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Sunday, May 30 • 11:20am - 12:50pm
Walk Right in

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While American cities and campuses were rife with protest, racial rioting, and civil disorder, 150 students from poverty backgrounds were assembling on the Yale Divinity School campus. Not your ordinary student body, it was an eclectic and electric bunch; African-Americans from Bedford Stuyvesant, Harlem, Chicago projects and the rural South; White kids from rural Appalachia; the cities of the East Coast, and the Mid and Far West; Native Americans from reservations in South Dakota and New Mexico; and Latinos from California and the Southwest. It was a microcosm of America, gathering to create a new and very different kind of school, a living laboratory in the problems and promise of the American democracy.'Walk Right In' tells their story. It chronicles their experiences before, during, and after that eventful summer; detailing their interaction with other students, teachers, an alien setting, and a demanding curriculum. It tells of the friendships and bonds that were established, as well as the conflicts. Students came for the first time to enjoy learning. They gained a new sense of possibilities. The summer program generated an authentic conversation on race. Students of different backgrounds came to respect and learn from one another. The program made the 'Great Books,' of Western literature relevant to the times and lives of its students, bringing sensitive issues of race, tolerance, and personal identity to the fore. They searched together for that which eluded the nation, a working definition of 'community', the shared values that ground people and bind them together.

Sunday May 30, 2010 11:20am - 12:50pm
Coco Plum