Tues. Oct 22nd(10am PST/1pmEST) – FREE WEB ROUNDTABLE: Alternatives to School Discipline: A New Frontier in Student’s Rights

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Presented by the ABA Children’s Rights Litigation Committee
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 1:00pm-2:00pm Eastern

Rosa Hirji, Moderator
Ernest Saadiq Morris, Urban Youth Justice
Frank LoMonte, Student Press Law Center
Brent Pattison, Middleton Children’s Rights Center, Drake University Law School

 School districts are increasingly implementing alternative approaches to school discipline in response to the backlash on exclusionary practices that disparately impact students of color, students with disabilities and other disadvantaged minority groups.  Alternatives to traditional discipline include positive behavior supports, restorative practices, surveillance of social media, anti-bullying policies etc. Schools, state legislatures and even the federal Office for Civil Rights are accepting these approaches and are incorporating them into existing school disciplinary policies and practices in various degrees.  Additionally, school districts are increasingly relying on other channels that avoid traditional discipline such as truancy proceedings, special education, mental health referrals, involvement of law enforcement, alternative schools, and/or charter schools.   This panel will examine the implications of these approaches to established Constitutional and statutory rights of students. Panelists will be presented with actual scenarios, and will be asked to spot issues and analyze them in the context of existing Constitutional and statutory student rights.

REGISTER FREE: https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=iu0hH091PYZXtJ-KBi1aNA

*Available Now* The Color of Education podcast – “Police in Public Schools: Chicago’s School-to-Prison Pipeline Exposed By Research Activist”

Urban Youth Justice presents: The Color of Education podcast episode – “Police in Public Schools: Chicago’s School-to-Prison Pipeline Exposed by Research Activist”

LISTEN HERE:

Listen to
internet radio with urbanyouthjustice on Blog Talk Radio

Join host Ernest Saadiq Morris of Urban Youth Justice in a conversation with activist and Depaul University sociologist Frank Edwards, co-author of the Policing Chicago Public Schools: A Gateway to the School-to-Prison Pipeline research report (co-written with Mariame Kaba of Project NIA).

They discuss how the constant police presence in Chicago schools criminalizes students of color by subjecting them to criminal justice penalties for common school-based infractions, resulting in higher rates of incarceration and unemployment.

They also discuss the need for more Research Activism nationwide as a tool to keep school and police policymakers accountable for their negative impacts upon youth of color and their communities; and reveal a blueprint of methods for activists to follow in their own communties.

Read Policing Chicago Public Schools: A Gateway to the School-to-Prison Pipeline report here:
http://www.policeincps.com/

School Choice Discrimination Leaves No Choice for Vulnerable Students of Color

Published on Dignity In Schools (http://www.dignityinschools.org)

By Ernest Saadiq Morris, Urban Youth Justice

The choice before human beings, is not, as a rule, between good and evil but between two evils. -George Orwell

School Choice programs, including school vouchers, charter and magnet schools, are not the egalitarian antidote for the historical inequality and discrimination entrenched within the U.S. public education system.

The term school choice is commonly used by corporate education reformers as a grotesque misnomer to disguise their attempted end-run around the U.S. Supreme Court’s seminal recognition in Brown v. Board of Education(1954) of the constitutional right of all children to equal educational opportunity, based upon the absolute rejection of the “separate but equal” concept of segregated public education.

School choice programs encourage privatized outsourcing of public education that increases academic segregation based on race, disability, language and poverty that undermines equal educational opportunity.

Youth of color labeled as “high need” or “difficult” students, i.e., those struggling academically, English learners, and those with special needs or disabilities, are disproportionately excluded by school choice programs, particularly charters that deny them enrollment by cherry-picking students using selective student admissions methods, e.g., screening interviews or assessment tests.

Even after enrollment, no child is safe from selective “student-dumping” attrition, from either deliberate discriminatory pushout practices targeting low-performing or “difficult” students, or deliberate indifference of inflexible teaching pedagogy, such as rigid testing practices, that makes lower-performing students more likely to dropout.[ see March 2011 Report - What Makes KIPP Work? A Study of Student Characteristics, Attrition, and School Finance].

