HSA Belonging Committee: DREAM TOWN Book Event with the Author

Join the Lafayette HSA Belonging Committee for a conversation with parents and caregivers about the new book DREAM TOWN: Shaker Heights and the Quest for Racial Equity. The author is Laura Meckler, a
longtime Lafayette mom and native of Shaker Heights, the suburb of Cleveland where she grew up. Her book explores the question of whether a well-intentioned group of people can fulfill the promise of
racial integration in America. Laura will join us both to answer questions and help lead a conversation about how her themes of integration, diversity and belonging—in both housing and education—can be
applied in our Lafayette community and our city.
 
Event Details
The event will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, at the home of Anu and Taresh Mullick. Refreshments will be provided. The address will be shared upon RSVP.
We recommend reading the book ahead of time, but please come for the conversation even if you aren’t able to do so.

  • The book is for sale at Politics and Prose and Amazon.
  • It’s also available through the D.C. Public Library.
  • A limited number of copies will also be available through Lafayette to ensure that all families can
    participate. More details forthcoming.

Please RSVP by Monday, March 25 using Sign Up Genius.
 
Background
A little about the book: In the late 1950s, Shaker Heights became a national model for housing integration. And beginning in the seventies, it was known as a crown jewel in the national move to racially integrate schools. The school district built a reputation for academic excellence and diversity, serving as a model for how white and Black Americans can thrive together. Laura—herself a product of Shaker Heights—takes a deeper look into the place that shaped her, investigating its complicated history and its ongoing challenges in order to untangle myth from truth. She confronts an enduring and troubling question—if Shaker Heights has worked so hard at racial equity, why does a racial academic achievement gap persist? 
 
For more about the book, check out Laura on NPR’s Fresh Air or the Washington Post’s review of Dream Town.

What Others Are Saying About the Book
“This is the story of one Ohio town—but also the much bigger story of America. Meckler brings great insight, depth, and wonderful humanity to this important chronicle of one city’s grappling with race and the meaning of community. It is eminently readable and genuinely inspiring.”
—Susan Orlean, New York Times bestselling author of The Orchid Thief and The Library Book
 
 “Laura Meckler has brilliantly told the story of one American town’s integration struggles—and reminded us of the best promises we make (and sometimes fulfill) as members of shared communities. Dream Town, deeply researched and beautifully written, represents social history at its best. It’s a book full of hard truths and hope, a book I won’t soon forget.”
—Jonathan Eig, bestselling author of King: A Life and Ali: A Life
 
“The work of diversity, integration and equity is hard, messy and divisive, and Shaker Heights has certainly gotten as much wrong over the years as it’s gotten right. But it’s only by learning the lessons of those victories and failures that we can construct the schools, communities and society that we all hope to live in. This book, through rigorous reporting and stunning historical sweep, provides a vital step toward finding our path forward.”
—Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Whitelash
 
“Reported with compassion, thoroughness and a keen sense of fairness and balance, Meckler’s book explores the heroic and sometimes successful effort of one American community to move beyond the
hatred and division that has led to racial segregation across most of the country. It would be hard to add up all the ways in which Meckler’s book is relevant to the current political and cultural moment.”
—Steve Litt, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer