(Jackson, MS) - On Wednesday, June 24 at 4 p.m. Central, the Institute for Democratic Education in America is hosting a rally in downtown Jackson, Mississippi with the support of national organizations Journey for Justice Alliance, Center for Popular Democracy, and local organizations One Voice, and Our JPS. The rally is part of a larger National Day of Action led by Journey for Justice Alliance with events organized across Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Camden, Chicago, Dallas, Jackson, Little Rock, Milwaukee, Oakland, New York, and Pittsburgh, and is appropriately themed, "Black Lives Matter: Education Equity or Else!"
We are in perilous times. We would be naive to assume that this system will equitably reinstate public education, or bring back schools at all. If we want our children to return to a school system that is safe and equitable, we must organize and make the change we want.
"The racism that snatched the future from George Floyd and countless others is the same racism that fuels the sabotage of education for Black, Brown, indigenous and working-class children. The only way schools will open safely and equitably for Black, Brown, Indigenous and working class children is if we - as parents, educators and students - inform and drive the reopening." - Jitu Brown, Journey for Justice Alliance
Join us as we rally this Wednesday, June 24 at 4 p.m. CT in Jackson, MS in front of the Governor's Mansion (Capitol Street side).
Central demands of the rally (full list of national demands):
No child can fail or be suspended this year as a direct result of the interruption of their education process, trauma of living through COVID, and/or inequity of access to technology and internet.
Elimination of punitive standardized tests for at least the next 2 years.
Full funding of Title 1 and the Individuals with Disabilities Act to double the number of special ed instructors and resources available to children with special needs.
Funding to increase the number of counselors for students (dramatically reduce counselor/student ratio) and wrap around supports for every student.
The immediate decriminalization of students of color and school cultures.
We believe a comprehensive plan to transform racist cultures that criminalize Black, Brown and Indigenous children is necessary, which includes: more Black, Brown and Indigenous teachers, mandatory restorative justice and racial justice training for all administrators and school staff and federal penalties for districts that continue with zero tolerance and other inequitable discipline and instruction cultures.
"Now is the time that the community in Jackson should demand equity and justice for our students. For far too long, our students have been underserved in systems that fail to educate and meet even their most basic needs. This is the time for us to step up and tap into the Black excellence of our students by demanding that anti-racist educational practices be instituted at every level and in every facet of our school system. We are a city with a radical legacy, and we must use that legacy to demand and create radical change today. We have the opportunity to become a model of equity and excellence for the schools of our country, and the time is now to take the steps to become that model." - Olivia Cote, Jackson-based Educator
The rally for Education Equity in Mississippi takes place this Wednesday, June 24th at 4 p.m. CT in front of the Governor's Mansion on Capitol Street.