social justice

Not Only a Pipeline: Schools as Carceral Sites

by Connie Wun, Founder/Director of Transformative Research: An Institute for Research and Social Transformation. Originally published here.

In this article, I argue that schools operate as multilayered sites that do more than funnel students into prison or prime them for incarceration. Schools are part and parcel of a US logic of punitive carcerality, positioning Black and Brown bodies under constant observation and scrutiny through the school’s architecture, policies, and practices. I examine the relation-ship that this logic has to Black girls and their experiences with school discipline, including their resistance to the conditions of schools as carceral sites.

Drawing from Black feminist theory (Richie, 1996) and critical prison studies (Rodriguez, 2006), I collected data via participant observations and in-depth interviews at Foundations High School, located in northern California.1,2 Based upon a qualitative study of 20 Black and Latinx girls and their experiences with school discipline, this paper focuses on three girls whose narratives exemplify the experiences that they and their peers have with school discipline and punishment.

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March On With Girls Social Justice

by Helen Cordes, editor of the national print bimonthly New Moon Girls. Originally published here. They are currently collecting stories and experiences from girls who were at Women's Marches on January 21st.


Lili, 9: I chose that poster message because it shows how women are stronger when they are together than when they are apart. It also shows how strong their opinion is about women’s rights in a way that is non-violent.

I’m still flying high from the worldwide outpouring of female strength in the Women’s Marches. And girls—the thousands upon thousands who marched—are soaring even higher. At New Moon Girls, the feminist print magazine and online community made by and for girls—our members are BEYOND pumped, sharing proud reports from the front lines.


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Talking to White Girls about Racial Justice

by Lynn Johnson, Co-founder and CEO of Spotlight:Girls. Originally published here.

 

MLK Day is as good a time as any to talk to your daughter about racial justice.  This is a brief guide for all of you raising white girls to take center stage in a complex and unjust world.  

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Beautiful Project Youth Advisory Council

by Naomi Katz, Founder of Beautiful Project. Originally published here.

Announcing..Beautiful Project is now accepting applications for our
Youth Council! Open to women aged 15-25 who want to join a global community of young women who are inspired to create art and share it to empower themselves and others. Click here for more information and please, please share.  You can easily spread the word via the website, FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

The idea of the Youth Council came to me in part because I am inspired by the work of Aria Watson, an 18-year-old student in Oregon, who created the series #SignedByTrump, featuring photos of women who wear Trump's words on their naked bodies (including the photo above). Watson's work moves me because she is calling on us to pay attention, even more than we already are, by giving these horrific words a form - the female form. In doing so she, of course, further points out the toxic nature of these messages, and also - perhaps more importantly - takes a step toward making change by creating art. My teachers were right when they taught me that art calls the people to listen.


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In the Name of Our Daughters

by Naomi Katz, Founder of Beautiful Project. Originally published here.

I had already written my piece to share as we basked in the afterglow of finally electing a woman president.  I was so sure we were ushering in a new time, I was so optimistic about the future for ourselves and our daughters, and now I have to pause.

I pause because we have to think again about how we will support ourselves and our girls in the aftermath of this election. I pause to really think about relations between men and women, and what Trump’s victory might mean for our youth.

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Changing Culture is an Act of Love

Story by Kuei, Youth Ambassador of That's Not Cool, a project of Futures Without Violence. Originally posted on ThatsNotCool.com

My people are from the world’s newest nation of South Sudan and we carry our culture everywhere we go. I love and embrace my culture because that is what I grew up to do and I feel like it has made me the person I am today. I was born in Cairo, Egypt but my family was born and grew up in South Sudan. Even though I love my people, I think some of their values are oppressive. For example, that a woman’s goals and dreams should revolve around her being a wife and a mother and that they should obey the men in their lives, or that it is a man’s job to get at least one wife, have children and be the breadwinner for his family. Ever since I could remember, my mother was a single mom. My brothers and I did not have our dad in our lives and we watched my mother try to play both roles. She taught me the opposite of what she internalized. She taught me to be my own person and do what I want to do that would better my tomorrow.

My mother worked a lot and we lived with a lot of family. I watched a lot of unhealthy relationships that constantly went on through my life and I made an agreement with myself that I would never entertain an unhealthy relationship in my life. It did not really work well because I did not know what the signs where or how to go about it.

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Machismo's Vicious Reign in my Latinx Community

by Abigail Miranda, Youth Council Advisory Council member of That's Not Cool, a project of Futures Without Violence. Originally posted on ThatsNotCool.com

What is Machismo?

