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The History of Race in Boston: The Legacy of Busing

The History of Race in Boston
The Legacy of Busing

GUEST LECTURERS:  Margaret McKenna, Charlie Titus, and Dr. Atyia Martin 

Margaret McKenna is the current president of Suffolk University. McKenna began her career as a civil rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. Later in her career she served as the deputy counsel in the White House and as undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education, and she led the education transition team for President Clinton. Previously she was vice president of Radcliffe College, president of Lesley University for 22 years, and a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

Charlie Titus is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston. Since coming to UMass, Titus has worn many hats, including serving as the university’s first and only head coach of men’s basketball. He has served on several committees both at the university level and in college athletics. A Boston-area native, Titus grew up in Roxbury, Massachusetts and attended Boston Technical High School before attending Saint Michael’s College.

Dr. S. Atyia Martin was appointed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh as the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston as part of the 100 Resilient Cities pioneered by the Rockefeller foundation. She is also adjunct faculty at Northeastern University in the Master of Homeland Security program. Previously, Dr. Martin was the Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness at the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC). Her previous professional experience includes the Boston Police Department’s Boston Regional Intelligence Center; City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management; the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI); and active duty Air Force assigned to the National Security Agency.


We were then introduced to our panel. Charlie Titus was a strong proponent of busing as a way to integrate the schools and improve minority education in Boston in the 1970s, riding on the buses with Black students to try and maintain calm in the face of the violence that often greeted them. Margaret McKenna was a young Civil Rights attorney in the Department of Justice; at that time, DOJ didn’t permit local Federal prosecutors to work on civil rights cases, because they were “locals,” and thus not trusted to prosecute them vigorously. Atyia Martin is a native Bostonian and is currently the City’s Chief Resilience Officer; the Resilience Office is funded through a grant from the Ford Foundation as part of their “100 Resilient Cities” project, and Boston’s grant was approved in part due to its focus on resilience in the face of racial conflict. Keep Reading.




“Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families.” J. Anthony Lukas. 1985.

Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter, and Busing by Farah Stockman

How a Standoff over Schools Changed the Country by Farah Stockman

Did Busing Slow Boston’s Desegregation? by Farah Stockman
April 25th, 2016|

What Iraq’s New Prime Minister Can Learn From Nelson Mandela, by Timothy Phillips

Read Oped here

August 17th, 2014|

What does neuroscience have to do with conflict? Op-doc By Eloise Harnett

Neuroscience Video from Beyond Conflict on Vimeo.

August 15th, 2014|

Neuroscience and Conflict Resolution: Beginning the Conversation

Read article

July 15th, 2014|

Kirkus Reviews gives rave review of our new book, Beyond Conflict

Please see Beyond Conflict’s latest review in Kirkus  by clicking here

May 19th, 2014|

Video: Interview with Guatemala’s Jose Maria Argueta

May 16th, 2014|

Video: Tim Phillips and Roelf Meyer discuss Mandela’s legacy

On April 11th, 2014, Harvard University’s Program on Negotiation hosted: South Africa’s “Negotiated Revolution” and Mandela’s Legacy with Roelf Meyer, Former Chief Negotiator for President DeKlerk in the talks to end Apartheid and Former Minister of Constitutional Affairs and Former Minister of Defense, South Africa and Tim Phillips Co-Founder of Beyond Conflict (formerly the Project on Justice in Times of Transition)

Panel was Moderated by Bruce Patton, Distinguished Fellow of the Harvard Negotiation Project

Click here for video: Mandela’s Legacy

April 11th, 2014|

One-time Miracle or Exemplar

What are the lessons of Mandela’s legacy and South Africa’s transition for other countries?

USIP and Beyond Conflict discussed lessons learned from South Africa’s transformation experience with some of the key negotiators during the transition, from both the African National Congress and National Party.

Read full post

February 27th, 2014|

Making Peace in South Africa – A Conversation

This past August, Beyond Conflict Co-Chair Tim Phillips participated in a panel with the Beyond Conflict Network member Roelf Meyer and moderated by former British diplomat Sir Kieran Prendergast. Held as part of Beyond Borders Scotland’s Books, Borders, and Bikes festival, the event included a number of prominent authors, artists, and policymakers. Roelf described his journey from a conservative student leader who thought apartheid was a good system, to one of the principal architects of its dismantling. Tim then shared Beyond Conflict’s mission and its history with Roelf – describing the crucial role Roelf played in catalyzing change in numerous countries. The video is worth watching in full, and is available below:

Making Peace in South Africa from Beyond Borders Scotland on Vimeo.

October 11th, 2013|

Rose Styron Hosts Peace Talks, Lessons on Science of Fear

Rose Styron, a member of the Project’s Advisory Board, recently hosted a evening of discussions on conflict and neuroscience on Martha’s Vineyard. The event was covered by the Vineyard Gazette. Below is an introductory excerpt together with a link to the full article:

“On the pristine lawn of the Styron residence, where the pink and orange tones of sunset moved in above the gently-rocking sailboats of the Tisbury harbor, it was hard to imagine conflict lurked anywhere in the world. And yet 85 Island residents and visitors had convened there last Wednesday night to discuss not just conflict, but its effect on the brain. The event, the first of its kind on the Island, was presented by the Cambridge-based Project on Justice in Times of Transition, which is seeking to bring an understanding of neuroscience to diplomacy.”

Read the entire article.

August 16th, 2013|