Dr. Carla Shedd, associate professor of sociology and urban education at The Graduate Center, CUNY, studies the interactions with institutions of low-income Black and Latinx students and how institutional racism impacts children from even before birth. Children who attend integrated schools have sharper awareness of inequities than their counterparts in segregated schools and communities. The “carceral continuum” is more comprehensive than the “school to prison pipeline” and comprises all encounters with institutions. Carla also talks about professionals’ ethical responsibilities and responses and how to create safe spaces.


Unequal City is the award-winning book by Carla Shedd on how Chicago schools shape the perceptions and experiences of its students.


00:00-00:55 Intro

00:56-03:22 Carceral continuum—description and why this is more inclusive and accurate than “school to prison pipeline.”

03:23-04:44 Interrupting and disrupting the carceral continuum

04:45-06:53 Experience on a retrospective homicide review committee

06:54-10:31 Ethical implications for professionals

10:32-15:45 Schools and teachers that have created safe spaces; description of Piney Woods School

15:46-17:51 Keeping a school successful over generations

17:52-19:34 Private schools as potential models for public schools

19:35-23:08 Students’ perceptions of injustice

23:09-28:47 How students respond to perceptions of injustice

28:48-32:53 Perceptions of injustice and student activism; The Beacon School in NYC

32:54-35:19 The interrelationships of schools and communities

35:20-37:07 The education continuum; providing resources before students get in trouble rather than only afterward

37:08-end Outro


Click here to see the full transcription of the episode.