Equally alarming is the ability of school choice programs to disguise their direct causal connection to the academic segregation and isolation of disadvantaged Black and Latino students (i.e., English Learners, students with disabilities, and those with poverty-based needs, e.g., homeless youth and free/reduced lunch qualifiers) away from most white students.

A recent analysis by The Civil Rights Project at UCLA of school choice in San Diego public schools found that school choice, i.e., open enrollment and charters, resulted in substantial academic re-segregation. A local reporter’s coverage detailed how diverse, mixed-race San Diego neighborhoods still contain segregated public schools , because school choice tends to isolate Black and Latino students away from white students. These segregated schools not only fail to reflect the diversity of their surrounding community, but the test-based performance of their segregated student population predictably reinforces the racial achievement gap.

School choice vouchers are egregious enablers of academic discrimination, increasingly promoted with false promises of empowering low-income families to obtain educational equity at private schools paid for by public dollars. However, research often indicates low-income urban public school students benefit less from vouchers than pre-existing private school students that opportunistically subsidize their current tuition with public dollars.

Private voucher schools undermine the financial health of traditional public schools by serving significantly less students with diverse academic and social challenges, largely due to intentional practices by which they conveniently avoid and exclude the students needing the most expensive remedial services or resource commitment. In Milwaukee, private voucher schools’ overwhelming rejection of students with special needs or disabilities was evidenced by only 1.6% of all private voucher school students having documented disabilities compared to 20% within the traditional Milwaukee Public Schools system, resulting in the filing of a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice by Disability Rights Wisconsin and the ACLU.

The systematic rejection of high need students by private school choice programs creates a disproportionate burden on under-resourced traditional public schools, resulting in a defacto separate and unequal dual system of education, that undermines the educational opportunity of all students that remain within an unfairly distorted learning environment.

This intentional, calculated starvation of resources weakens the traditional public schools that educate the vast majority of these vulnerable students. Meanwhile, the intense scrutiny of federal Race to the Top guidelines and test-based performance standards demonizes any lack of progress under this manufactured duress, further justifying the continued privatization of K-12 education and slashing of education budgets.

This cynical process is designed to yield only one conclusion – the traditional concept of free, quality public education must die.

The unchecked proliferation of false school choice programs will usher in a devastating redistribution of public education resources from the largest urban school districts into the hands of private education profiteers, without built-in civil rights protections, public accountability, or transparency to prevent academic segregation based on race, disability, language and poverty. Students of color, whom disproportionately rely upon traditional public education as a lifeline to the American Dream, will find this path to their aspirations abandoned, along with the Brown v. Board legacy of equal educational opportunity for all children.

All in the name of school choice.

Ernest Saadiq Morris is a youth rights advocate, civil rights and liberties lawyer, and founding director of the public education and advocacy initiative, Urban Youth Justice. He has been defeating the school-to-prison pipeline since 2004, including coordinating the largest successful mass student defense to-date (Round Rock, Texas 2006-2007). You can follow Urban Youth Justice daily on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Pipe Dream: Winning the Future Without Youth of Color

Published on Dignity In Schools (http://www.dignityinschools.org)
By Ernest Saadiq Morris, Urban Youth Justice

“Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in […] education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may make you feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you feel the impact.” – President Obama, State of the Union Address, January 25, 2011

In his January 2011 State of the Union speech, President Obama introduced “Winning the Future” as a slogan to underline the urgency and importance of continued investment in public education to ensure the future of American success and competitiveness domestically and abroad. Nevertheless, the Obama Department of Education’s Race to the Top funding competition champions corporate-driven education reform that rewards standardized testing performance and private charter school expansion, while failing to equally prioritize the guarantee of equal educational opportunity. As schools focus on meeting statistical goals, educational disparities often remain unaddressed or actually worsen due to school practices – such as the disproportionate use of zero tolerance discipline and special education placements, as well as inferior curriculum tracking – that contribute to unequal educational opportunity. These disparities threaten to undermine the future participation of a generation of students of color in the American dream.

