More Than a Bus Ride: Desegregating Champaign Schools
More Than a Bus Ride: Desegregating Champaign Schools examines the process and implications of the 1968 plan that desegregated public schools in Champaign, Illinois.
More Than a Bus Ride was created by 15 African American girls from Franklin Middle School and Central High School in Champaign, Illinois who spent their 2004-2005 school year working with public radio station, WILL (now Illinois Public Media), and Innovative Ed. Consulting Inc, in a program known as The Youth Media Workshop. The students conducted and engineered radio interviews with 12 local residents to create this program.
Harold Baker was chairman of the Equal Education Opportunity Committee that created the desegregation plan in 1968 and former attorney and US district judge.
Dereke Clements was a student at Booker T. Washington School when it was a segregated neighborhood school. He was bused to Lottie Switzer School during desegregation and attended Centennial High School. He is a musical producer and concert promoter who lives in Atlanta.
Al Davis was principal at Centennial High School from 1972 until his retirement in 1994. He began his career teaching math at Edison Jr. High in Champaign in 1960.
Dave Downey was a member of the Equal Education Opportunity Committee that created the desegregation plan in 1968. He is a former U of I basketball player. His children were bused to Washington School after desegregation. He is owner of The Downey Group Inc.
Maudie Flake Edwards taught in the Champaign Schools from 1959 until 1984. She was a teacher at Booker T. Washington School before and during desegregation.
Lila Jeanne Eichelberger taught in the Champaign Schools for more than 30 years and retired in 1989. She was a teacher at Centennial High School before and during desegregation.
Rupert Evans was a member of the Equal Education Opportunity Committee that created the desegregation plan in 1968. He is retired Dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois. He served on the Champaign School Board from about 1960-1965.
Alvin Griggs began teaching in Champaign in 1965. He taught at Washington School, Marquette School, Gregory School and Centennial High School where he was a coach and physical education teacher.
Ruby Hunt is the parent of four children, some of whom were bused during desegregation. She was active in public discussions about the desegregation plan.
John Lee Johnson is a longtime community activist. He died in 2006.
Julian Rappaport is a parent whose children were bused to Washington School after desegregation. He is professor emeritus in the department of psychology at the University of Illinois.
Jackie Smith attended Central and Centennial High schools. She was a Community Relations Specialist for the City of Champaign at the time of her interview.
More Than a Bus Ride: Desegregating Champaign Schools was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Illinois General Assembly and the Unit 4 School District.