Education is a fundamental human right and a basic community responsibility. We want schools that prepare free people to participate fully in a free society—schools that young people don’t have to recover from, but rather that act as the hopeful launch pads for the dreams of youth. We’re honored to be joined by Raynard Sanders, an old friend and a legendary New Orleans educator and freedom fighter, author of The Coup D’etat of the New Orleans Public School District: Money, Power, and the Illegal of a Public School System. We talk about the centuries-long struggle of Black parents to secure an education of value for their children in the face of white supremacist structures and racist resistance, and focus our attention on a natural disaster (Katrina) that became an unnatural if predictable catastrophe: the white elite seizing control of the schools and their budgets, firing the mostly African American staff, and replacing them with young white Teach for America recruits.
Spring is around the corner, and change is in the air. Think about the coming months, and write a short list of ways you plan to engage your community and build the movement for justice: How do you approach building your base? How do you approach acting collectively and in solidarity? How do you approach changing the narrative/reframing the debate?