Indeed, recent evidence shows that zero tolerance school discipline and criminal justice referrals continue to disproportionately affect Black, Latino and other disadvantaged youth, i.e., students with special needs/disabilities, LGBT and English Language Learner students.

A March 2011 report co-authored by the Florida NAACP, Florida ACLU and the Advancement Project, Still Haven’t Shut Off the School-to-Prison Pipeline, indicated that Florida school districts are referring too many students to the criminal justice system for school misbehavior – even after state law was changed to eliminate zero tolerance and give school officials discretion for handling certain offenses, such as fighting, trespassing, disorderly conduct and theft of less than $300.

The law sought to draw a distinction between petty acts of misconduct and misdemeanors and serious threats to school safety, said Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida ACLU. What we’ve found instead is that some districts are continuing to refer cases to law enforcement that may be better handled at the school level.

Similarly, a January 2011 report exposed a crisis of systematic school pushout of Philadelphia’s Black and Latino students through widespread and discriminatory use of zero tolerance discipline. At the same time, New York City continues to blatantly disenfranchise Black and Latino youth of equal educational opportunity in multiple ways, including: disproportionate denial of admission of Black and Latino youth to elite, specialized public schools based on a single standardized test score, disproportionate closures of public schools that serve the most disadvantaged Black and Latino youth with special needs, and the disproportionate zero tolerance discipline of Black and Latino youth.

Meanwhile, Alabama Republican Party leader Hugh McInnish recently sent a letter defending the disparities in education and discipline between Caucasian and Black students in the Huntsville, Alabama school district, highlighted in recent findings of the U.S. Justice Department, declaring: “If there is unfairness, it is because life itself is unfair. The unfairness is not manmade.”

This stunning attempted justification of unequal educational opportunity shows a callous disregard for the life potential and value of Black youth and other disadvantaged youth that is reflected in education policies nationwide.

Color-blind and disability-free education reform urges the general public’s acceptance of survival of the fittest education policy methods as simply enforcing higher standards of accountability. Even the extended economic recession is exploited as a convenient justification for educational disparities, since the grouping of youth into educational haves and have-nots supposedly assists with the effective investment of limited public education funding. It is no coincidence that the corporate education reform model stigmatizes youth of color from politically and economically disadvantaged communities as it simultaneously disenfranchises them of their right to equal educational opportunity. This perpetuates the school-to-prison pipeline and cycle of exploitation of youth of color that increases their risk of mass incarceration and lifelong economic oppression, including chronic un/underemployment and intergenerational poverty.

Failing to effectively educate youth of color risks a future majority population that is alienated from society. Projected population demographics indicate that, by 2023 youth of color will make up the majority of children under 18, with Latino minors comprising the largest segment of that population. And the overall white population will reach minority status possibly as early as 2039, but no later than 2050 based on the most conservative estimates.

A potential critical mass of economically dispossessed persons with underdeveloped critical thinking and a lack of advanced trade skills will surely throw this nation into crisis. The impending drain on social services budgets alone would significantly burden state and federal governments and it is doubtful that an aging minority white population would be able to sufficiently pick up the economic slack to maintain a robust economy. This is not a winning formula for a brighter future.

Blind support of a business-modeled reform agenda that prioritizes value-added evaluation of standardized testing performance without addressing institutional learning and discipline disparities will only continue the devaluation of students of color and the disenfranchisement of their right to equal educational opportunity. Education reform that emphasizes an individualized learning process that prepares each student with critical thinking, problem solving, and trade skills is the best possible stimulus investment of public dollars. If we are serious about winning the future, then we must ensure that education reform methods are accountable to the right of equal educational opportunity for all. Educating the most vulnerable of our youth is a smart investment in the future majority population and the long-term vitality of our nation.

