As January of 2018 approached (around this time last year) team RJN! was excited and optimistic about new opportunities. We had been approached by well-respected social justice organizations about assisting parents in their state, which was in alignment with our long-term plan. We had opened a new satellite office in the Washington, D.C. area and had already participated in several Capitol Hill events and press conferences.
We had started the long process of planning the structure of what new RJN! chapters would look like, updating our technical ability for mass communication, and were looking forward to taking our long list of local wins to another level and jurisdiction. Our board of directors was hard at work on our long-term strategic plan and our national network was expanding. Then, we got the news!
Dayton Public Schools announced that they were looking to close to nine public schools, all of which were in the Black community. Due to our national work, we saw a repeat of what had been happening in Chicago, Oakland, Camden, NJ and other cities. The same “plays” were being called and it was obvious. We huddled together and made the difficult decision to put our long-term plans on hold to deal with the crisis that was happening.
Although our work and the work of others limited school closures to two schools, DPS stated that they would review the school closure plan the following year. We continued to work on our five campaigns, but the school closure fight dramatically changed our schedule for the year.
If nothing else, we learned a lot about the political process and many of the snakes that were in disguise came out of hiding, so now we know who is really “for the people” and who is not.
As we continue our work in the Education Justice Movement, the fight for racial and social justice; we ask that you consider becoming a sustainer of this work at any level that is affordable to you!
Coming Soon, From the Directors Desk Part 3 Our Statewide Win of 2018
If you missed From the Directors Desk Part 1