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Thursday, September 22, 2016

SchoolHouse: Equity in Education



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This week: CJSF’s Allison R. Brown speaks with Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) about their instrumental role in the passage of a historic state law that makes suspensions and expulsions a last resort.
About the SchoolHouse: Equity in Education podcast:

SchoolHouse is a podcast created by the Communities for Just Schools Fund and hosted by Allison R. Brown. SchoolHouse shares stories about how young people, their families and communities, and other advocates and activists are working in and around schools to make them healthy, safe, and equitable places for children to be. In SchoolHouse, we will learn together about the global implications of local movements for change in our schools.

About CJSF:

The Communities for Just Schools Fund (CJSF) is a nationally-focused donor collaborative. CJSF provides resources in support of community-led organizations that are working to ensure positive and supportive school climates that affirm and foster the success of all students. CJSF’s community partners organize young people, parents and caregivers, educators, and other community members to advocate on behalf of students who are disproportionately impacted by the over-use of exclusionary school discipline practices, including suspensions, expulsions, and arrests in schools. They organize community members to stand up for positive, healthy, and supportive school climates that produce better academic and social outcomes for the students who enroll than school climates with a heavy police presence, zero tolerance school discipline policies, and over-reliance on exclusionary discipline methods. CJSF’s community partners educate students, parents and caregivers, school officials and teachers, police departments, and community leaders on highly beneficial alternatives to suspension, expulsion, and school-based arrests. For more information, email us at info@cjsfund.org and sign up for our newsletter at www.cjsfund.org.

About VOYCE:

Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) is a youth organizing alliance for education and racial justice led by students of color from  across the city of Chicago and Illinois:

Communities United (Convening organization of VOYCE)
Southwest Organizing Project
Westside Health Authority
Blocks Together

Since its formation in 2007, VOYCE has worked to increase Chicago’s graduation rate by using youth-driven research and organizing to advance district-level policies that support student achievement.

VOYCE’s work is driven by the belief that young people who are most directly affected by educational inequity are in the best position to develop meaningful, long-lasting solutions. To lay the foundation for VOYCE’s campaign, more than a hundred youth conducted an in-depth, year-long Participatory Action Research study on the root causes of the city’s 50% graduation rate. The students found that to increase graduation rates, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) must build a foundation for student success through district- and school-level policies and practices that foster trusting and supportive relationships with peers and school staff. For more information: http://voyceproject.org/

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