Ernest Saadiq Morris is a youth rights advocate, civil rights and liberties lawyer, and founding director of the public education and advocacy initiative, Urban Youth Justice. You can follow Urban Youth Justice daily on Facebook and Twitter.

School Bully: Zero Tolerance Discipline Teaches Youth Intolerance

Published on Dignity In Schools (http://www.dignityinschools.org)
by Ernest Saadiq Morris

Bullying is a long ignored and persistent problem in American schools. Bullying can have devastating consequences no matter the victim’s sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or gender, however, it took a recent pandemic of tragic suicides by gay teen bullying victims to finally bring sufficient media attention and public pressure on education officials to dismantle the culture of bullying in schools. As education officials scrambled to respond to the outcry for stronger anti-bullying laws and school policies, the Obama administration recently issued a “Dear Colleague” letter of guidance clarifying how school officials are responsible for countering instances of bullying within their schools.

But the institutional responsibility to prevent bullying is not a breakthrough concept; rather school officials have just been delinquent in their duties and responsibilities. School officials often fail to competently address bullying and allow it to escalate by ignoring the warning signs within the school community. Too often, lackluster and negligent institutional oversight has left school bullies and their victims on their own to either “work it out” or in the continuum of worst case scenarios, “deal with it” through avoidance, submission or retaliatory violence. The public demand for accountability is understandable but calling for a one-size-fits-all zero tolerance punishment that never addresses the underlying issues within the school community is misguided and easily exploited by education officials to justify the zero tolerance school discipline that already exists nationwide, rather than adopting specific anti-bullying methods.

Zero tolerance discipline policies were the status quo in U.S. public schools long before the recent wave of teen suicides. Zero tolerance policies were initially justified as a necessary post-Columbine law enforcement approach to school public safety, but were soon expanded into general enforcement of student behavior compliance. However, these policies are not effective in preventing bullying, because their purpose is not to prevent youth misbehavior by creating a safe school environment but rather to punish youth after a violation has already been committed. Zero tolerance does not employ tangible anti-bullying methodology, rather it only addresses bullying after the fact by the institutionalized practice of forced compliance through fear and retaliation, i.e., bullying. By acting as zero tolerance bullies, school officials contribute to bullying culture by teaching students that there is no compassion or second chances for those judged outside the norm. This teaches youth intolerance of all nonconformity, whether it is based on behavior, culture or group identity.

Furthermore, bullying is often more complicated than the public is led to believe by simplified media coverage. The public perception of bullying is warped and dominated by a few well-publicized tragic events that support the idea that it is simply the strong picking on the weak and vulnerable, this could not be further from the truth. Bullying is often a symptom of multi-layered divisions within a school community between its proverbial haves and have-nots. Many urban schools face internal tension and conflict between individuals and groups based on the economic pressures and competition for lack of resources within their school or surrounding neighborhoods. Likewise, the expansion of zero tolerance discipline created a far bigger crisis than had previously existed from occasional school violence. As evidenced by the recent Southern Poverty Law Center report, Suspended Education, the stigmatizing and pushing out of record numbers of youth –particularly, youth of color– through zero tolerance suspensions and expulsions overwhelmingly based on infractions wholly unrelated to horrific bullying incidents or the general safety of the school community (i.e., tardiness, minor classroom misbehavior and dress code rules) is indeed an epidemic in our nation’s schools. This widespread disenfranchisement of the right to equal educational opportunity of youth of color is undoubtedly a factor in many urban schools contributing to the festering intolerant environment that is a precursor to a bullying environment.

A shift to restorative justice can transform the negative culture of zero tolerance discipline from one of intolerance and forced compliance by fear to a responsible education goal of productive behavior within a tolerant community. Restorative justice seeks to actually resolve conflict by teaching youth that they are responsible for making the victim whole. By teaching skills to resolve conflict, restorative justice can transform the negative dynamic between individuals and with time the community to which they belong, as more U.S. school districts are discovering. Public education can fulfill its traditional social mission of producing responsible community members by teaching responsibility and accountability for personal behavior and allowing for learned positive behavior within the school community, instead of forced behavior compliance from fear of negative consequences only.

