Webinar: We Came to Learn: The Fight for Police Free Schools
For decades, young people have been on the frontlines of local and national movements to end the school-to-prison pipeline and the criminalization of Black and Brown students. This has led to incredible victories from ending zero-tolerance policies in major school districts and securing commitments to fund and implement restorative justice, to shifting local and national narratives on criminalization in the classroom. Now, youth organizers are taking these struggles to another level: dismantling the police apparatuses in their schools. Since the October 2015 #AssaultAtSpringValley (when a teenage girl was violently assaulted by a police officer at Spring Valley High School), there have been over 30 other documented assaults recorded and reported by students themselves, as well as over 20 youth organizing campaigns calling for police out of schools. In this webinar, participants will learn about the fight for police-free schools as an outgrowth and component of youth-led organizing for restorative and educational justice. It will also highlight a new report by the Advancement Project, "We Came To Learn: A Call To Action for Police Free Schools,” which identifies the oppressive roots of school policing and documents case studies in Oakland, Calif., Philadelphia, Pa., and Spring Valley, S.C., that serve as models in the fight to end school policing.
Jonathan Stith is the National Director for the Alliance for Educational Justice, a national network of intergenerational and youth-led organizations working to end the school-to-prison pipeline. His is the former Director of Youth Organizing at Empower DC. He has 20 years of experience working with youth and community organizations to address social inequities. As the former Executive Director of the Youth Education Alliance (YEA), he was a critical leader in the School Modernization Campaign that won 3.2 billion dollars for school renovation and repair in the District. He was also a steering committee member of the Justice for DC Youth Coalition that successfully organized youth and their families to win critical juvenile justice reforms in the District.
Jonathan is an accomplished facilitator and trainer. He is a certified trainer of Advancing Youth Development for the Children Youth Investment Trust, the Prudential Youth Leadership Institute and the Center for Creative Leadership. He is the founder of Pump Ya Fist, a youth activist and organizer training institute that supports the development of youth-led social change efforts across the country.
Last and most importantly, he is a father of three.