The Ed Fair needs You!!

Dear members of the Social Justice Education Fair community,

The 2018 Twin Cities Social Justice Education Fair planning crew, made up of high school and college students, educators, and many others committed to transformative education have been hard at work over the last several months, preparing for this year’s Fair. The Fair was scheduled to be held Thursday, October 18, 2018 at Johnson High School in Saint Paul. On Thursday September 20, members of the SJEF organizing committee received word that the principal of Johnson High School was withdrawing support because of the Fair’s theme: “We Are Fed Up! Bite the Hands that Feed US: Resisting the Menu of Schooling.”

We read the principal’s decision as punishment for our commitment to a radical theme and politic. Despite withdrawing support, the school principal made clear that we would still be able to use the space, if we agreed to pay a fee of approximately $700. The message is clear: this principal is more invested in promoting educational opportunists than educational opportunities. The message is not only clear, but also underscores the importance of this year’s theme. We are being fed some bonafide bs. Because none of us eat $#!t, we have no other choice but to fight back and bite back by continuing with the work, searching for a new and supportive venue to organize for radical social justice in education. Because the ed fair is comprised of students, activists, organizers, educators, parents, staff and a host of badass and radass people, we have all that we need to do both within this amazing community.

We are grateful to already have the support of co-sponsors including: Minneapolis and St Paul Federation of Teachers, the U of M’s Dept of Curriculum and Instruction, the U of of M’s CEHD Diversity and Equity, Carleton College Education Department, and Metro State Education Department.  We’re sure the principal didn’t expect us to turn disaster into an organizing tool, but that’s what activists do. So we’re reaching out to each one of you for help. As dedicated as many of us are as volunteer Fair organizers, we can’t do this alone. This is your opportunity to make a contribution to the Fair, unlike any other you’ve made before – using your skills as organizers, activists, and overall badasses.

 

What we are doing: At this point, we are looking into other accommodations for the fair with the support of members of SJEM who have connections in schools. Because we are expecting 500+ attendees for the Fair, we are seeking a space with an auditorium and at least 15-20 classrooms for workshops. Please let us know if you know of any opportunities for alternative Fair spaces. You are also welcome to join us for our next planning meeting this Wednesday, September 26 at 6 PM in 1114 Social Sciences Building located on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota. Please contribute with suggestions, questions, information, words of support, or anything else you think we should hear. Plug in how you can. Please also be patient with our response as we are juggling many responsibilities, commitments and actual jobs beyond the Fair.

 

Solidarity.

 

Members of 2018 Social Justice Education Fair coordinating crew

 

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Announcing the 2018 Social Justice Ed Fair!

Hey powerful people!

We’re thrilled to announce the 7th Annual Twin Cities Social Justice Education Fair!! The Fair seeks to bring together educators, students, parents, and communities from across the Twin Cities Metro to collaborate, network, and organize social justice in education, and is sponsored yearly by many local colleges and schools of education. The Fair, to take place on Thursday, October 18th, is now in its seventh year and has grown exponentially since its inception, with more than 500 participants last year, around 40 workshops. The fair is going to be all day on Thursday October 18, 2018 at Johnson High School ().

The theme of this year’s fair is “We’re Fed Up! Bite the hands that feed us! : resisting the menu of schooling.” More details are at the bottom of this post. The keynote panel for this year’s fair, in alignment with the theme, features Ricardo Levins Morales and Appetite for Change

We’re still looking out for interesting workshops at the fair, prioritizing work from current staff, students, families, and people of color. The goal of these workshops is to share or brainstorm with the community different ways that we are intersecting social justice and education, and working on education as a practice of freedom in these toxic times. We strongly encourage collaborative workshops and hope you consider reaching out to friends, classmates, and colleagues to construct a workshop. Take a look at the workshop submission form here, due Sept 16

Hope to see many of you there!

We’re Fed Up! Bite the hands that feed us! : resisting the menu of schooling.

From K-12 to college, students, teachers, and staff are reminded of the risk of questioning the status quo when warned “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!” But, when “the hand feeds you” is feeding you $#*t, you have no other choice but to bite it, precisely because we’re fed up! We’ve been steadily fed a diet chosen and controlled by those trying to oppress us. We’ve been fed up like cows for slaughter. It is now our duty to both fight back and bite back!

As Fannie Lou Hamer said, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” We’re sick of white supremacy, settler education, SROs in schools, the repression of teachers who speak truth to power, the funneling of students into special education, the hollowing out of mental health services, the dismantling of ethnic studies, the colonizing curriculum that invites xenophobia, and continued attacks against queer, trans and gender expansive students in schools!

Are you or someone you know fed up with the bull$#*t? Highly allergic to it? Sick of it? If so, you are not alone. The good news is that you are in the company of students, teachers, staff persons, and others who make up a community of radicals committed to transformative educational work. The Social Justice Education Movement (SJEM) will be hosting the 7th Annual Twin Cities Social Justice Education Fair on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2018 at Johnson High School in St. Paul and we are currently accepting proposals for workshops.

We call on all education revolutionaries – particularly K-12 students, families, and educators- to submit your workshop proposals by Sunday September 16, 2018. Workshop slots are 75 minutes long with four workshop sessions over the course of the day. As you craft your proposals, we encourage to keep with this year’s theme (Bite the hands that feed us!) and consider the following questions:

In what ways are K-12 students, families, and educators already biting the hands that feed them?
– Why is it our duty to both fight back and bite back?
– How do we develop a collective strategy to bite back when there are so many different hands “feeding” us?
– What are the consequences of biting the hands that feeds us? What happens when the hand that feeds us $#*t is the same hand that beats the $#*t out of us through budget cuts, detention, suspensions, expulsions, firings, threats to dismantle vital programming for students of color and Indigenous students etc?
– How do we create an educational community in which we are feeding ourselves? In other words, how can we be beholden to one another and not a hand that feeds us $#*t?
– How are we growing despite this $#*t?