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How are you honoring Brown v. Board today?

Minnijean Brown-Trickey (center right) of the Little Rock Nine was suspended in 1957 for standing up against the harassment she faced at Central High.

Today marks the 58th anniversary of Brown v. Board, the historic Supreme Court decision that declared that racially segregated schools in the United States were "inherently unequal," and abolished decades-old segregationist laws.

Here at VOYCE, our campaign for safe and supportive schools honors our predecessors who fought for their right to public education.

Last week, VOYCE convened over 300 students, parents and teachers for "Education Interrupted," a citywide town hall meeting on ending the school-to-prison-pipeline, and putting us on a path to college--not a path to jail. Community members and public officials joined us in honoring the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and in calling for an end to our broken school discipline system.
Julio rallying the crowd. More pictures here!

We were joined by Illinois P-20 Council Chair (and former City Clerk and State Senator) Miguel Del Valle, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, and Alderman Latasha Thomas. "Education Interrupted" also brought John Simmons and Antwan Wilson to Chicago from Denver Public Schools. John and Antwan have worked closely with our friends at Padres y Jóvenes Unidos to reduce school-based police tickets by 68% and out-of-school suspensions by 40% since re-writing the discipline code in 2008. 

Check out our Facebook album here!

Organizations across Chicago endorsed our May 7 Call to Action, including: Chicago Teachers Union, COFI/Power-PAC, Project NIA, People for Community Recovery, Community Justice for Youth Institute, the Children and Family Justice Center, Parents United for Responsible Education, Southwest Youth Collaborative and Chicago Freedom School.

Click here to check out our Facebook album for the event!

You can also read live-tweeting by students, parents and teachers at #58yearslater, #stpp, and #VOYCEsummit.

VOYCE In the opinion pages!

We're winning the public debate on what makes our schools safe and our discipline code fair.

Just check out the April post by Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. in the Huffington Post, in which Rev. Jackson writes:

Ryan and Crystal, Monday's student-parent emcees, aren't alone in demanding justice!

[VOYCE student leader Victor] Alquicira has it right: five- and 10-day suspensions are brutal punishments. They put kids on the street. They put them behind in class work...The vast bulk of the suspensions are for disruptive, nonviolent behavior. These are kids in need of discipline, not in need of suspension.

Rev. Jackson's post came on the heels of an op-ed by U.S. Representative Danny Davis in Catalyst Chicago, in which Rep. Davis cited research released earlier this year by PURE, Advancement Project and VOYCE on the hundreds of thousands of dollars in discipline fines made by Mayor Emanuel's prized Noble Network, and pledged to support federal legislation that would promote evidence-based approaches to school discipline and safety.


Posted in Youth, Education

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