Today, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Howard Fuller reminds us that MLK preached about love, but he connected it to justice. In education, this means going beyond school reform to provide caring, nurturing places for students of color and encourage them to learn. And it means that we continue to disrupt and challenge all systems of oppression that impact students’ lives every day. From his essay:
As educators, to truly bring justice to the lives of these children, we must go beyond just fighting for parent choice, for charter schools, for new school designs, or innovative traditional school districts, new teaching and learning practices, etc.
We must recognize that true education reform does not begin or end at the schoolhouse door.
If we are truly going to honor King, we must be willing to fight for laws, policies, and practices that impact our students’ lives every day. We must not back away from: supporting the importance of mental health services for our students who need that help; fighting for living-wage jobs for the families of our students; advocating for decent housing; resisting efforts to curtail people’s right to vote; speaking out against racially motivated violence against black people by the police; standing with them as they fight for changes in the gun laws in this country.
At MnEEP, we honor Dr. King and are committed to upholding his legacy of dismantling oppressive systems by addressing the ongoing systemic inequities that continue to be barriers to educational excellence for students of color and American Indian students.
We invite you to join us on this endeavor!