Philly Educators Launch Black Lives Matter At School Week
Today, educators in Philadelphia are launching the Black Lives Matter week of action, continuing to build the Black Lives Matter At School movement that has now reached school districts across the country. During this week-long campaign, teachers will dedicate more instructional time to issues of racial and social justice, diversity, and community building.
The #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool movement erupted in Seattle on October 19th of this school year when thousands of educators wore Black Lives Matter Shirts and many held discussions and taught lessons about institutional racism. Now the Philly Caucus of Working Educators Racial Justice Committee has organized a powerful week of action to address the many intersectional identities within the Black community.
Here’s a list of the week’s activities and themes:
Jan. 23: Restorative Justice, Empathy, and Loving Engagement
A city-wide event starting in the classrooms, where all schools and educators are encouraged to allocate at least an hour of their school day/lesson plan for educating and empowering students on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Jan. 24: Diversity and Globalism (#EthnicStudiesPHL)
This first official meeting will create a work plan for educators and encourage the exploration and expansion of ethnic studies in the Philadelphia area. It will be held at 5 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Green, 1701 Green St.
Jan. 25: Transgender-Affirming, Queer-Affirming, and Collective Value
This event – titled “How to Bridge the Gap Between Parents/Families and Schools” – will be held as a town meeting at City Hall. Organizers say it will be a community conversation about the present disconnect and growing gap between parents and school staff.
Jan. 26: Intergenerational, Black Families, and Black Villages – screening of the movie 13th
The movie focuses on how the U.S. criminal justice system has unjustifiably and unequally imprisoned African Americans through the 13th Amendment, which made slavery and involuntary servitude illegal “except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” After the movie screening, there will be a talkback discussion regarding intergenerational communities and the disruption of the Western nuclear family. This event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at Edward T. Steel Elementary, 4301 Wayne Ave.
Jan. 27: Black Women and Unapologetically Black
A panel will discuss “Beauty, Society, & More” and the effects on Black girls and women. This event will start at 5 p.m. at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, 3700 Walnut St., Room 203.
Jan. 28: Conversation & Closing Panel Discussion
After screening clips from the movies Pariah and Moonlight, there will be a conversation about LGBTQ people’s lives as they relate to the film and the Black Lives Matter movement. This event will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Ritter Annex at Temple University.
The closing panel will discuss “Next Steps: How Does the Work Continue Beyond Black Lives Matter Week?” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Temple, Tuttleman Learning Center, 1809 North 13th St.
Black Lives Matter Week is co-sponsored by the Teacher Action Group Philadelphia and is also endorsed by many education organizations, including Parents United for Public Education, Neighborhood Networks, Philadelphia Children’s March, Philly Socialists, Teachers Lead Philly, Youth United for Change, and United Caucuses of Rank and File Educators (UCORE). Organizations that support these invaluable school and community dialogues can sign up to endorse here.
In addition, dozes of scholars and professors have signed on to a statement of support for the Philly Black Lives Matter At School action. You can read the statement below and if you are a professor you can add your name by visiting their website.
We, the undersigned professors and scholars, publicly express our support for and solidarity with teachers and community members and their January 23-28 action in recognition of making Black Student Lives Matter in our schools.
We believe that these goals are vital for educators, parents, students, and all communities in order to…
- create a space for introspection and dialogue around the 13 guiding principles;
- build deeper connections between educators, parents, students, and community organizations;
- stand in support of national organizing supporting Black Lives Matter;
- empower students and student groups to play a leading role in this week and moving forward.
As this work continues beyond January 28, we support the Racial Justice Statement written by the Caucus of Working Educators, which asserts that “purposeful action needs to be taken in order to eliminate the adverse outcomes derived from perpetual structural racism evident in public education.”
This ongoing work will promote equality; the value of human life; and educational, political, and social justice. It requires us to develop the knowledge and actions necessary to eliminate the barriers that structural prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination, and bias create in Philadelphia and beyond. We are committed to teaching, learning, and culture in our classrooms that reflect these missions and goals, and to our role in building the leadership of our students to live by them. The survival and empowerment of all communities demands this.
Rhiannon Maton, Ph.D., Critical Writing Program, University of Pennsylvania
Mark Stern, Ph.D., Department of Educational Studies, Colgate University
Amy Brown, Ph.D., Critical Writing Program, University of Pennsylvania
Sonia M. Rosen, Ph.D., Arcadia University School of Education
Camika Royal, Ph.D., Loyola University Maryland School of Education
Imani Perry, Ph.D., J.D. Princeton University Department of African American Studies
Kathleen Riley, Ph.D., Department of Literacy, West Chester University
Casey Bohrman, PhD, MSW Undergraduate Social Work, West Chester University
Seth Kahn, PhD, Department of English, West Chester University
Katie Solic, Ph.D., Department of Literacy, West Chester University
Kristen B.Crossney, PhD, Department of Public Policy and Administration, West Chester University
Gabriel A. Piser, PhD, Ohio State University
Tabitha Dell’Angelo, PhD, The College of New Jersey
Jill Hermann-Wilmarth, PhD, Western Michigan University
David I. Backer, PhD, West Chester University
Laura A. Roy, Ph.D., Penn State Harrisburg
Erin Hurt, PhD, Department of English, West Chester University
Craig Stutman, PhD., Department of Liberal Arts,
Delaware Valley University
Timothy R. Dougherty, Ph.D., Department of English, West Chester University
Edwin Mayorga, Ph.D. Dept. of Educational Studies and Program in Latin American & Latinx Studies, Swarthmore College
Miriam Fife, Ed.D.
