This 7.14" x 9" (18 x 23 cm) photograph shows Jill Levy, Lee Owen, and Sandra Driggins of Ludlow Elementary School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, shaking hands in front of a sign for Brotherhood Week in 1956. National Brotherhood Week, which promotes racial and religious tolerance, was first observed in 1931. Although integration was a long and difficult process, Shaker Heights took a proactive approach to achieving racial harmony in its schools. In 1964, the city and the board of education appointed a 5-member Citizens' Advisory Commission to consider ways to make integration an orderly and constructive process. In addition to voluntarily busing students to preserve racial balance, Shaker Schools also tried magnet school programs in 1981. Three elementary schools that were primarily African American became science and math magnet schools to draw more white students. In 1987, the Shaker Schools Plan was enacted, which closed four of the original nine elementary schools and rearranged grade levels to rebalance the racial diversity. There are also several student groups that work on a student-student level to help race relations. Three of the largest student-led groups are Racial Harmony Positive (RH+), the Student Group On Race Relations, and the Minority Achievement Committee.
Shaker Heights Library
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