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In 1971, Minneapolis implemented the Hale-Field school pairing to promote school desegregation. That same year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing school busing. This was a time that Jim Crow laws were rampant and the north instituted policies and practices, such as racial covenants, that effectively segregated their residents. The effect of these are easily seen in the makeup of their public schools. At the time, Hale’s student population was nearly all white, while Field’s was predominantly black. The 1971 pairing resulted in each student population being 1/3 students of color at a time when minority groups made up about 13% of the city’s student population. While the Hale-Field pairing is generally regarded as a success, desegregation efforts implemented in the 1970s have not had a lasting effect.

This virtual panel will explore the topic of school desegregation in the years leading up to the merger which polarized the city. Past teachers, parents, and students who participated in the pairing will share their anxieties and joys during the time.


Image courtesy of the Star Tribune

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