Roundtable in Wichita, Kansas

Background and Participants

This planning meeting and television taping was convened under a grant from The Hitachi Foundation to bring together representatives of various sectors with a stake in the education of the nation's youth. Its goal was to determine how best to expand the dissemination of the diversity-based social studies curriculum materials called Americans All®, which were created under a grant from Hitachi and other funders in the early 1990s and are now owned by the People of America Foundation.

Americans All relies on the nation's common heritage of diversity and democracy to respond to today's demographic imperatives and school and workforce needs. The information it provides makes it possible to promote appreciation for self and others and to teach U.S. history as a history that recognizes the contributions of all people. These resources can also help the nation's schools better prepare diverse and underserved youth for full participation in a democratic society.

The Hitachi Foundation's continued involvement in this program reflects its keen awareness that modern-day immigration levels and other demographic trends are changing the face of this nation and that the pace of change is greatest in our schools. Dr. Gail C. Christopher, a senior advisor to the People of America Foundation and a former co-director of Americans All, moderated the meeting.

Other meeting participants were Suzie Ahlstrand, Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce; Paul Babich, United Teachers of Wichita; Sue Castile, National Conference for Community Justice; Tamara Cotman, assistant superintendent for elementary education, Wichita Unified School District 259; Sharon Fearey, vice mayor of Wichita; Dave Franson, Bombardier Aerospace; Larry Garcia, chief, Wichita Fire Department; Reverend Kevass Harding, Delrose United Methodist and Wichita Unified School District 259 school board; Bob Knight, former mayor of Wichita and senior consultant to the People of America Foundation; Allan Kullen, president, People of America Foundation; Jim Moore, Wichita Community Foundation; Tim Norton, Sedgwick County Commission; Jane Rand, Wichita High School East; and three Wichita High School East students, members of the school's Students Against Prejudice–Jeff Konen, Vanessa Sanchez and Montara Vilayvanh.