Chairman Scott Honors Courtney Everts Mykytyn
Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) submitted the following statement into the Congressional Record to honor Courtney Everts Mykytyn, the founder of Integrated Schools, who died tragically late last year.
“In 1954, the United States Supreme Court unanimously struck down lawful school segregation in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. In a unanimous decision, the Court stated, ‘where the state has undertaken to provide it, [education] is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.’ Chief Justice Earl Warren went on to state that ‘in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place.’
“Courtney founded Integrated Schools in Los Angeles, California in 2015 to start a grassroots movement for school integration. Integrated Schools’ mission states: ‘America’s schools are more segregated than before the Civil Rights Movement…Through national organizing to promote local action, we support, educate, develop and mobilize families to live their values, disrupt segregation, and leverage their choices for the well-being and futures for their own children, for all children, and for our democracy.’
“As champion for educational equity, Courtney recognized that school integration is one of the most powerful tools to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. She understood that the work of integrating our schools can be uncomfortable and complicated, and worked to educate parents and build community coalitions. Unlike many school integration efforts that place burden solely on families of color, Courtney’s mission was also to challenge white families to integrate schools. Courtney was always intentional in her efforts as she boldly stated: ‘We’re [white people] the ones who kind of made it all [school integration] fail. Really fixing it has to be on us.’
“Courtney educated white families about how true school integration requires both an understanding of systemic racism in America and the careful work of relationship-building free of self-interested agendas and without employing a white saviorism mentality. When I think of Courtney’s leadership on this important issue, I am reminded of the Court’s 1971 opinion in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education led by Chief Justice Earl Warren. He stated, ‘…[A]ll things are not equal in a system that has been deliberately constructed and maintained to enforce racial segregation. The remedy for such segregation may be administratively awkward, inconvenient, and even bizarre in some situations, and may impose burdens on some; but all awkwardness and inconvenience cannot be avoided…’
“Courtney understood the consequences of segregation for children and our democracy. She often spoke about how segregation undermines our core American ideals of fairness and equality and worked tireless to help fulfill the promise of Brown. Courtney emphasized that integrating schools was not about sacrifice, but instead about a commitment to strengthening our democracy and building a better society. I hope advocates and families continue her legacy and commitment of fighting for school integration. Further, I challenge this body to honor Courtney’s legacy in the months and years to come by taking the necessary actions to support and advance school integration.
“M. Speaker, the sadness of the passing of Courtney Everts Mykytyn is offset by her transformative work on school integration. Her death is a great loss to the school integration movement and our country. She will be greatly missed. I send my deepest sympathies to her loved ones, including her husband, Roman Mykytyn, her two children, Stefan and Lulu, and the Integrated Schools community.”
To read signed statement Chairman Scott submitted for the Congressional Record, click here.
Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853
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