Zero tolerance discipline does not fundamentally change behavior and it does not transform negative school culture to positive. A school community rightfully concerned about bullying cannot settle for the zero tolerance status quo, offered as mere window dressing, that requires no effort from school officials already delinquent in their institutional anti-bullying responsibility. Education officials should not be allowed to use recent bullying tragedies as a shield to continue their own zero tolerance bullying in the name of a corporate-industrial education model that separates the weakest youth from the herd, stigmatizes them, and casts them aside. It is time for a cultural shift in our schools to an environment of tolerance and accountability for youth and educators alike. We must use this ideal window of opportunity to urge school districts to transform the negative zero (in)tolerance culture permeating our schools with restorative justice principles to foster a new culture of tolerance and community-building –with educational and cultural equality for all.

* Ernest Saadiq Morris is a youth rights advocate, civil rights & liberties lawyer, and founding director of the public education and advocacy initiative, Urban Youth Justice. You can follow Urban Youth Justice daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, August 24, 2013 – Urban Youth Justice’s Ernest Saadiq Morris to present Racial Justice as an Educational Right workshop at Seattle Race Conference

Seattle Race Conference 2013 Program
Urban Youth Justice Director Ernest Saadiq Morris will conduct a school equity workshop at the Seattle Race Conference on Saturday, August 24, 2013.

This exciting interactive Urban Youth Justice workshop will focus on racial justice strategies to ensure an inclusive youth program that empowers the diverse student populations that are increasingly common in our communities.

Still Not Post-Racial: Dismantling Structural Racism and Cultural Bias in School, Racial Justice as an Educational Right
We will examine Racial Equity challenges presented by diverse student populations of the present and foreseeable future. Also, how to advocate for Racial Justice in School as a crucial intervention to educational opportunity gap inequity reflected in K-12 discipline and dropout rates.

Urban Youth Justice Director Ernest Saadiq Morris appointed co-Chair of Education subcommittee by American Bar Association Children’s Rights Litigation Committee

Ernest Saadiq Morris has  been appointed co-chair of the Education Subcommittee  of the American Bar Association Children’s Rights Litigation Committee.

He will be responsible for advancing the work of the Educational Civil Rights Accountability Project.  The Educational Civil Rights Accountability Project will promote vigorous enforcement of education rights by legal advocates and the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice.

Urban Youth Justice podcast: The Color of Education – “Teaching in the School to Prison Pipeline” – feat. Jose Vilson NYC public school teacher, education activist and TEDxNYED speaker – Full Interview

“Teaching in the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Strategies to Empower Youth” featuring New York City public school teacher, education activist and TEDxNYED speaker Jose Vilson.

Urban Youth Justice Director Ernest Saadiq Morris talks to Jose Vilson about his unique perspective as a Black-Latino male teacher and youth advocate regarding the obstacles facing students of color in achieving a quality education while avoiding and overcoming the traps of the school-to-prison pipeline (e.g., education inequality, school discipline, etc.); and shares his strategies to empower students.

RACIAL EQUITY & EXPANDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITY (ELO): Quality Expanded Learning Opportunity Can Help Meet Increasing Racial Equity Challenges in Education

RACIAL EQUITY & EXPANDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITY (ELO): Quality Expanded Learning Opportunity Can Help Meet Increasing Racial Equity Challenges  in Education

By Ernest Saadiq Morris, Urban Youth Justice *

The rapidly diversifying student population in Washington State, the Pacific Northwest, and across the United States presents educational equity challenges that must be met by Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO) programs in the more racially diverse and not-too-distant future.

Consider this changing youth demographic landscape:

  • Minority youth under age 20 currently outnumber white youth in 504 U.S. Counties.
  • More than 47% children under age 5 are non-white minorities.
  • By 2023, youth of color will be the majority of children under 18, with Latino minors comprising the largest segment of that population.

