Last night my co-worker and I went to hear Chris Stewart of the African American Leadership Forum speak about Education Justice. There were lots of ideas and stories that he shared that are still rattling around in my brain. He told a story of how one of our local High Schools in the Twin Cities had only an 11% academic proficiency rate in the school and of those who were proficient – not a single one was a boy. This is the quote that keeps clunking around in my head and grieving my heart.
We are on a scientifically predictable course that will lead to the systematic isolation of African American males in our society.
I haven’t read it yet, but will be reading soon Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. But far too many, far too far too many African American boys are failing school and going to prison.
One in three African American boys and one in six Latino boys will spend time in prison. I love the work that the Children’s Defense Fund is doing in it Cradle to Prison Pipeline ® Campaign.
CDF’s vision with it’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline campaign is to reduce detention and incarceration by increasing preventive supports and services children need, such as access to quality early childhood development and education services and accessible, comprehensive health and mental health coverage. Emphasis must be shifted for the sake of our children and our nation’s future.
The challenge that I took away from last night’s event was this, we must do justice in our education system with the awareness of how lives are on the line.