Webinar Series: The Safe and Supportive Schools All Children Deserve

The Schott FoundationCJSF

The tragic Parkland school shooting has sharpened the public’s attention to school safety. Despite the temptation during moments of urgency, policymakers should not impose knee-jerk reforms that could make the problem worse: we all should listen to the students who have been dealing with a school safety crisis for years and let them lead.

Please join the Schott Foundation and Communities for Just Schools Fund for a series of three webinars that take a holistic approach to the problems of classroom safety, policing, and the school-to-prison pipeline — and how they interact with larger systemic inequities surrounding race, gender, sexuality and class. Every child deserves a safe and supportive learning environment: the presenters below will show us how we can get there. And join the conversation on Twitter with #GrassrootsEd!

Scroll down to learn about all three webinars:

Protecting the Safety, Wellbeing and Opportunity to Learn for Black Girls

Wednesday, March 21st at 2:00-3:00pm ET

A groundbreaking study from Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality found adults view black girls as young as 5 years old as less innocent and less in need of protection than white peers, which may contribute to the consistently harsher disciplinary treatment that we see across our schools and in our juvenile justice system.

Authors of the report Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood discussed why we need to explore data and disciplinary discrepancies for Black girls. Learn about “adultification” and this newly recognized form of bias in which adults perceive Black girls more like adults- and less innocent- than their white peers. Challenge harmful perceptions of Black girls that suggest they need less nurturing, protection and support than white girls. Explore what more is needed to address this issue and uplift Black girls across schools, juvenile justice and other public systems.

Our speakers included:

Jamilia Blake, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Texas A&M University

Rebecca Epstein, Executive Director, Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality

Marianna Islam, Director of Programs & Advocacy, Schott Foundation for Public Education (moderator)

Reproductive Justice is Restorative Justice: Expanding the School Discipline Frame
Organizing at the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Sexuality

Wednesday, March 28 at 2:30-4:00pm ET

Join the Communities for Just Schools Fund (CJSF) and our partners for a live funder & friend briefing that will advance a bold analysis of reproductive, gender, and restorative justice in school discipline organizing. The briefing will feature the dynamic work of our Florida-based community partners, Power U Center for Social Change, S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective, and the Dream Defenders, organizing on the frontlines for education and racial justice in their schools and communities. From civil rights to human rights, learn how these organizers are reimagining school safety, discipline, and schools where all young people can thrive.

Our speakers will include:

James Lopez, Power U, Executive Director

Samantha Daley, Power U, Reproductive Justice Organizer

Wakumi Douglas, SOUL Sisters Leadership Collective, Co-Executive Director

Youth member, SOUL Sisters Leadership Collective

Rachel Gilmer, Dream Defenders, Chief of Strategy

Ruth Jeannoel, Doula, former Power U Lead Organizer and Director of Fanm Saj


Be Her Resource: School Resource Officers and Girls of Color

Thursday, April 5th at 2:00-3:00pm ET 

Today there are an estimated 30,000 officers now in schools, up from roughly 100 in the 1970s. Although the stated purpose of these officers is to maintain a sense of safety, a very troubling consequence is greater arrest rates and referrals for minor disruptive behaviors — with especially harsh results for girls of color.

According to 2013-2014 data from the U.S. Department of Education, Black girls are 2.6 times as likely to be referred to law enforcement on school grounds as white girls, and black girls are almost 4 times as likely to get arrested at school. Disparities affecting Latinas are especially severe in elementary school where they are 2.7 times more likely to be arrested than young white girls. In light of this data, schools and districts must work to improve interactions between girls of color and school resource officers (SROs), striving to keep girls of color safe and supported in schools and reduce disproportionate rates of contact in the justice system.

Join us as we discuss a new toolkit, Be Her Resource: A Toolkit about School Resource Officers and Girls of Color which offers strategies and much needed guidance to improve relations between SROs and girls of color at schools. The toolkit, developed by National Black Women’s Justice Institute and Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, is centered on first-of-their-kind focus groups and interviews with SROs and girls to learn first-hand perspectives about their interactions.

Our speakers will include:

Monique W. Morris, Ed.D., Co-Founder and President, The National Black Women’s Justice Institute

Rebecca Epstein, Executive Director, Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality

Marianna Islam, Director of Programs & Advocacy, Schott Foundation for Public Education (moderator)

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