Source: Growing Diversity Among America’s Children and Youth: Spatial and Temporal Dimensions, Population and Development Review, March 2010

If the educational achievement gap (as measured by the graduation and post-secondary education rates among today’s Black, Latino, and other similarly disadvantaged youth of color) increases exponentially similar to the  anticipated growth in minority youth population, then a crippling social and economic crisis may result.

A potential critical mass of economically dispossessed youth and young adults of color with limited education and a lack of advanced trade skills will surely throw this nation into crisis. The impending drain on social services budgets alone would significantly burden state and federal governments and it is doubtful that an aging (future minority) white population could maintain a robust economy alone. This is not a winning formula for a brighter future.

Expanded Learning Opportunity is unique in that it is naturally positioned to address and ameliorate this potential social and economic crisis arising from the failure of the traditional educational status quo to provide equal educational opportunity to students of color– a promise embodied in the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision that was never delivered.

Since the Brown v. Board decision, Black youth and similarly disadvantaged students of color continued to endure a legacy of unequal educational opportunity that has spanned multiple generations, reinforced by white middle class flight from urban public education, and the inferior and unequal allocation of educational resources.

This entrenched educational inequality based on race, ethnicity, and culture is exacerbated by a school-to-prison pipeline that merges inferior educational opportunity with overly punitive (and racially disproportionate) school discipline that increases the risk of criminal justice system contacts, mass incarceration, and chronic under/unemployment,  thus perpetuating a legacy of lifelong economic oppression and intergenerational poverty.

Quality expanded learning opportunity programs aim to improve and enrich the educational opportunity of all youth. Consequently, the opportunity and enrichment provided by quality ELO programs implementing racially inclusive and collaborative strategies can be a crucial intervention to the future success of youth of color and society as a whole.

An ELO program that demonstrates its racial equity awareness through its development of effective equity & inclusion strategies and methodology can have a considerable impact on the achievement gap by providing quality learning opportunity and quality personal enrichment to disadvantaged students of color.

Racial inequity starts with the Pre-K/Early Education opportunity gap. Low-income youth of color that don’t participate in a quality early education program can enter kindergarten up to 18 months behind their peers. [Source: National Institute for Early Education Research, The State of Preschool 2011]. This results in educational achievement disparity that often persists and remains an obstacle throughout that disadvantaged student’s K-12 educational career or until the student drops out or is pushed out.

Quality ELO programs show promising ability to provide enriched early learning experiences to address and bridge the pre-K/early learning education opportunity gap. A quality ELO program can also provide enriched K-12 educational opportunity to address and bridge the entrenched educational opportunity disparity that many youth of color face.

Ultimately, ELO programs must use a proactive approach to assure racial equity within their programs and avoid many of the barriers found in traditional school-based learning environments.

ELO programs must work to acknowledge structural, institutional and subconscious barriers within their programmatic choices that marginalize or suggest cultural, economic and/or political preferences that cut along race/ethnic origin, nationality, and/or skin color lines.

ELO programs should strive to engage in a more flexible pedagogy than traditional school-based learning.  ELO programs can differentiate themselves by emphasizing flexible learning experiences, i.e., active (or experiential) learning in an individualized, peer-to-peer or team learning format.

ELO programs should embrace a wider cultural relevance in their teaching and learning practices to maximize the involvement of youth of color, and increase their recruitment and retainment with more tolerant programmatic choices, including staffing and curriculum.

Moving beyond the entrenched educational opportunity gap requires ELO programs to demonstrate to youth of color that racial equity is a true programmatic goal, i.e., with inclusive strategies,  a willingness to tolerate diverse  cultural viewpoints, and a commitment to empower disadvantaged youth with an enriched educational experiences that does not merely extend the traditional school day.

Quality ELO is the intelligent response to the racial gap in educational opportunity that results in the K-12 education achievement gap. Rather than more of the same entrenched inequities, ELO can provide enriched learning experiences and opportunities for youth of color and similarly disadvantaged students that can resemble the hopeful vision of racial equity in education post-Brown v. Board.

