Bridges Collaborative: An Unprecedented Grassroots Initiative to Advance School Integration and Civil Rights in Education

7/1/2023 – 6/30/2024


The Bridges Collaborative is a first-of-its-kind school integration initiative powered by The Century Foundation that is working to reignite a nationwide movement for integrated schools and diverse neighborhoods. Since its launch in 2020, the Bridges Collaborative has worked with leaders from 31 school districts, 17 charter schools and CMOs, and 13 housing organizations—which together represent more than 3.5 million children nationwide. Bridges Collaborative will host a national convening in spring 2024 timed with the 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. The convening theme is “70 Years after Brown: Reinvesting in Federal and Local Pathways for Integration.” Decades after the legal desegregation of our schools, students of color across the United States are still disproportionately confined to racially and economically segregated, underfunded schools. Federal desegregation orders, once a driving force for integration, have in many cases been lifted or are not being enforced, and the upcoming Supreme Court decision on affirmative action is likely to further narrow options for directly addressing racial diversity in higher education and possibly in K-12 settings as well. Some new federal efforts, like the Fostering Diverse Schools Demonstration Grants Program, provide hopeful models leveraging voluntary district action. What should the federal role be for promoting school integration today? And what can local school and housing leaders do to promote integration in their communities and regions?