The overuse of harsh zero tolerance measures, police, and juvenile courts in addressing school disciplinary issues has led to the needless pushout and criminalization of countless youth across America. In response to this discipline crisis, a growing national movement has emerged to dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline. This grassroots-led effort has already achieved important victories, and the momentum for change is building– but there is still more to be done.
In 2012, Advancement Project and its ActionCamp Partners hosted four Regional ActionCamps in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, and Raleigh, NC. These ActionCamps focused on introducing community groups across the nation to the School-to-Prison Pipeline by sharing best practices, developing strategy, and building relationships with other key constituents. The four ActionCamps, in total, brought together over 500 organizers and advocates from 33 states to advance their respective and collective efforts. Among these 500 participants was an array of parents, teachers, community activists, and students, of which the latter made up over half of all participants. See more images from the 2012 camps on the ActionCamp Tumblr page: http://actioncamps.tumblr.com/
Following the success of the 2012 ActionCamps, the project will continue in 2013 with at least 2 more trainings taking place in April and June. The camps, dubbed ‘ActionCamp 2.0,’ will be the next step from 2012 Regional ActionCamps and will offer a deeper dive into the skills and strategies necessary to run effective campaigns to dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline. As a result, ActionCamp 2.0 will feature less introductory level training and will include a focus on helping organizations currently involved in such efforts to develop plans of action for moving their work forward (see: “What Will Be Covered at ActionCamp 2.0?” for more details).
New Orleans: April 19-21, 2013
Denver: June 28-30, 2013
ActionCamp 2.0 Goals
There are three goals for ActionCamp 2.0:
- Achieve a shared understanding of the School-to-Prison Pipeline.
- Arm participants with strategies and tools for dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline at the local, state, and national levels.
- Broaden and strengthen the community-led grassroots movement against the unfair discipline and criminalization of students.
Who Should Apply?
The ideal ActionCamp 2.0 participants are currently engaged in community-based grassroots efforts to dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline in their localities and states. We have redesigned the training agenda and curriculum to offer new content for alumni of previous ActionCamps, while keeping the trainings accessible to new participants. Groups including youth, people of color, LBGTQ-identifying persons, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
The School-to-Prison Pipeline is a vast system that has a devastating effect on a diverse range of people and communities, and especially affects students of color, LGBTQ students, and students with disabilities. We believe the best way to stop this system is to build bridges uniting these communities. In keeping with this belief, ActionCamp operates under an anti-oppression framework. We not only openly condemn and challenge any forms of racism, ageism, homophobia, and ableism, but also strive to place these communities at the forefront of the movement. We ask that all ActionCamp participants also embrace this framework in order to make the trainings a success.
What Will be Covered at ActionCamp 2.0?
ActionCamp 2.0 is designed as a deeper dive into the skills and strategies necessary to dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline with a new focus on action planning. The curriculum is designed to both share the best practices as defined by the ActionCamp Training Team and take advantage of the collective experience and knowledge of participants. We will offer a range of workshops including:
- Base building, Mobilization, & Direct Action - Bringing supporters to your campaign and organizing them to create change
- Strategic Communications –Using media and communications tools to advance your campaign
- Alternatives and Solutions to the School-to-Prison Pipeline - Examining the alternative models for school discipline
- Alliance and Coalition Building - Best Practices for building local, state, and national coalitions
- Data & Policy Analysis - How to interpret and use data on school discipline for your campaign and understand current and potential policies
- Talking to Policy Makers & Power Analysis – How to identify those with the power to help your cause and strategies for talking with policy makers about school discipline issues
- Popular Education: The School-to-Prison Pipeline in Historical Perspective –Tools for educating communities on the School-to-Prison Pipeline with a focus on connecting it with the various historic systems of oppression.
- Grassroots Fundraising –Strategies for securing the resources to keep your work viable
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