This Week in Education Organizing - January 12, 2018

Wow!  The Power of Organizing: Ten Key Victories in 2017

A billion dollars for education and community schools in New York; a limit on out-of-school suspensions in Arkansas, restoration of cuts in school funding for Chicago…these are just a few of the education justice victories documented and described in the latest newsletter from the Schott Foundation.  Next time you’re feeling down, open this up…and add your work to it!

 National Critical Conversation Town Hall on Public Education: February 13, 2017.

The #WeChoose Campaign has organized over 30 town halls across the country, engaging communities in building grassroots visions for public education. On February 13th, the Campaign is uniting youth and national leaders who have been part of this work for a national town hall, being held in Detroit, Michigan.  Speakers will include young people who will share how various education policies have impacted their lives; Aliya Moore, a Detroit parent and organizer with Keep the Vote, No Take Over;  Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, and Tara Stamps, a Chicago public school educator and activist. The event will be hosted by Dr. Yohuru Williams, author, activist, professor and historian.  The town hall will be held at the Spencer M. Patrich Auditorium at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. Admission is free.

For those unable to make it to Detroit, #WeChoose will livestream the event on the Journey for Justice Facebook page:   Organize a watch party!!

AROS Table-Building Call Launches Supports for Local Labor/Community Coalitions

AROS held a video call on January 9th for leaders and organizers working to build and strengthen labor/community coalition tables affiliated with the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools.  Over 30 folks joined the hour-long call and shared a few words about their current work.  Participants including Jonathan Mello from the San Diego Education Association, Johnnie Lattner with PULSE in Newark, Michelle Dillingham from the Cincinnati Educational Justice Coalition, Annie Mansfield from Indianapolis AROS, Maria Harmon from Step Up, Louisiana, Zac Bears with PHENOM/Massachusetts and Angelina Cruz from the Racine Education Association offered their reflections on the challenges and promise of local labor/community tables. We hope this initial conversation will serve as the first of regular skills-building and issue-development calls for AROS table leaders. 


Coalition for Educational Justice Keeps the Pressure on NYC Mayor for Culturally Responsive Education

Mayor de Blasio ran on ending the tale of two cities, yet not enough has been done to ensure that NYC public schools are free from racism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim bias, homophobia, ablism and sexism. The DOE has a moral imperative to help schools develop expertise in confronting racism and bias, and build a culture in which students are honored for all aspects of their identities. 

CEJ is rallying on the steps of City Hall on January 23rd to call on the Mayor to make Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) a major part of his education agenda.  CEJ is calling for anti-bias trainings for thousands of teachers, administrators and school staff, a revamped curriculum across all subjects and grades, and the creation of an Office of Culturally Responsive Education in the NYC Department of Education.  

CEJ encourages turnout, as well as social media support!  To find out how to help, write to


January 31:  BACKPACK FULL OF CASH will be shown at 5:00pm at the offices of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers. The showing is hosted by Great Public Schools-Pittsburgh. The showing is free, and will be followed by a panel discussion.

February 8:   BACKPACK FULL OF CASH will be shown at 7:00 PM at Bethel International United Methodist Church, 1220 Bethel Road, Columbus OH.  The showing is free and open to the public. Registration is required, however. Please register at:  For more information, contact Public Education Partners,

February 13:   #WeChoose Campaign National Town Hall.  At the Spencer M. Patrich Auditorium at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit.  See above for details.

February 24:  A Working People’s Day of Action – in cities across the country including (so far) Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington, Miami, St. Paul, New York, Columbus, Philadelphia and Memphis. More to follow. Thousands will defy a rigged system that favors the corporations and the wealthy, and a Supreme Court poised to slash the rights of working people to bargain collectively.  More information will follow. Save the date!!

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