From the Director’s Desk, Part 1

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by Racial Justice NOW! Director H.A. Jabar 12/12/18

As we close out this year of 2018 and approach a year of extreme significance (2019), I will be taking some time out of my day to reflect and share some things that I feel are of importance. Racial Justice NOW! turned seven years old this November and we have been doing a lot of reflecting on “the work” we do, how we’ve done it, our successes and challenges.

Our 2018 started off with a series of unplanned announcements that threw our offices and team into a whirlwind of activity that we didn’t see coming. We had lofty plans to expand our work and make greater strides in the ‘Education Justice Movement’, but as circumstances would have it, the west Dayton community was hit with the closing of a main grocery store, the closing of its hospital, and then Dayton public schools announced the possible closure of nine schools (all in the Black community). Mind you, this was following elections in November.

The whole thing reeked of “outside manipulation”.  As the process went along, the Dayton Daily News discovered that the Mayor’s office (who has no control of Dayton Public Schools) was calling plays along with a school board member elect. See article:

Mayor Whaley led effort to create Dayton school task force, records show

Due to the circumstance, team RJN! found itself playing defense instead offense. Thankfully, our national network of supporters helped us “organize, organize, organize” with the strength of our ancestors. We were featured in a 3-part national story about the whole situation, (see Real News Network), which led to two other national stories on Dayton, Ohio. Fortunately, DPS decided to only close two schools, but said they would revisit the situation the following year based on enrollment.

 

The Black Disinvestment Crisis Pt 1: From Dayton, OH to Baltimore, MD

The Black Disinvestment Crisis Pt 2: School Closings, Food Deserts, and Urban Blight

The Black Disinvestment Crisis Pt 2: School Closings, Food Deserts 

What a start to 2018, huh?

Coming Soon, Part 2 – What we originally planned for our 2018

 

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