Wikipedia:Meetup/Boston/Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Desegregation and Social Justice in Boston at UMass Boston

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Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Desegregation and Social Justice in Boston at UMass Boston

Interested in the history of de facto segregation and the desegregation of Boston Public Schools? Want to learn some basics of creating new Wikipedia articles? Join us to increase Wikipedia's coverage of underrepresented groups in local Boston history.

All participants, in-person and remote, welcome!

When: Thursday, May 12th, 2016, 12:00pm-4:00pm EST

Where: [1], McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Classroom 201 (in the OLLI wing), University of Massachusetts Boston

Focus: Boston History, Social Justice, and Desegregation of Boston Public Schools

Snacks? Yes! We will provide pizza and refreshments.

Cost: Free

More Event Details[edit]

  • Participants: The event is open to anyone interested in the history of desegregation in Boston. No Wiki editing experience necessary; as needed, tutorials will be provided for Wikipedia newcomers. Can’t come for the whole time? No problem. Join us for as little or as long as you like.
  • Attendees should bring their own laptops and power cords if possible. Pizza, snacks, and drinks will be provided.
  • Registration: Please RSVP below so we know how many to expect.

McCormack Hall is located on the UMASS Boston campus, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, Massachusetts 02125. The event will meet in Room 201 (in the OLLI wing). Campus is located near the JFK/UMass stop on the Red Line. Free shuttle buses run every 5-10 minutes to take you from the T stop directly to campus. More driving and parking directions are available here.


If possible, create your Wikipedia account ahead of time. If you can't, that's not a problem: we will help you at the Edit-a-thon. On the day of, you will just need to bring a laptop and power supply.

12:00pm - 12:30pm: Check-in, welcome, light lunch

12:30pm - 1:00pm: Beginner intro to Wikipedia editing

1:00pm - 4:00pm: Edit-a-thon!

4:00-pm: Wrap-up and thanks

Sign Up and Guest List[edit]



Online participation[edit]

If you cannot make it to the UMass Boston in person but would still like to participate, you are more than welcome to do so remotely. Suggested articles appear below, or you may add or contribute to one of your choosing. So that we can count you as having participated, please add your contributions under the Results section below.

Suggested Topics for May 12th edit-a-thon[edit]

The following is a sampling of suggested articles to create or add upon. However, feel free to come up with your own ideas!


  • Elvira "Pixie" Palladino - Two term Boston School Committee member, East Boston resident, and opponent of busing. Helped Louise Day Hicks found ROAR

Legal Cases

  • Allen v. McDonough - On June 10, 1976, plaintiffs filed suit in Suffolk Superior Court alleging a system-wide failure to evaluate and prepare educational plans for students referred for special education and to conduct periodic reviews to monitor progress in accordance with state regulations. Allen v. McDonough was the first class action suit brought against a school system in Massachusetts for non-compliance with Chapter 766. View guide to the Allen v. McDonough case files

Groups and Organizations

  • Citywide Parents Council - The Citywide Parents Council, Inc. (CPC) was a community/school based, non-profit, advisory organization established by Federal District Court mandate (Judge Arthur Garrity in the case of Tallulah Morgan vs. James Hennigan) in 1974. The CPC operated as an autonomous entity of the school system from 1974 to 2004. View Guide to the Citywide Parents Council records

Articles Needing Editing, Expansion, and External References Added[edit]

People (involved in the desegregation of Boston Public Schools)[edit]

  • Ruth Batson, activist for civil rights and outspoken advocate of fair and equal education, served on the Public Education Committee of the NAACP Boston Branch and later as the executive director of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO).
  • Jean McGuire, executive director of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO, Inc.) and the first female African American to gain a seat on the Boston School Committee at Large right after the Boston busing desegregation.

People (involved in general social justice issues in Boston)[edit]

  • Carmen Pola, Latina activist and civic leader, she directed the Project to Monitor the Code of Discipline at the Massachusetts Advocacy Center, she was liaison to Boston’s Hispanic community during Raymond Flynn's successful mayoral bid in 1983, and she was the first director of Constituent Services under Flynn’s administration and later served as his senior advisor on human needs. View guide to her personal papers.
  • Phyllis M. Ryan, (1927-1998), social justice and political activist, supported school desegregation, prison reform, welfare reform, the establishment of disability rights, and civil rights organizations, such as the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). View guide to her personal papers.
  • Muriel S. Snowden (1916-1988) and Otto P. Snowden (1914-1995), African American social workers, were the founders and co-directors of Freedom House (Roxbury, Massachusetts), a center for neighborhood improvement and community activism in Roxbury, Massachusetts. View guide to their personal papers.
  • Elma Lewis, founder and leader of national organizations for African-Americans in the performing and visual arts. View guide to her personal papers
  • Sara R. Ehrmann (1895-1993), a Boston-area civic leader best known for her regional and national work as an opponent of capital punishment, sparked by the Sacco and Vanzetti case. View guide to her personal papers
  • Byron Rushing -- well-known Boston-area activist, Massachusetts State Representative, and participant in Lower Roxbury oral history project.
  • Michael E. Haynes -- former pastor of Twelfth Baptist Church, Massachusetts State Representative, and participant in Lower Roxbury oral history project.
  • Gloria Fox -- Massachusetts State Representative, and participant in Lower Roxbury oral history project.


African American

Asian American

  • The Chinese Progressive Association, a grassroots community organization, was founded in 1977 to provide Chinatown residents a forum for their concerns and a way to communicate their vision for the community to officials of the City of Boston and of the Commonwealth. The Association provides support for workers and immigrants, particularly new Asian immigrants, needing translation services or other support. View guide to the records.



  • Founded in 1968, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción is a grassroots organization in Boston’s South End that provides services for youth, families, adults, and the elderly through community organizing, educational, civic, cultural, and peer leadership. View guide to the records.
  • Established in 1968, La Alianza Hispana, the first Latino organization in Boston, provides education, family counseling, public health, and youth development programs to Boston’s Latino community. View guide to the records.

Government sponsored/affiliated

  • METCO - Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity. Founded in 1966 in Boston, Massachusetts, the program is the longest continuously running voluntary school desegregation program in the country and a national model for the few other voluntary desegregation busing programs currently in existence

Legal Cases[edit]

Resources: Editing Wikipedia[edit]

After you create a new article, a Wikipedia editor may review it and OK it for inclusion in Wikipedia. This can take several hours or several days. Writing successful Wikipedia entries is somewhat of an art.

Resources: general secondary sources available online on UMB campus or in person[edit]

Ronald P. Formisano, Boston Against Busing: Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the 1960s and 1970s , UNC Press, 1991.

Google scholar, newspaper databases, and other resources available remotely with a UMB ID or on campus

Boston Globe (Proquest Historical Newspapers)

Bay State Banner

Stark and Subtle Divisions: A Collaborative History of Segregation in Boston

Resources: City Archives materials and collections[edit]