2016 Program: Education
How do we actively dismantle patterns of race and racism in schools? What are some effective strategies to address white supremacy, structural racism and create more racially equitable spaces? This interactive workshop will include an analysis of systemic racism and practical tools/exercises to apply this analysis in everyday educational settings. We wil explore key racial equity concepts and strategies that support an educator’s ability to identify, address, and interrupt inequity in educational settings. Educators will leave with a deeper understanding and practical tools for engaging in sense-making conversations about racial equity that lead to productive action.
A cross-cutting framework that incorporates education, health, safety, school climate, community power, and additional factors that influence the learning environment, HLLC offers parents, students, and public school systems a tool to support the creation of communities that are just and fair for all. Schott’s HLLC Index measures the health of living and learning in districts starting with academic supports and continuing to health, juvenile justice, and local community civic engagement. The Index’s “whole child dashboard” provides a tool for parents, education practitioners, and policymakers to measure progress in creating healthy living and learning systems. It offers a common language for assessing whether at the district level students receive appropriate “learning climate” supports and opportunities. It helps determine whether school systems align with and receive the supports afforded to other systems to achieve the goal of preparing a community of learners who are good citizens and career and college ready. The Index’s design reflects the reality that a majority of schools and school districts now serve low-income students, students of color, and an increasing number of English language learners and students with disabilities. It is built with the understanding that not all children have the same needs and their school interactions may represent only a small part of their interactions with public institutions that influence their opportunity to learn and succeed.
Public discussion is growing around the implementation of restorative justice. NYC Council allocated $2.5 million dollars to RJ work in public schools. LA created an initiative for RJ programming in many of its schools. Restorative justice in its modern iteration in educational settings was originally pushed by community organizations as a way to challenge racial inequity in “discipline” practices. However, many of these publically-backed “interventions” have no components of racial justice, no contexts of mass incarceration, and no connection to RJ’s roots in indigenous communities. In this session we’ll critically examine this context and explore a more grounded, racially just, and radical form of restorative and transformative justice. We see RJ/TJ as a philosophy and practice that works to divest from traditional models of punishment, a method to work towards racial justice, and an avenue to create structures of shared power and accountability. Together, we will share tools and restorative practices that are easily transferable into community and school spaces. By modeling practical applications of restorative and transformative practices such as community building circles, examples of harm and conflict circles, affective statements and more, we will provide participants with activities that can be easily transferred and adapted to schools and community spaces. In addition, all participants will be provided with a resource packet with sample activities to take back to their respective communities.
In Chicago, 50 public schools were closed in 2013. That same year, 23 schools were closed in Philadelphia. The "education reform" movement has exploded--backed by investors and philanthropists seeking to privatize education by capitalizing on our flawed accountability system and its overreliance on high-stakes testing and evaluations. The result is an explosion of school closures, takeovers, and a surplus of unaccountable charter schools. These "education experiments" are imposed primarily on Black and Brown neighborhoods--that have experienced decades of education disinvestment-- and have led to deep resource disparities and the loss of these important community institutions. Communities are resisting these harmful policies through organizing and legal tactics. This session will feature lawyers and organizers who will share the successes and challenges of these legal and organizing tactics and emphasize the need for sustainable community schools. Panelists will share opportunities to get involved in a unified fight against privatization by targeting federal policymakers. Through an interactive activity or small groups, participants will then be invited to share some of their tactics & brainstorm others -- followed by a Q&A period.
This workshop will pull from lesson plans and activities from our new curriculum “What’s the REAL DEAL about Love and Solidarity?” which is a call to action and centers young Black femmes. Engaging, interactive, and rooted in social-emotional learning and youth facilitated discussion, this workshop will provide an opportunity for LGBTQ youth, POC, and those who work and support them, to discuss consent as it impacts them with educators. The workshop will begin with introductions, viewing of the youth-written Hollywood directed short film, “Veracity,” about two young Black queer femmes in high school, a discussion of the topics of consent that are represented in the film, and a variety of small group activities discussing consent. Participants will gain an understanding of what LGBTQ youth (especially BIPOC youth) wish to discuss around consent, resources regarding consent when engaging in various forms of activities, activities and lesson plans for continuing these conversations outside our space together, and understand how media literacy and media justice connect to the topic of consent for LGBTQ youth. Learning objectives include: Participants will be able to discuss various definitions for consent, both practical and legal; identify resources regarding consent specifically for LGBTQ youth esp. BIPOC youth; guide discussions with youth on how to identify the difference between asking for consent and being manipulative; give two examples of activities to implement with youth regarding consent.
This session will provide participants with lessons learned from, and an opportunity to examine, the role and impact of explicit racial justice framing in successfully organizing marginalized, grassroots parents of color for long-term systemic change. Participants will learn how explicit racial justice framing led to successful parent-led organizing victories in disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Leadership development and campaign stories from parent organizers in South Central Los Angeles (CA), West Dayton (OH), and New Orleans (LA), will then be followed by small group dialogue and practice with racial justice framing that illustrates new opportunities for parents to participate in advocacy and organizing. Participants will walk away with tactics and tools that can be applied to strengthening grassroots parent outreach, relationship building, political education, leadership development, and campaign development.