

- Abraham Lincoln 

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Brave theater that moves people to embrace cultural differences