RJN! Launches Culturally Relevant Toolkit, Has Success during DSC National Week of Action

In historic fashion, Racial Justice NOW! completed its fifth National Week of Action as members of the Dignity in Schools Campaign by participating in four events in three different states. DSC is a coalition of 125 organizations across 25 states that fight against the school to prison pipeline and school pushout. RJN!, serving as the co-chair of the national campaign for over a year, started off the week in New Orleans, LA, which served a two-fold purpose.

The Week of Action national event was accompanied by the launch of a national conversation on race, hosted by Community for Just Schools Fund. Both events culminated with the keynote lecture from award-winning rapper, producer, actor, and activist David Banner.

After spending three days in Louisiana, team RJN! flew back to Dayton, Ohio to host a panel of candidates that are running for open school board seats in Dayton Public Schools. RJN! has the unique responsibility, as an unashamedly Black organization, to ask the difficult and under-addressed questions about racial disparities in suspensions, equitable funding to all schools, and restorative justice practices. The well-attended event was facilitated by DPS graduate and active community member Fred Leon Cox.

RJN! Executive Director H.A. Jabar, set the tone in his introduction of Mr. Cox, by highlighting the organization’s social and political position of talking about what is uncomfortable but nonetheless true. Brother Jabar was unable to stay at the event but was on a flight to the third event of the week in Menlo, California at Facebook’s headquarters.

Facebook, hosted a summit on school climate and safety called Connecting Communities of Courage. As the co-chairs of the Dignity in Schools Campaign RJN! attended to represent the voices of Black parents. It is imperative that the voices of Black parents are lifted up in these types spaces because policy, research, and action are followed by the information given at these types of summits. If the input of Black parents is not heard, there will continue to be research and policies developed that will best assist the suburbs of white communities and often adversely effect Black or urban communities.

 

To complete the week, RJN!’s youth division, the West Dayton Youth Task Force, hosted the Gem City Classic to End the School to Prison Pipeline. The event consisted of a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a rap and dance contest, and hip-hop pedagogy circles. Youth won cash prizes and had the opportunity of seeing how sports and hip-hop culture can relate to the classroom and how curriculum can fuel the school to prison pipeline.

For more information on the Culturally Relevant Toolkit, click HERE

 

To register for the November 14th 7pm EST culturally relevant curriculum webinar, click HERE

RJN! invite to attend Connecting Communities of Courage Summit at Facebook HQ in Menlo, California

Racial Justice NOW is exciting to be attending the Connecting Communities of Courage Summit to Build Inclusive, Safe, and Engaged Schools on Friday, October 27 at Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The Connecting Communities of Courage Summit is a one-day event designed to bring together a diverse community of stakeholders at the national, state, and local level – community action organizations and youth leaders together with schools, prosocial organizations, policymakers, researchers, and funders – to collaboratively address the critical needs of P-12 schools, develop cross-sector connections, and build more inclusive, safe, and engaged communities.

Racial Justice NOW will representing the work that we do in Ohio and also the 125+ organizations of the Dignity in Schools Campaign. As Black parent organizers we will continue to lift up the voices of Black parents to ensure that we receive the #EducationJustice that we deserve.

                                                     “Education is a human right, we will not give up the fight”