*Ernest Saadiq Morris is a youth rights advocate, civil rights and liberties lawyer, and founding director of the public education and advocacy initiative, Urban Youth Justice. He has been defeating the school-to-prison pipeline since 2004, including coordinating the largest successful mass student defense to-date (Round Rock, Texas 2006-2007). You can follow Urban Youth Justice daily on Facebook and Twitter.

*Urban Youth Justice* Education Equity Workshop – “Empowering Students of Color for Future Success and Leadership” Mon. October 8, 2012 10:15AM School’s Out Washington Bridge Conference (SEATTLE)

Urban Youth Justice Director Ernest Saadiq Morris, Esq. will be presenting a school equity workshop at the 10th Annual Bridge Conference in Seattle, Washington, on October 8, 2012!

Empowering Students of Color for Future Success and Leadership

This session will focus on how quality afterschool and youth development programs are uniquely positioned to meet the racial equity challenges presented by the diverse student populations of the present and foreseeable future. We will examine how the educational opportunity gap entrenched within our school system reinforces racial inequity in learning and leadership opportunities, as well as discipline and dropout rates, from pre-K/early education through K-12. Quality afterschool and youth development programs that integrate racially inclusive and collaborative models as a core program component can be a crucial intervention to the future success of youth of color and our society as a whole. This session will provide participants with a unique opportunity to share ideas, experiences, and best practices, as well as cautionary tales of what to avoid.

http://bridge2012.sched.org/event/60064afb699fbad0babf17ac7c304a1e#.UA3uXmFWqyU

Saturday, April 28, 2012 (Palm Springs, CA) – BOOST (Best of Out-of-School Time) Conference – Urban Youth Justice Town Hall: The State of Equity in After-School/Out-of-School: How Extended Learning Opportunity Meets Diverse Student Needs

*UPDATE*

The BOOST Collaborative Conference for AfterSchool & Out-of-School learning providers was an excellent event showcasing the challenging workshops and incredible enthusiasm of BOOST staff and the hundreds of participants!

The Urban Youth Justice Town Hall on Afterschool Equity Issues featured an honest discussion and open exchange of ideas between dedicated extended education providers from across the United States, and from as far away as Australia!

We’re already looking forward to participating in next year’s conference.  Kudos to BOOST Executive Director Tia Quinn and all the BOOST Staff and volunteers for an incredible experience.

~Ernest Saadiq Morris – Director, Urban Youth Justice

SPECIAL EVENT: URBAN YOUTH JUSTICE TOWN HALL MEETING ON AFTERSCHOOL & EXTENDED LEARNING EQUITY !

Saturday, April 28, 2012 (Palm Springs, CA) – BOOST (Best of Out-of-School Time) Conference
Urban Youth Justice Town Hall:
The State of Equity in After-School/Out-of-School: How Extended Learning Opportunity Meets Diverse Student Needs
Ernest Saadiq Morris, Esq., Director, Urban Youth Justice Initiative (Urban Youth Justice), Seattle, WA

Ernest Saadiq Morris will lead a dynamic, no-holds-barred Town Hall discussion on how after-school/out-of-school programming is meeting the equity challenges presented by a rapidly diversifying student population.

An overview of current issues and challenges created by diverse student subgroups, based on ethnic origin, nationality, race, gender, special needs, language, sexual orientation, and poverty (to name only a few). We will discuss the obstacles to maximizing the involvement of all student groups, as well as using grassroots organizing strategies to overcome them, e.g., inclusive communication strategies, and identifying barriers to participation. Also, cautionary tales of mistakes that your program will want to avoid.

A unique opportunity to share ideas, experiences, and the best practices for facilitating access to Out-of-School learning opportunities for the diverse student populations of the present and foreseeable future.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet Ernest Saadiq Morris, ask questions, and learn by collaboratively challenging each other to reach higher levels of effectiveness within your own programming!