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Alison Stewart  

American radio and television journalist.

Alison Stewart is an American radio and television journalist. She was one of the hosts of the Bryant Park Project, a morning drive news program from NPR. Stewart first gained widespread visibility as a political correspondent for MTV News in the 1990s.

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Dunbar’s Legacy: The Story of America’s First Black Public High School

What went wrong in America’s first black public high school? How did it go from extraordinary success to its students barely graduating? Alison Stewart’s talk starts in 1870 Washington DC with the opening of the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth. Later renamed Dunbar High, the school thrived despite Jim Crow laws and segregation. Dunbar’s extraordinary faculty, including a principal who was the first black graduate of Harvard University, produced generations of highly educated African Americans, including the first black member of the presidential cabinet, the first black graduate of the US Naval Academy, the first black army general, and the legal mastermind behind school desegregation. At its peak in the 1900s–1950s, Dunbar sent 80% of its students to college. Today, like in too many failing urban public schools, the majority of Dunbar students are barely proficient in reading and math. What happened? Alison Stewart, whose parents are both Dunbar graduates, talks about the history of black DC, school desegregation, and education reform, all within the lens of the story of Dunbar High. What can we learn from Dunbar’s troubled history? What will happen when Dunbar’s state-of-the-art $122 million new school opens in the fall of 2013? Stewart’s optimistic keynotes inspire audiences to look to our history to drive change in America’s education system

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