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This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Robert Woodson, Sr., founder and president of the Woodson Center that supports neighborhood-based initiatives to revitalize low-income communities, as well as author and editor of the May 2021 book, Red, White, and Black. Woodson shares his background in civil rights advocacy, serving low-income neighborhoods fighting crime, educational inequity, and racial discord, including his involvement with the Urban League in the 1970s during Boston’s busing crisis. He offers thoughts on race relations in America after the murder of George Floyd, the call for defunding the police, and the ongoing struggles to reform the country’s larger urban school districts.
They then turn to the 1776 Unites project, which he launched to counter the 1619 Project, to take a balanced approach to K-12 American history instruction. He describes the main arguments from his new book, and reactions since its publication, as well as the challenges of being a right-leaning public intellectual, and the importance of having open discussions about race and policy that are informed by differing points of view.