Nationwide Fight Against School Push Out

no peace with a peaceThe School-to-Prison Pipeline is a national issue and requires creating a national fightback. The Dignity in Schools Campaign is helping local organizations coordinate and develop their campaigns to end this pipeline.  Here are some of the recent victories, including in Wake County, NC.

DSC Members Win Community Involvement in School Resource Officer Training for Wake County Schools

North Carolina – On June 4, students with DSC member organizations NC HEAT/Youth Organizing Institute and the Education Justice Alliance, together with the Coalition of Concerned Parents of African American Children, attended the Wake County Public School System Board meeting to address the overuse of harsh discipline practices and arrests at the hands of School Resource Officers (SROs).

Click the link below to read the full story:

http://www.dignityinschools.org/blog/dsc-members-win-community-involvement-school-resource-officer-training-wake-county-schools

DSC Members Celebrate Victory in Los Angeles

On Tuesday, May 14, DSC members CADRE, Public Counsel Law Center, Labor/Community Strategy Center, and Children’s Defense Fund-California working with the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition of Los Angeles on the Every Student Matters Campaign celebrated a groundbreaking victory when the Los Angeles Unified School Board approved a School Climate Bill of Rights that: bans suspensions for willful defiance; calls for stepped up implementation of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support and for the first time Restorative Justice; makes discipline, citation, and school arrest data available to students and parents; and clarifies the role of police in schools.

Click the link below for the full story:

http://www.dignityinschools.org/blog/dsc-members-celebrate-victory-los-angeles

D.O.E. Holds Annual Discipline Code Public Hearing

Charlotte Pope, Dignity in Schools Campaign – New York, 06/10/2013dsc main graphic

A chant of “Solutions not suspensions” echoed through the Stuyvesant High School auditorium Thursday evening, where a crowd largely made up of youth leaders assembled for the Department of Education’s annual hearing on the Discipline Code.

Click the link below for the full story:

http://www.dignityinschools.org/blog/doe-holds-annual-discipline-code-public-hearing

YOI Goes to Greensboro

pictured: triangle youth in front of statues of the "Greensboro Four," four A&T students who began the sit-in movement of the 1960s
pictured: triangle youth in front of statues of the “Greensboro Four,” four A&T students who began the sit-in movement of the 1960s

On Thursday, July 11th, YOI joined several other area youth groups (SEEDSEl Pueblo, and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s young farmer’s training program) on a field trip to Greensboro. The students boarded biofuel buses and then headed out to the first stop: a tour at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. The museum is located at the old Woolworth’s where the sit-in movement began, so we were able to see things such as the original lunch counters, dishes, and cash registers that were left behind when the department store closed.

Next, the buses headed over to the Beloved Community Center for lunch and fellowship with the community center staff and members of the NAACP. Our last activity was a grassroots history tour of Greensboro provided by the Beloved Community Center staff. Youth were able to see important historical sites such as Dudley High School and the site of the Greensboro Massacre. Visiting historical sites is an important way to remember our history and connect the work we are doing, as well as inspiring ourselves and honoring the sacrifices made by those who came before us.

Off to a great start

Session 1
Omi, leads YOI through an opening activity

On Tuesday July 9th we started the 4th annual summer Youth Organizing Institute. Over 20 youth from across the triangle gathered for the program. The first day was inspiring and will not soon be forgotten.

Along with the excitement of youth being able to meet other like-minded students, laughing during ice breakers and singing freedom songs, we began to build our ‘safe space’ that YOI participants and allies will grow and develop within in the next few weeks.

We began the day by getting to know each other and our stories. We described what ideals schools would consist of and discussed current problems young people are facing.

During the second part of the day we watched an inspiring film ‘Walk Out’ documenting the brave Chicano high school student-led protests that transformed California in the 1960s. Youth were able to open up about their own struggles with race and discrimination in their schools and their own desires to feel empowered and unified with other students.

Breakout 1 report group 2
Youth describing their ideal school

Having spaces where youth can be empowered to tell their stories and can have honest and meaningful dialogue is rare. The excitement and wisdom that youth bring to the program serves as a reminder of why youth organizing is so important. While we are only just beginning YOI this year, the experiences that youth are bringing to the program are setting the stage for a transformative summer.

This work is invaluable, and we need our community’s help to gather the resources to make it happen. With only 4 days left on our online fundraising campaign we need help reaching our goal! Can you give $10, $15, or $20 to help show your support and solidarity for these inspiring youth learning the tools to make a difference in our communities?

The 2013 Youth Organizing Institute starts tomorrow in Raleigh!

main pic for website

We are thrilled to have over 20 high school students from across the Triangle convening to build community and gain the tools to be organizers and advocates on their own behalf. In this exciting and critical time in North Carolina we recognize that building youth leadership in the movement is more important than ever! We need your support to help build the skills and leadership of young people. Help us by donating today!

The Youth Organizing Institute is doing something new as part of our new Building Bridges Teen Activist Convening Initiative and our 2013 Summer Curriculum.

For the forth year, the Youth Organizing Institute is putting together an exciting program for young people who want to learn about social justice history and organizing.  Due to overwhelming interest, this year we have DOUBLE the usual number of participants!  

