'Our America: Living While Black' addresses education disparities in public school systems

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
'Our America: Living While Black' addresses education disparities in public school systems
Ignite's Dr. Pavella Foster explains how disparities in public school systems affect Black students.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The week-long series,"Our America: Living While Black," will explore the many obstacles created by systemic racism.

A topic the series takes a closer look at is education and how some black students are treated different in public school systems.

Dr. Paviella Foster is the Senior Director of Programs for Ignite. The Chicago-based organization serves young people experiencing homelessness in Chicago.

Foster explains why it's so important to have more Black school administrators.

"Not just so we can say that we have diversity and inclusion but more effectively so that the people who we are serving, and that those young people who are getting the education, can see they also care about me at every single level," said Foster.

The difference in structure of a predominantly white school and a school in a poor Black community ultimately affects how a student responds to discipline, said Foster.

"The lack of resources and the things that are going on in Black communities and environments contributes to how they respond to things, how they react to things and how those things play out in the school system," said Foster.

We talk about teachers, but what about having more Black people in administration? What can that do for children of color coming from the top down?

"Our America: Living While Black" is a five-part ABC Owned Television Stations docuseries that goes beyond the statistics to explore inequalities facing Black families across the country in institutions related to policing, health care, education and housing. Explore the extraordinary personal journeys of Black Americans rising above obstacles and pushing through systemic racism to achieve personal and professional success.

Their stories are as much about surviving, thriving, and working toward a better future for their families and this country.

The education episode airs Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.