A ten-year effort led by youth, community organizers, and a range of partners resulted in two new, successful high schools and showed the power of grassroots mobilization for social justice.
Youth, parents, and teachers in New York City used traditional and new media to broadcast loudly against education policies that were not working – and to demand change.
The successful campaign to position education as a pivotal issue in the 2013 mayoral campaign built on years of community and youth organizing in New York City.
An education organizer in New York City argues that the lived experiences of students must be placed at the center of strategies aimed at ending systems of inequitable discipline policies.
Comunitario projects in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley offer a community-based alternative to the traditional PTA model, fostering the participation and collective leadership of youth.
“After the election I wrote to all of my students – past and present – and said, ‘We were born for a moment such as this. And we will do what is necessary to secure the future for all children.’”
“We need to give students the ability to activate their own voice, to speak up, and create spaces for them to solve problems that we may not be able to see as adults.”
“We’re going to advance a narrative about what needs to change and see if we can grow a group of new leaders who will be courageous but also smart enough to push in that direction.”
“I think people see this as a call to really stand up, and say, ‘Our schools will be safe places. Our schools will be sanctuaries. We will have good public schools in our communities, and we will fight for them.’”
“You still have your voice. You still have people power. Continue to fight for what you believe in.”
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