Machismo is a predominant “traditional” belief in Latinx communities that women are inferior to men. Machismo takes forms in various ways and often is culturally ingrained within Latinx communities. Machismo within our Latinx communities is most commonly presented in sets of heavily enforced gender norms and expectations. Often coming from “La mujer tiene que atender su hombre, porque es la mujer” (“The woman has to attend her man because she is the woman”) to “No seas lloron! Sos hombre!” (“Don’t be a crybaby! You’re a man”) Machismo has established oppressive standards that are harmful to both women and men. Machismo sets a strong practice that of which “hombres” have to comply to machismo and are expected to be hyper-masculine, intimidating, aggressive, and dominant. It is a strongly practiced and harmful belief system that not only maintains sexism as a habitual practice, but also ventures into violence, sexism, transphobia, and homophobia.


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The Power of All Youth

by Fatima Tall, Slam Poet, Youth Activist/Organizer, and Youth Ambassador of That's Not Cool, a project of Future Without Violence. Originally posted on ThatsNotCool.com.

FatimaYouth of all shapes and forms have voices that carry truth and passion.

Yet, the youth voice is a lost voice.

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#ShareHerStory: How I Worship My Body and Accept My Disability

by Gigi Giscome. A version of the article was published on Blavity and Wear Your Voice

Is this what it feels like to feel absolutely beautiful? I look at my reflection in the mirror, studying every nook and cranny of my face, blushing slightly while everyone and everything in the room completely disappears. I see the mixture of love, sacrifices and ancestry it took to make me, Me. In that moment, I didn’t want to be anybody in the world but me. I felt nothing but self-love and gratitude.

Photo: Courtesy of author

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"Dream Big" Posters from Athena Camps

by the middle school campers at Athena Camps in San Jose

Athena Camps inspires courage and builds confidence in girls through a unique combination of athletic, creative, emotional, and social activities in a nurturing community. They help girls aged five through thirteen develop their whole selves.

In their middle school camps, one of the themes they covered was "Dream Big," where the girls read Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech and created posters about their own dreams. The following are a few of their inspiring creations (click on them to expand in a new window):

 
   
 

The Red Women Rising Campaign

by the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health (CCUIH). Originally published on CCUIH's website here.


The California Consortium for Urban Indian Health's Red Women Rising project supports culturally responsive domestic violence services for Urban Indians by increasing public awareness and enhancing collaborations between Urban Indian health organizations, domestic violence service providers and traditional healers. Earlier this year, CCUIH created a webpage that houses all of the Red Women Rising media so advocates can participate in their public awareness campaign and start important conversations about recognizing abuse, stopping violence, and healing as a community.

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United State of Girls Summit & Rally

by Sandra Luna, Head of School of Julia Morgan School for Girls


Inspired by the United State of Women Summit taking place at the White House in June, Girls in Government, Leadership, and Service (GGLS), a before-school class at Julia Morgan School for Girls (JMSG), is hosting a United State of Girls Rally & Summit on Saturday, May 14, from 9:30 - 1:00.

We hope to have 100 middle and high school girls from public and private schools attend this special event. Our goal is to mobilize a national movement of teens 18 years and younger to finally pass the Equal Rights Amendment and the girls attending will be those girls who are willing to take on a leadership position in getting the ERA passed. We plan to create a short video by the end of the event that we can send to the White House!

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Oakland Unified and Alliance for Girls Team Up to Disrupt the School to Prison Pipeline

by Rebecca Peterson-Fisher, Senior Staff Attorney at Equal Rights Advocates (ERA). Originally published in ERA's blog here.


Across the country, students of color — and black girls in particular — are suspended at much higher rates than white students. Suspension has the power to not only damage a student’s future academic success, but, if repeated, can pose the risk of pushing a student out of school and into the criminal justice system.

The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and Alliance for Girls, a Bay Area organization that counts over 100 Bay Area girl-serving organizations as its members, have entered into an exciting new partnership designed to reduce suspension rates for girls of color and lift up their academic achievement.


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We're starting something big at YWCA!

by Laura Eberly, Community Organizer at the YWCA San Francisco & Marin


YWCA San Francisco & Marin got its start by elevating women’s voices. At the core of our work is the recognition that a more equitable world is possible, and it is our job to build it.

That’s why we are building a new advocacy program, and inviting you to join us.




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