Kira J. Baker-Doyle, Ph.D. Arcadia University School of Education
Jessica A. Solyom, Ph.D., Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University
Benjamin J. Muller, Ph.D., King’s University College at Western University (Canada)
Chonika Coleman-King, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Bruce Campbell Jr., Ph.D. Arcadia University School of Education
Erin Whitney, Ed.D., School of Education, California State University, Chico
Susan Bickerstaff, Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Katie Clonan-Roy, Ph.D., Colby College
Jerusha Conner, Ph.D., Villanova University
Jill E. Schwarz, Ph.D., The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)
Anita Chikkatur, Ph.D., Carleton College, Minnesota
Kim Dean, Ph.D., Arcadia University
Rick Eckstein, Ph.D., Villanova University
Ali MIchael, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Kelly Welch, Ph.D., Villanova University
Shivaani Selvaraj, D.Ed., Penn State Center for Engaged Scholarship, Philadelphia
Amy Stornaiuolo, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Sukey Blanc, Ph.D., Creative Research & Evaluation LCC
Vicki McGinley, PhD, Department of Special Education, West Chester University
Rob Connor, PhD, CSA
Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, Ph.D., Professor and Former Founding Dean, School of Education, Arcadia University
Brian Lozenski, Ph.D., Educational Studies Department, Macalester College
Kathy Schultz, Ph.D. Dean and Professor, School of Education, University of Colorado Boulder
Jonathan Shandell, Arcadia University
Dean J. Johnson, Ph.D., Peace and Conflict Studies Program, West Chester University
Dean Rachael Murphey-Brown, PhD, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University
Lan Ngo, PhD, Critical Writing Program and Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Jessica Whitelaw, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Ashon Crawley, PhD, University of California, Riverside
Shaleigh Kwok, PhD, Critical Writing Program, University of Pennsylvania
Rochelle Peterson, School of Education, Arcadia University
Keely McCarthy Ph.D., Chestnut Hill College
Kathy Hall, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Marc Meola, MA, MLS, Community College of Philadelphia
Jamie A. Thomas, PhD, Dept. of Linguistics, Program in Black Studies, Swarthmore College
Steven Davis, PhD, Dept. of English, Community College of Philadelphia
Anna (Anne) Ríos-Rojas, Ph.D., Department of Educational Studies, Colgate University
Encarna Rodríguez, Ph.D., Saint Joseph’s University
Monica L. Mercado, Ph.D., Department of History, Colgate University
Debora Broderick, EdD., Chester County Intermediate Unit
Chandra Russo, PhD, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Colgate University
Ali Stefanik, SERVE 101 Coordinator, Office of Student Engagement, Philadelphia University
Sally Wesley Bonet, Ph.D., Department of Educational Studies, Colgate University
Emily A. Greytak, PhD.
Danny M. Barreto, Ph.D., Colgate University
Rosemary A. Barbera, Ph.D., MSS, Lasalle University
Rachel Throop, Ph.D., Education Studies, Barnard College
Caitlin J. Taylor, Ph.D., La Salle University
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Ph.D., African American studies department, Princeton University
Cheryl A. Hyde, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, Temple University
Jessie M. Timmons, LCSW, School of Social Work, Temple University
Mansura Karim, LSW, School of Social Work, Temple University
Emeka Nwadiora, LLM., MED[c]., MSW., PhD., JD., PhD/DSW, College of Public Health, Temple University
Adam Miyashiro, Ph.D., Stockton University
Susan Thomas, PhD, International Studies, American University
Miguel Muñoz-Laboy, DrPH, MPH, School of Social Work and College of Public Health, Temple University
Debora Kodish, Ph.D., Philadelphia Folklore Project, retired
Dana Morrison Simone, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Delaware and West Chester University
Lauren Ware Stark, MA, PhD Candidate, University of Virginia
Richard Liuzzi, Ed.D. student, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Martha Carey, PhD, Urban Education, Temple University
Jen Bradley, Ph.D., Educational Studies, Swarthmore College
Susan L. DeJarnatt, Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law
Ryan Villagran, MSW, School of Social Work, Temple University
Katie Pak, Ed.D student, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Jody Cohen, Bryn Mawr College
Anne Pomerantz, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Len Rieser, Temple University Beasley School of Law
Sherisse L. Laud-Hammond, MSW, School of Social Work, Temple University
Ryan M. Good, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor, Temple University
Monica L. Clark, M.S., Ph.D. Student & Undergrad Gen Ed Instructor, College of Ed, Temple University
Maia Cucchiara, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Urban Education, Temple University
Stephen Danley, DPhil, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Rutgers-Camden University
Juliet Curci, PhD, Temple University College of Education
Elaine Leigh, Ph.D. Student, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Lynnette Mawhinney, Ph.D., Associate Professor, The College of New Jersey