This summer we are hosting a special Grassroots People’s History Field Trip to Greensboro on July 11.  The field trip includes:

  • Admission to the International Civil Rights Museum, the site of former Woolworths and the place the Greensboro 4 kicked off the Sit-In Movement,
  • A locally-made southern lunch served at the historic Beloved Community Center as we break bread with movement elders and share and listen to stories,
  • A customized grassroots people’s field trip of Greensboro created by the organizers at the Beloved Community Center,
  • Travel to and from Greensboro in a bio-diesel fueled bus,
  • Participation on the bus by Moral Mondays organizers who will share stories and teach us Movement Songs.

The cost per person is approximately $30.

It is so important to lift up our own People’s History – stories that we are not always taught in school.  In order to make this life-changing field trip a reality, we need support.

Youth lead march to Governor

witnessWedTwo days after the June 24 “Moral Monday,” youth in NC called for an action to raise their issues. The action was called “Witness Wednesday.”  NC HEAT leaders Q and Beatrice addressed the crowd at a press conference before a march to the Governor’s office. They demanded an end to the criminalization of youth and for fully funded quality education.

They spoke about legislation aimed at lowering the age to 13 when youth could be tried as adults, and spoke against privatization and the school voucher bill. The racist criminal injustice system that disproportionately incarcerates youth of color must be stopped. While the mobilizations on the state-wide level are continuing, NC HEAT is building a coalition around challenging police in schools and ending racist discipline practices.

Youth Mobilize for “Moral Monday”

ImageSince April 29, members of NC HEAT have come out for weekly “Moral Mondays.”  On June 24 thousands of people from across the state gathered.  Over 120 people participating in non-violent civil disobedience.  The reactionary policies being proposed include massive cuts to education, a school voucher plan, refusing the Federal Medicaid Expansion, and cutting unemployment benefits. NC HEAT will continue to raise youth demands, tell their stories, and be in solidarity every Moral Monday.

Now accepting applications for Summer 2013 Youth Organizing Institute

**APPLY TODAY BY FILLING OUT THE ONLINE APPLICATION**

Image

Calling Triangle-Area Teens:  Work this summer to stop racism & school re-segregation, challenge the school to prison pipeline, and make schools safe for LBGTQ youth (and get paid!).

The Institute will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from July 9-25, with one overnight retreat. 

Entering its fourth year the Youth Organizing Institute is committed to training, supporting, and developing the next generation of activists, organizers, and social change leaders in North Carolina.

Applications are due June 7.

What is the Youth Organizing Institute:

We are youth organizers. We are immigrants and we are US born. We are white, black, and brown. We speak many languages. We are gay and we are straight. We believe in solidarity, we support each other, and we affirm the humanity and dignity of every person. We do not believe in “problem kids.” We believe society has problems and we must be the ones to fix them. We believe in hard work and we believe in fun. We are loyal to each other and dedicated to our values. We got your back. We believe that five fingers clutched together are stronger than each finger on its own.

We honor the legacies of the youth organizers and activists who came before us. We walk in the legacy of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). We believe in collective direct action.

We are part of a broad, dynamic, diverse, and international student movement.

COMMITMENTS – YOURS AND OURS

Teens accepted into the program must complete 50 hours of classroom & field work.
Sessions will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from July 9 – July 25, plus one weekend.

Participants who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate and a $100 stipend.

NC HEAT Mobilizes to School Board

Consider Supporting the work of NC HEAT by making a donation!

school board meeting end the pipelineOn June 4, Students in NC HEAT, the Education Justice Alliance, and The Coalition of Concerned Parents of African American Youth joined forces to attend the Wake County School Board meeting. The “Consent Agenda” of the meeting included a renewal of the SRO contract which funds the security in the High Schools. SRO’s have been arresting youth at many schools including recently at Enloe. Seven students were taken to jail after a water-balloon senior prank. When a parent went into the principals office to ask why these black boys were being thrown into the ground by police the principal had the parent arrested for trespassing. The SRO’s have little to no training and target youth of color. Youth and community members packed public comment section as well as the meeting mounting enough pressure for the school board to move the agenda item of SRO funding to the “action” part of the agenda. After much discussion and debate among the school board members about discipline issues, school board member Keith Sutton said he would consider a moratorium on suspensions for level one infractions. While the funding for SRO’s did end up passing, the board recommended that community members be involved in the SRO summit training in August. This is just the beginning of the pressure we will put on the school board. Students need dignity in their schools and we will work until that is the case. You can watch the entire school board meeting or read more about it!

NC HEAT & YOI at Moral Mondays

NC HEAT and the Youth Organizing Institute at Moral Mondays!

NC HEAT and the Youth Organizing Institute at Moral Mondays!

 

NC HEAT members and Youth Organizing Institute staff have been showing up big to Moral Mondays since the first one – April 29 – when two NC HEAT members were arrested alongside NC NAACP president Rev. Barber.

Ever since we’ve been helping to build and turn out youth and helping with jail support til late into the night.

Check out this joint statement NC HEAT signed in solidarity with LGBTQ organizations and leaders who have been participating in Moral Mondays

 

 

 

NC HEAT & the Youth Organizing Institute bring their message to Moral Mondays for the 4th week!

NC HEAT & the Youth Organizing Institute bring their message to Moral Mondays for the 4th week!