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This interview with Adam Lubinsky took place via Zoom on August 25, 2020. Adam was calling in from Massachusetts, where he was helping to redesign a summer camp he founded 30 years ago to go remote. Adam is an urban planner and principal at WXY Studio in New York City. Through his work, he examines with a keen interest in the role of schools in communities and the school as a critical piece of a city's social infrastructure. In this interview, Adam spoke from his perspective as a consultant in both education and urban planning, focusing on opportunities and potential through all of this. He also talked at various points about his experience as a parent, sharing about his own children and their return to the semester. He reflects on socialization for his child attending a new school and some of the uncertainty related to that experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. In talking about his work, Adam shares that, nearing the end of the summer, he was solicited by a charter school to support reopening plans. These plans were specific to health monitoring and the spatial aspects of COVID-19 risk thresholds occurring from the time a student leaves their home until the time they arrive at school.
Adam talked about his consultancy work on school integration, where schools are being segmented into their different parts of social service provision, social, and educational learning. He weighed different costs and benefits, and imagined ways that all of this could lead to greater parent participation, for example not having to travel but being able to join meetings by Zoom, and how education districts across the country are likely to hold some of these models and keep experimenting with them --- either by choice or by a lack of funds. He talked about personally having more patience with/for NYC Department of Education's chaotic communications because he's worked with the city for so long. Adam talked about school reopening in terms of optimism, trust, organization, reliability, in a generally positive tone.
Anna Levy is a researcher, strategic analyst, educator and oral historian. Most of her work is at the intersection of accountability politics, structural inequality, historical and collective memory, and the role of civilian movements in economic and political transitions. She uses mixed research methods to map out the pressures and incentives guiding complex systems--including the political economy of organizations or cities in crisis, militarized border bureaucracies, or the shifting legal and digital frontlines of collective civic action, among others. Anna uses oral history to bring out the multiple, intersecting experiences that make up the day-to-day of those systems in order to help inform advocacy, policy and power shifts. She teaches on emergency and disaster politics at Fordham University and is an avid capoeirista. Her website is | Jafsadi.works.
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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.