Coalition-Building for Education: Blueprints for Action
Little Rock, Arkansas – January 25 and 26, 2007

More than 50 years ago, in Brown vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that sending children to separate schools solely on the basis of race was unconstitutional. Seven years prior, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled in Mendez vs. Westminster and the California Board of Education that Mexican American children could not be denied access to public schools or a quality education because they were Mexican American. While these two decisions forever transformed the nature of U.S. public education, their objectives have not been fully met.

The Intercultural Development Research Association, with support from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, is holding an issues roundtable intended to catalyze local action to ensure that the promises of the Brown and Mendez cases are fulfilled. We hope the results will lead to improved educational opportunities for underrepresented communities, specifically African American and Latino students. Our intention is that this session will assist in creating lasting partnerships between African American and Latino communities in the Little Rock area, using education as common ground for collaboration.


The Peabody Hotel, located at Three Statehouse Plaza


Reception – Thursday, January 25, 2007 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Work session – Friday, January 26, 2007 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Participants will form several roundtables that will be comprised of superintendents and other educators, school board members, higher education leaders, business leaders, and community members including parents.

Agenda Overview


8:30 a.m.

Session Opening and Welcome
Framework for Action: Purpose, Context and Goal

9:00 a.m.
9:20 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
11:00 a.m.
12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
3:20 p.m.

A Civil Rights Retrospective
Roundtable I: “Identifying Capital for Action”
Plenary Reports
Roundtable II: “Sharing Capital, Creating a Vision”
Working Lunch
Roundtable III: “Constructing Blueprints for Action”
Reports and Plenary Discussion
“Call to Action” and Closure

Confirmed participants include representatives of each of the school districts and local universities, business leaders, public and private sector representatives, members of various local organizations, representatives from the state Department of Education.

For information on blueprint dialogues in other communities to date, visit