Big Plans for the National Week of Action!

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On September 21, members of YOI, NCHEAT and the Education Justice Alliance met to discuss our plans for the upcoming year.  In particular, we planned out the upcoming Week of Action, part of Dignity in School’s National Week of Action Against School Pushout. The Week of Action will take place from September 28 through October 5.  NCHEAT will start out the week by marching at NC Pride in Durham on September 28.  On October 1, there will be a press conference to announce YOI, NCHEAT and EJA’s campaign for a moratorium on out-of-state suspensions, taking place  immediately before a Wake County School Board meeting at which students and parents will speak out against the crisis of suspensions in Wake County.  On October 4, NCHEAT will lead Push Back Against Push Out, a youth-led march against school pushout and the prison-industrial-complex. YOI and NCHEAT members planned out costumes, speeches and chants in preparation.

Get excited!  More info on the Week of Action will be announced soon.

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NC HEAT wants YOU to emerge as a HERO!

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On Tuesday, September 2, NC HEAT (North Carolina Heroes Emerging Among Teens) invites passionate, powerful high school youth in the Triangle Area to attend their back-to-school orientation meeting. NC HEAT is a united multicultural group of youth from different aspects of life seeking a common purpose. We organize and advocate for civil rights and justice in our community for ourselves and for future generations. On Tuesday, we will discuss the history and legacy of NC HEAT, the work we have done in the past to improve our schools and communities, the work that we can do together in the future, and the current political landscape in the area as it pertains to education and the lives of youth. 
 
The meeting will be held at DH Hill Library on NC State University’s campus fro 5pm to 6:30pm, we’ll have snacks and transportation can be provided if needed.  Contact ladylettuce95[at]gmail[dot]com if you need a ride.
 
Come out and join a community of passionate and engaged students! We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!

YOI Goes to Greensboro

pictured: triangle youth in front of statues of the "Greensboro Four," four A&T students who began the sit-in movement of the 1960s

pictured: triangle youth in front of statues of the “Greensboro Four,” four A&T students who began the sit-in movement of the 1960s

On Thursday, July 11th, YOI joined several other area youth groups (SEEDSEl Pueblo, and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s young farmer’s training program) on a field trip to Greensboro. The students boarded biofuel buses and then headed out to the first stop: a tour at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. The museum is located at the old Woolworth’s where the sit-in movement began, so we were able to see things such as the original lunch counters, dishes, and cash registers that were left behind when the department store closed.

Next, the buses headed over to the Beloved Community Center for lunch and fellowship with the community center staff and members of the NAACP. Our last activity was a grassroots history tour of Greensboro provided by the Beloved Community Center staff. Youth were able to see important historical sites such as Dudley High School and the site of the Greensboro Massacre. Visiting historical sites is an important way to remember our history and connect the work we are doing, as well as inspiring ourselves and honoring the sacrifices made by those who came before us.

Youth lead march to Governor

witnessWedTwo days after the June 24 “Moral Monday,” youth in NC called for an action to raise their issues. The action was called “Witness Wednesday.”  NC HEAT leaders Q and Beatrice addressed the crowd at a press conference before a march to the Governor’s office. They demanded an end to the criminalization of youth and for fully funded quality education.

They spoke about legislation aimed at lowering the age to 13 when youth could be tried as adults, and spoke against privatization and the school voucher bill. The racist criminal injustice system that disproportionately incarcerates youth of color must be stopped. While the mobilizations on the state-wide level are continuing, NC HEAT is building a coalition around challenging police in schools and ending racist discipline practices.

Youth Mobilize for “Moral Monday”

ImageSince April 29, members of NC HEAT have come out for weekly “Moral Mondays.”  On June 24 thousands of people from across the state gathered.  Over 120 people participating in non-violent civil disobedience.  The reactionary policies being proposed include massive cuts to education, a school voucher plan, refusing the Federal Medicaid Expansion, and cutting unemployment benefits. NC HEAT will continue to raise youth demands, tell their stories, and be in solidarity every Moral Monday.

Nationwide Fight Against School Push Out

no peace with a peaceThe School-to-Prison Pipeline is a national issue and requires creating a national fightback. The Dignity in Schools Campaign is helping local organizations coordinate and develop their campaigns to end this pipeline.  Here are some of the recent victories, including in Wake County, NC.

DSC Members Win Community Involvement in School Resource Officer Training for Wake County Schools

North Carolina – On June 4, students with DSC member organizations NC HEAT/Youth Organizing Institute and the Education Justice Alliance, together with the Coalition of Concerned Parents of African American Children, attended the Wake County Public School System Board meeting to address the overuse of harsh discipline practices and arrests at the hands of School Resource Officers (SROs).

Click the link below to read the full story:

http://www.dignityinschools.org/blog/dsc-members-win-community-involvement-school-resource-officer-training-wake-county-schools

DSC Members Celebrate Victory in Los Angeles

On Tuesday, May 14, DSC members CADRE, Public Counsel Law Center, Labor/Community Strategy Center, and Children’s Defense Fund-California working with the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition of Los Angeles on the Every Student Matters Campaign celebrated a groundbreaking victory when the Los Angeles Unified School Board approved a School Climate Bill of Rights that: bans suspensions for willful defiance; calls for stepped up implementation of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support and for the first time Restorative Justice; makes discipline, citation, and school arrest data available to students and parents; and clarifies the role of police in schools.

Click the link below for the full story:

http://www.dignityinschools.org/blog/dsc-members-celebrate-victory-los-angeles

D.O.E. Holds Annual Discipline Code Public Hearing

Charlotte Pope, Dignity in Schools Campaign – New York, 06/10/2013dsc main graphic

A chant of “Solutions not suspensions” echoed through the Stuyvesant High School auditorium Thursday evening, where a crowd largely made up of youth leaders assembled for the Department of Education’s annual hearing on the Discipline Code.

Click the link below for the full story:

http://www.dignityinschools.org/blog/doe-holds-annual-discipline-code-public-hearing

Now accepting applications for Summer 2013 Youth Organizing Institute

**APPLY TODAY BY FILLING OUT THE ONLINE APPLICATION**

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Calling Triangle-Area Teens:  Work this summer to stop racism & school re-segregation, challenge the school to prison pipeline, and make schools safe for LBGTQ youth (and get paid!).

The Institute will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from July 9-25, with one overnight retreat. 

Entering its fourth year the Youth Organizing Institute is committed to training, supporting, and developing the next generation of activists, organizers, and social change leaders in North Carolina.

Applications are due June 7.

What is the Youth Organizing Institute:

We are youth organizers. We are immigrants and we are US born. We are white, black, and brown. We speak many languages. We are gay and we are straight. We believe in solidarity, we support each other, and we affirm the humanity and dignity of every person. We do not believe in “problem kids.” We believe society has problems and we must be the ones to fix them. We believe in hard work and we believe in fun. We are loyal to each other and dedicated to our values. We got your back. We believe that five fingers clutched together are stronger than each finger on its own.

We honor the legacies of the youth organizers and activists who came before us. We walk in the legacy of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). We believe in collective direct action.

We are part of a broad, dynamic, diverse, and international student movement.

COMMITMENTS – YOURS AND OURS

Teens accepted into the program must complete 50 hours of classroom & field work.
Sessions will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from July 9 – July 25, plus one weekend.

Participants who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate and a $100 stipend.