Youth Art Contest and More Info on 2016 Fair!

Dear Youth, Families, Education Workers, and Community,
 
We are excited to share this year’s theme and open the call for workshop proposals. Visit our website to read about our theme: Upset the Setup!, and to submit a brief workshop proposal. Proposals are due by Tuesday, August 23rd
 
Youth Art Contest

Calling all youth artists! Share your artwork with fair participants this year!

1) Design an image for this year’s fair reflecting the theme, “Upset the Setup!” The chosen artist will receive an award of $150. Image should work as one-color design (for t-shirts) but can be submitted as a multi-color artwork. Deadline to submit is September 16th.

2) Share your artwork at this year’s fair! We will be holding space for any and all youth artists to display and/or offer artwork for sale. Artist’s will keep 100% of anything sold. If interest is there, we may organize a pre-fair exhibition at a local venue to display artwork for a longer time period. Any and all mediums are welcome and we will do our best to accommodate.

To submit to artwork for the contest or for exhibition please send us a digital copy of your work at tcedfair@gmail.com.

 
Volunteer for the Fair!
We need volunteers! Earn service hours and/or meet new people committed to education justice. Are you multi-lingual? Tech savvy? Ready to do whatever? From Hunger Management to the Reboot Crew, there are opportunities for all skills and schedules. 
 
Here are a few options for getting involved, depending on your interest:
  1. One-Time Volunteer: Put in a few hours during the Fair or at pre-or post-fair events.
  2. Committee Volunteer: Work with a small team to bottom-line a core aspect of the Fair’s work. For example–logistics work (securing food donations) or contributing to growing one of the following tracks (Tracks are organized by groups of folks who recruit workshops and make space at the fair that center particular issues.) The following are tracks that folks are already working on this year:
    • Youth Activists Summit (aka Youth Track)
    • Parents and Families Track
    • In-School Organizing Track
    • Adult Basic Education/Adult Learner Track (new!)
    • Early Childhood Caregivers and Educators Track (new!)
    • Ethnic Studies (new!)
    • And? If you feel passionately about organizing a track at the fair, contact us!
  3. Big Picture Volunteer: Attend regular meetings (bi-weekly) with the Organizing Team to ensure all parts of the Fair are accounted for and successful.
For more information, contact tcedfair@gmail.com or fill out this volunteer interest form.  
 
 
Tabling at the Fair
Visit our website to submit a tabling proposal if your organization would like to table at the fair.
Tabling will take place throughout the day of the fair, with the day starting at 8am. You are welcome to arrive as early as 7:30am to begin set-up. Busiest times for tabling will be during breakfast, lunch, and transition times between workshops. We’ll provide more details as it gets closer .
*$20 suggested donation (to help defray the costs of the fair).

 

Sponsor the Fair
The fair is now in its fifth year and has grown exponentially since its inception, with more than 700 participants last year and around 50 workshops. With our growing capacity as an organization, we are planning to put on an even bigger and better fair this year. To coordinate (all volunteer) such a large event, keep it free, serve nutritious, local food, and provide quality childcare, we need a community effort!
If your organization is interested in co-sponsoring the fair, please email tcedfair@gmail.com. Contributions to the fair can include money, food or drink, volunteer people power, support for outreach, materials, or other kinds of contributions! All co-sponsors are listed in our program, on our website, and will have a reserved area to table, if desired.
Keep an eye out throughout the summer for updates on the keynote, location, registration, and more!
 
In Solidarity,
The Social Justice Education Movement
 

Propose a workshop for the 5th Annual Twin Cities Social Justice Education Fair!

 5th Annual Twin Cities Social Justice Education Fair

Call for Workshops

Theme: Upset the Setup!

TO SUBMIT A WORKSHOP, CLICK HERE

Submit workshop proposals by Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

There’s a lot cooking in the Twin Cities and the social justice pot is bubbling over! Whether it’s student walkouts, teach-ins, takeovers and/or curriculum restructuring students, staff, and families are sending a clear message that the educational system is fundamentally flawed and they’re out to reclaim what is rightfully theirs- an educational experience that challenges the status quo and forces us to think critically and act radically. From K-12 education to Adult Basic Education (ABE), all the way to the colleges and universities, many of us know that we are learning, teaching and laboring in spaces that were designed without many of us in mind. We’ve entertained the existing educational system’s politricks for far too long, which is why we’re calling on youth, educators, families, school staff , and communities to “Upset the Setup!”

Upsetting the Setup requires a commitment to radical politics. “Radical” comes from the word “radix” which means “root” in Latin. We can no longer invest our time and energy in educational reform that does more to till the soil of power and domination than uproot systems of oppression. We are interested in change from the ground up. In the spirit of Audre Lorde, attempting to fix the setup with the tools provided to us by those in power will only support the foundations of the setup rather than dismantle it. We all have the capacity to be better builders. However, we must also learn what systems of power and oppression must be destroyed in order to build an educational space that is both for us and by us.

