Partner Spotlight: Journey for Justice

1.  Can you explain the overall mission of Journey for Justice?
The Journey for Justice Alliance is a national network of black and brown led, grassroots community-based organizations committed to utilizing grassroots organizing to win community-driven school improvement, in order to achieve equity in public education. We envision an America where every child, regardless of their race or economic status has access to a world-class school public school within safe walking distance of their homes.  We work for an education system that confronts historic racism and in our time, make racial equity a reality in America’s public education system.

 

2. What milestones has Journey for Justice already been reached or is currently moving towards?

We have expanded community schools in 8 cities across the United States, built national unity around community schools as an evidence-based strategy to improve the education in black and brown communities, provided leadership in building a national campaign with community, labor and advocacy groups for  equity in the 21st Century Campaign called the We Choose Campaign. One of our campaign strategies is to win 25,000 community schools by 2025.

 

3.  How does Journey for Justice principles tie into the Community School’s principles and philosophy? How do you see your work fitting into ours?

We know what works. America ranks 19th in the world in education, but 2nd when poverty is not a factor. Schools that are successful in this country are grounded in 6 pillars: relevant, rigorous and engaging curriculum, supports for quality teaching and not punitive standardized tests, appropriate wrap-around supports for every child, student-centered school climate, transformative parent and community engagement and Inclusive school leadership.

Sustainable, high quality community schools that embody these pillars and serve as community hubs for parents, students and neighborhood residents are working in America. This includes investment in early childhood education in America’s schools. Strong, sustainable community schools help to create high quality Pre-K-12th grade systems of education in our communities. These are the interventions we recommend for struggling, underserved schools — NOT school closures or privatization. Our work reflects our shared values with the Coalition for Community Schools of: fostering strong partnerships, sharing accountability for results, setting high expectations, building on the community’s strengths, and embracing diversity and innovative solutions. In unity with the Coalition for Community Schools, the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools and other allies we are calling for 25,000 Community Schools by 2025.

 

4.  How does Journey for Justice center equity in their agenda?

J4J has an Education Platform rooted in racial justice and education equity. Our education platform is:

  • ·        A moratorium on school privatization
  • ·        25,000 sustainable community schools by 2025
  • ·        End zero tolerance policies in public education NOW
  • ·        Equity mandates for public education at the local & state level
  • ·        Stop the attack on black teachers
  • ·        End state takeovers, appointed school boards & mayoral control
  • ·        Eliminate the over-reliance on standardized tests in public schools

 

5. What are some exciting events or opportunities taking place at Journey for Justice? (2 of the questions were similar so I combined the responses below)

Our We Choose Campaign is shifting the narrative about school choice to racial justice and equity, building multi-racial local coalitions to build power and producing ationally coordinated campaigns, rooted in local work to fight back against privatization and community-driven school improvement.

Coming up in April, in collaboration with the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools we will host a Senate Briefing in Washington, D.C. highlighting Inequity in public education and the need for equity. The briefing will focus on our policy recommendations including equity mandates, fully funding Title 1 and IDEA and expanding sustainable community schools. 

We also have a new podcast called "On The Ground"! As black and brown people in the United States, every right that we have is a direct result of community organizing. Community organizing is the people directly impacted by an problem, strategizing and building power to win policy change or resources to improve their quality of life. The On The Ground podcast centers effective grassroots community organizers to share their wisdom on the artistic science of organizing. We also bring music, soundtracks to the struggle into the podcast. Community organizing is not activism. Join J4J's new podcast "On The Ground" on Mondays @ 6 PM CST hosted by Jitu Brown! Subscribe or follow us on I-Tunes -http://ow.ly/UUkL30nDLYm or on Stitcher - http://ow.ly/2EAO30nE6Xc & Google Play Music.  Also follow us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-930058613.




 

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