7:00 pm

Dr. Gray Fitzsimons, Dr. Patricia Fontaine, and Kristin Gallas – “Immigrants, Refugees, and the Quest for Equality of Education: Lowell’s Separate Irish School System and Its Legacy”

In 1830, Lowell’s school committee faced a difficult decision in light of the growing nativist and common school movements in the United States - whether to establish equity in public education as their community became more culturally diverse. They voted to spend $50 per year to establish an Irish-only school in the Acre, while the remaining parts of town were divided into district schools. Following a viewing of the Tsongas Industrial History Center’s new short film about this historic debate, “A School for Kids Like Me,” historian Gray Fitzsimons will discuss the factors that shaped Lowell’s early school system, including the segregation of Irish students. UMass Lowell professor Patricia Fontaine will provide insight on the city’s current actions to provide a holistic, inclusive education for immigrant students. RSVP by email to: TIHC@UML.edu.