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Code Switch is live on stage in Little Rock, Ark. (right). They interviewed Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton (left) about what it was like to go to school during desegregation efforts in the 1950s and 60s.

Dr. Sibyl Jordan Hampton, Little Rock Public Radio

Classrooms in Arkansas were at the center of school desegregation in the 1950s. Now, with the LEARNS Act, Arkansas schools are in the spotlight again. In this week’s episode, Code Switch comes to you live from Little Rock, Arkansas to unpack the latest education bill and how it echoes themes from decades past.

Hosts B.A. Parker, Gene Demby and Lori Lizarraga breakdown the LEARNS Act and what it means for Arkansas students — from pay raises for teachers to the limits on teaching about African American history and gender identity, to a new school voucher program. Then, Parker and Gene sit down with Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton, who was part of The Lost Year in 1958-59, when Little Rock schools were shut down in an effort to block desegregation. And it wouldn’t be a Code Switch live show without some poetry: Central High School student Jakira Franklin shares her poem about what she wants to learn in school.

This episode was engineered by Josh Newell and Josephine Nyounai.

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Felecia Phillips Ollie DD (h.c.) is the inspiring leader and founder of The Equality Network LLC (TEN). With a background in coaching, travel, and a career in news, Felecia brings a unique perspective to promoting diversity and inclusion. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in English/Communications, she is passionate about creating a more inclusive future. From graduating from Mississippi Valley State University to leading initiatives like the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program, Felecia is dedicated to making a positive impact. Join her journey on our blog as she shares insights and leads the charge for equity through The Equality Network.

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