Mykytyn said it appeared that the driver had accidentally accelerated backward while trying to parallel park. A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said the driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation.
In 2015, Everts Mykytyn founded a group called Integrated Schools, which now has 20 chapters around the country and a podcast. The organization encourages parents to fight an educational system that allows wealthy and white parents to send their children to what they perceive as “good schools” while poor and nonwhite students are relegated to schools with far fewer resources.
The group urges white parents to consider sending their children to schools where white children are in the minority, and to consider the benefits of schooling with children from different backgrounds over the benefits of a school where children have high test scores and more resources. It also provides a supportive community for parents who make these choices.
To that end, Everts Mykytyn asked parents to take a “two tour pledge,” promising to visit at least two schools they might have otherwise dismissed as unacceptable before making decisions.
“It’s about white and privileged families opting into global majority black and brown schools,” she said in an interview last year. “You’re either contributing to school segregation and concentrations of whiteness and privilege, or you’re making a choice to not have that as a priority.”
Her approach stands in contrast with that of many wealthy families, who decide where to live based on school rankings and try to avoid schools that have large concentrations of poverty.
It also differs from other integration activists, who work to change policies such as how school boundary lines are drawn, rather than working to change the decision-making of individual families.
Everts Mykytyn began this work with her own children. When her son, Stefan, now 17, was ready for kindergarten, she and her husband opted against sending him to the nearby school that wealthy families favored and instead organized with other white parents to send their kids to a neighborhood school that had more children from families with low incomes.
She and other parents helped create a dual-language Spanish program at the school. Her daughter, Lulu, now 14, also went there.
With time, Everts Mykytyn’s views evolved and she turned somewhat critical of her own approach. She concluded that it was not enough for parents to send kids to nonwhite schools but to be mindful about how they interact with the rest of the community, her husband said.
Her concern was that white parents may try to “colonize” a school, take over the PTA and turn it into something closer to their own preferences, he said. “Maybe those parents (already at the school) don’t want an organic garden.” She also talked about the need to avoid a “white savior” attitude where the white parents see themselves as there to rescue the others, and instead embrace partnerships.
She wanted to persuade white parents that their children would benefit from attending integrated schools, even given some trade-offs. She said a wealthier school might have field trips and projects instead of work sheets, behavior charts and “things white progressive parents cringe about.” But she said children gain an understanding of the world outside a privileged bubble.
“When we talk about this as if it is only a sacrifice we get into big trouble because it’s not true,” she said in the interview last year. “It might be a re-prioritization of what matters. The things my kids give up by not going to privileged segregated schools don’t matter as much to me as the things they have learned.”
Everts Mykytyn also co-hosted a podcast that focused on how to integrate schools. Her co-host, Andrew Lefkowits, said that others involved in the organization gathered over a video conference call this week and vowed to keep the organization going. “There was resolve to continue the work going forward,” he said. “The work has to continue.”