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Former Briarcliff High PTA President, Integration Advocate Dies at 89

Mila Jean Steinhaus helped shepherd one of the calmest school integration processes in the South in the early '60s.

Mila Jean Steinhaus a well-known Atlanta educator, a former Briarcliff High School PTA president and an integration advocate in the early 1960s, died June 15 after suffering a stroke. She was 89.

Steinhaus was involved in a group called OASIS (Organizations Assisting School in September) that worked with Northside High School integrating black students into white schools in 1961, according to her obituary in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

From the story:

She took the education of her own children and their classmates seriously, volunteering as room mother at Fernbank and Kittredge schools and presiding as president of the PTA at Briarcliff High School, not to mention leading a Girl Scout troop.

Mrs. Steinhaus was a past president of the Emory University Women’s Club and in that capacity helped organize and raise funds for the renovation of Houston Mill House, a hospitality venue for the university.

Check out the rest of the lengthy obit in the AJC.

Tom Doolittle June 23, 2012 at 05:43 PM
A book about the history of DeKalb school integration would be interesting. One would see a difference between earlier integration progress (such as Atlanta's) in the 60's and the more corrupt and destabilizing Federal goverment's (HUDs) role in "block-busting" and community/school destabilization in DeKalb in the 70s and '80s. The rapid rate of integration in the 70s and 80s contributed to a failed experiment--yielding essentially a segregated county.
Don Broussard June 23, 2012 at 08:52 PM
I did not know Ms. Steinhaus but she sounds like she was an real warrior for justice. Re: Tom's account of "block busting," that tactic was practiced by private real estate agents and housing "investors" as a way to drive housing prices down and buy up the resulting bargains. It was not practiced by HUD. BTW, Tom and I both need to get a life if we are blogging here on a pretty Saturday afternoon in June. LOL.

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