As we work together to dismantle hierarchies in the spaces we learn, we seek a liberation education that frees us from biased curriculum, isolated classrooms, school resource officers (police), teachers and educational standards that deny our collective empowerment. We know that as social institutions, schools can never be the sole gatekeepers of knowledge. For those whose (intersecting) identities are constructed as deficits, schools tend to examine, extract, and exploit the rich gifts and contributions of (multiply) marginalized students.

Community remains one of the most valuable sites of knowledge production, and there are plenty of undercover intellectuals without formal credentials who could teach the educational system more than they can ever be given credit for. So while we upset the setup, we must also step up and support the informal systems of education rooted in our communities. In other words, as we uproot the unequal elements of traditional education, we establish roots in the spaces we call home. We invest our hopes for revolutionary educational change in  one another, not the setup.

We are currently seeking proposals for workshops from those committed to upsetting the setup we call “education.” Please submit a brief proposal of no more than 200 words by visiting our website by Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016.

Below are some questions and themes we intend to wrestle with and build on at the fair!

  • How do we build solidarity across our different educational roles to support youth organizers committed to upsetting the setup?
  • How can we interrogate the spaces in which we learn (e.g. schools) while appreciating the spaces that taught us the most (e.g. community)?
  • What critical and radical teaching and learning strategies can and do we, as educators, parents, staff, and young people, engage to revalue and foster our community knowledges in the service of “upsetting the set up” within schools and beyond, in community spaces?  
  • In the course of organizing to upset the setup, how do we avoid reproducing the same types of violence and oppression we seek to dismantle?
  • How can we be in but not of the setup called “education”?
  • How do we uproot systems of educational inequality rather than continuously till the soil under the guise of “reform,” “policy change,” and “inclusion?”

Educators: Show up for Justice this Saturday!

The Social Justice Education Movement would like to share SJEM friend and educator Bonnie Frieden’s call to come out and demand justice for Jamar Clark. See below for more information about how you can join fellow education workers at this Saturday’s march and rally:

Fellow Minneapolis Educators,

As an educator in a Minneapolis school, I invite you to join me at the Justice for Jamar: Unity March and Rally this Saturday, December 19th at11:30 am. As teachers, we will march with dozens of organizations and hundreds of people to demand accountability and community power in law enforcement, and to create the just and safe society our students deserve.
  • The goal of this march is to to show solidarity and unity from groups across Minneapolis–our presence matters!
Our group will be meeting at 11:30 am on the corner of Plymouth Ave N and N Morgan Ave (in the green space diagonal from the precinct) in order to create some signage that will make our presence known.
The march will leave from the 4th precinct at noon.
**If you have any paint, poster board, or art materials that you could bring please let me know! My email is bonniejoyfrieden@gmail.com.**
I look forward to meeting you,
Bonnie Frieden
Paraprofessional Educator
Bright Water Montessori

MPS Superintendent Search – Community Demands a RESTART! // SJEM Winter Social // Justice for Jamar Clark Solidarity

Dear Parents, Educators, Students, Community, and Staff,
 
We are writing to share with you a few important issues and opportunities that you may be interested in:
  • Community Petition to Demand MPS Superintendent Search RESTART
  • Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 6:00pm-8:00pm – “Healing Our Schools, Healing Ourselves”: A Social Justice Education Movement Socia
  • SJEM Solidarity with ‘Justice for Jamar Clark’ Uprisings
 
Community Petition to Demand MPS Superintendent Search RESTART
This week, the Minneapolis school board is going through the final stages of its search for a new superintendent for the Minneapolis schools. They are set to select someone officially at a Special School Board Meeting on Monday December 7, from 5:15-6:45 PM at the Davis Center (open to the public). There are three finalists for the position: Michael Goar, Charles Foust, and Sergio Paez, and they are all less than qualified for the position and have alarming ties to the business-driven reform model.
 
You can learn more and view the full petition to demand the board restart the superintendent search by clicking here. You can also join folks at the Special School Board Meeting on Monday Dec. 7th, 5:15-6:45 at the Davis Center (1250 W Broadway) to present the petition.
 
You can also find more background information here: 
Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 6:00pm-8:00pm – “Healing Our Schools, Healing Ourselves”: An SJEM Winter Social 
Did you enjoy the Twin Cities Social Justice Education Fair and wish it was longer than just one day? Join us on Wednesday, December 16th at the IWW Office for dinner, self-care, and meaningful discussion with like-minded folks working toward justice in their classrooms, communities, and streets.
 
“Healing Our Schools, Healing Ourselves”
Wednesday, December 16th, 6pm-8pm
IWW Office
2 E. Franklin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55404
 
Dinner and childcare provided. There will be alcohol served at this event (likely spiced wine).
 
