We the People: Working Together is an exciting new research and organizing project that endeavors to make the crucial and vital shift from division to unity in order to create and sustain equality and justice for all. Please see above video of how our organizing is helping communitiy members and students engage with each other for greater change.
We will be gathering 32 educators, organizers and influencers in the education justice movement from across the country at an Education Justice Communications Summit on July 17 – July 20 in order to strategize how effective communications and messaging can inform their local and movement building work.
As part of the Summit we will:
• Explore effective frames for messaging in order to combat corporate attacks, preserve and promote public education.
• Discuss and analyze findings from the Education Justice Listening Project.
• Help education justice activists utilize the most effective modalities and messages for their own organization communication strategy.
Participating Organizations in the Summit Include: Press Pass TV, Mass Alliance, Chicago Teachers Union, National Dignity in Schools Campaign, Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Save Our Schools, TASSSC, Citizens for Public Schools, Center for Story Based Strategy, Institute for Democratic Education in America, Media Sutra Inc, Nuestra Escuela, Network for Public Education, Education for Liberation Network, Progressive Communicators Network, Integrity in Education, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, Gates Millennium Scholars Program – Hispanic Scholarship Fund (list as of July 1, 2014)
We look forward to sharing more information with you about this project in the upcoming months. For automatic updates please sign onto our newsletter list.
In the summer of 2013, Spirit In Action interviewed 36 education justice activists, including teachers, students, policymakers and other leaders to listen to their perspectives on the current state of public education in America. The interviewees’ stories and firsthand experiences relative to public schooling are helping us to better understand possibilities for reframing the national conversation on education justice. We need to counter the massive corporate assault on public education that is generally well-messaged, cohesive and widely distributed.
One of our longer-term goals is to create an effective messaging strategy to help combat the misinformation about public education that continues to be circulated nationally. Below are just a few of the quotes and trends that surfaced in our interviews. Later this summer, we’ll be discussing these findings as well as many others at an upcoming Education Justice Communications Summit focused on bringing together grassroots leaders to create sustainable, cohesive and successful messaging frames for education justice.
We’ll present a more comprehensive summary of the listening project later this summer: first at the Education Justice Communications Summit, then here on our website. If you have any questions about this, drop us a note at our email.
In the summer of 2013 we interview over 40 individuals whose words, stories and passion about the current state of education in America is helping us understand what frames are most important and relevant to education justice in 2014. Spirit in Action is proud to launch the first 10 videos as part of the Education Justice Listening Project.
Clips in this round include Sabrina Joy Stevens, Leigh Patel, Scott Nine, Ernesto Villasenor and others. Although only selected interviews are in this round of the project, we may create more videos highlighting additional information and individuals later.
For now, please consider sharing the videos of fellow education justice leaders. You can see all ten videos on our YouTube playlist. For more information about the Education Justice Listening Project, take a look on our website.
Ayla Gavins is the Principal of Mission Hill K-8 School in Boston, MA.
From the mission statement of Mission Hill School: The task of public education is to help parents raise youngsters who will maintain and nurture the best habits of a democratic society be smart, caring, strong, resilient, imaginative and thoughtful. It aims at producing youngsters who can live productive, socially useful and personally satisfying lives, while also respecting the rights of all others. The school, as we see it, will help strengthen our commitment to diversity, equity and mutual respect.
As part of our 2013 Education Justice Listening Project we interviewed educators, students, parents and organizers about what’s the best path forward for improving public education. In this clip, Ayla helps us understand how education is resourced and explains this to us using her drawing of the current state of public education.
Zakiyah Ansari is an outspoken advocate for public schools and the loudest voice on the transition team for New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio’s. Ansari is the advocacy director at the New York State Alliance for Quality Education, a non-profit. She first appeared on the public radar in 2007 as a parent leader for Coalition for Educational Justice. Ansari, a mother of eight, criticized the creation of charter schools, saying it set parents against each other. All her children have graduated or are studying at New York City’s public schools.
As part of our 2013 Education Justice Listening Project we interviewed educators, students, parents and organizers about what’s the best path forward for improving public education. In this clip, Zakiyah reminds us of how important public education is for us as a nation.
Jackson Potter is staff coordinator for the Chicago Teachers Union.
As part of our 2013 Education Justice Listening Project we interviewed educators, students, parents and organizers about what’s the best path forward for improving public education. In this clip, Jackson tells us about the use of communication strategy and messaging with his work in Chicago.
Kazu Haga is a nonviolence trainer and founder of the East Point Peace Academy in Oakland, California. East Point Peace Academy envisions a world where historic conflicts are fully reconciled and where new conflict arises solely as an opportunity for deeper growth. Where the depth of human relations are so high that it allows each individual to attain their fullest human potential. Kazu works in prisons, jails, schools and communities to build a powerful, nonviolent movement of peace warriors.
As part of our 2013 Education Justice Listening Project we interviewed educators, students, parents and organizers about what’s the best path forward for improving public education.
Leigh Patel is a researcher, educator, and writer. With a background in sociology, she researches and teaches about education as a site of social reproduction and as a potential site for transformation. She is an Associate Professor of Education at Boston College and works extensively with recently immigrated youth and teacher activists. Prior to working in the academy, Professor Patel was a journalist, a teacher, and a state-level policymaker. Across all of these experiences, her focus has been on the ways that education structures opportunities in society, and her daily work has been with youth who are marginalized through those structures.
As part of our 2013 Education Justice Listening Project we interviewed educators, students, parents and organizers about what’s the best path forward for improving public education. In this clip, Leigh reminds us of an often deliberately-obscured fact: that the public education system belongs to us. What does it mean if we take action based on that idea?
Ernesto Villaseñor, Jr. is a policymaker, social and environmental justice educator, and active within Public Health and Education in Compton and South LA. Born and raised in Compton, California, he uses his hometown as his research focus on the social and environmental injustices that contribute to the education and public health disparities that are prevalent. Through his extensive research, he has shed the light on these issues while at the same time developing and implementing effective, efficient, and sustainable solutions that have been implemented throughout eight districts in LA County.
As part of our 2013 Education Justice Listening Project we interviewed educators, students, parents and organizers about what’s the best path forward for improving public education. Ernesto shares with us his observation on the disparities in the schools of Compton.