SJEM Solidarity with Justice for Jamar Clark Uprisings
In the wake of the brutal murder of Jamar Clark by Minneapolis Police, and the ongoing state-sanctioned violence against working class communities of color in our cities, SJEM offers this statement in support of all people rising up in response to demand change. Please consider signing on, we will be publishing and circulating our statement more widely once we gain a critical mass.
 
SHARE: How have you been addressing the issue of police brutality in your classrooms and community? Do you have resources or stories to share? Please write us and we will post to our blog at tcedfair.org and on our SJEM and Classroom Struggle TC facebook pages.
 
Sincerely,
The Social Justice Education Movement
 
Our Mission: We nourish Twin Cities movements for social justice in education so we may all survive and thrive. We create spaces to share tools, raise consciousness, and build people power; connect and collaborate with those fighting to transform our education system; and organize until our schools are run by the direct democracy of those who have been historically and systematically oppressed, including students, families, educators, and communities. 
 
Our Vision: We dream of socially and culturally just education systems free from colonization, capitalist exploitation, assimilation, and the erasure of histories and languages. Our future schools can and should honor the wisdom of our children, elders, educators, and families; center the self-determination of the oppressed; and fight for creativity, social justice, and community flourishing. We invite all people who resonate with our vision and are committed to anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer, and decolonial values and practices to join our efforts.

 

#Justice4Jamar Solidarity

We want to share a few upcoming ways you can stand in solidarity with all those rising up to protest the murder of Jamar Clark by Minneapolis police, especially in the wake of white supremacist violence at the 4th precinct protests last night.
  • SCHOOL WALKOUTS: Many students across schools are walking out of class today across the Twin Cities in solidarity. If you are an educator or staff, please show your support for students! Search facebook for specific school events.
  • SUPPORT: And, if you have the means, protesters at the 4th precinct are always in need of wood, propane, warm food and drink – check this website for specific needs: http://4thprecinctshutdown.org/

 

Dear Minneapolis School Board: Do You Know How Rude You Seem?

The Board of Education will conduct a full search and selection ...

Zora on Silence11.10.15. By Daniel Fox, Guest Writer, Classroom Struggle TC

I am an involved community member in my Minneapolis School, former Minneapolis Public School employee, and like many people went to yesterday’s 11-9-15 Special School Board Meeting to learn about the upcoming candidates for Superintendent.

The meeting started at 5:30pm. The names of the candidates were not made public until 6:40pm. Dear School Board, do you know how rude that seems?

I believe you know we have lives, children, dinner to make, work to get done, sleep to get? If you have a meeting with an important public action to take–do it at the beginning! Don’t talk about which questions you want to ask for an hour and ten minutes first.

In sitting there and talking after there were literally a dozen people who expressed their anger and frustration with the process for this very reason. It’s disrespectful. And if you want to get respect you have to give it.

A few other things worth pointing out about the Superintendent search process.

  1. It isn’t only the School Board meeting that has been rude. I’ve heard from multiple people that the entire process of “community involvement” has been tokenizing, intentionally ineffective, and generally in the come here to “give us input but we already know what we’re doing so we’ll just use your name to legitimize our evil plan” style, which I’m told the District is famous for.
  2. HYA Associates, the company that found the candidates and sorted them from 65 candidates to 6, has an Executive Team that is highly tied to the testing industry and is, according to a local community activist, known for hiring Broad Foundation candidates. The Broad Foundation specializes in training Superintendents to privatize districts from within. Just what we need, right?
  3. The HYA Associates guy also told us that they did very thorough research on the candidates, going through “10 pages of Google”. Sorry–the idea that that passes for thoroughness, and sounds sexy enough to an old white man to be a talking point for his expensive corporate headhunter service is silly enough to be included here.
  4. While the School Board receives significant information about each candidate including their answers to some basic introductory questions, the public does not, only receiving a single page of information about each candidate. I overheard a white School Board member saying that he had to sign a confidentiality agreement to get that information, yet the HYA Associate member shared information publically that is not in our “public one page”. What gives?
  5. Finally, a northside parent said that “the candidates seem weak, probably to make Michael Goar look good. One of them came from a online school for their education training for god’s sake!” This strikes me as a good point. Another parent told me that they can’t trust Michael Goar because he is clearly against public schools and for Charters, as demonstrated by his previous job as Executive Director of Generation Next. He also has an extensive human resources and labor relations backgrounds–codewords for “union buster”.

All in all, this reinforced my sense that this system is not broken, it’s doing exactly what it’s meant to be doing–and that’s not very good for our children or communities (unless we’re white and rich, or think we’re going to be!). No doubt our schools were not built for most of our children to succeed so it is on us to grow an education revolution to transform them, come hell or high water.

School Board, stop being so rude. Students, parents, educators, and community: let’s stop trusting others, be they Superintendents or School Board members, to fix this system for us. It’s time to organize!

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