On April 22nd, 2023 Racial Justice NOW! and the Wayfinder Foundation hosted their second tour stop on their campaign to promote their newest Whitepaper by Dr Chike Akua– ‘Dismantling the Preschool to Prison Pipeline Through Black Literacy and Education for Transformation’. The event was titled the “Covert Curriculum” Convening: America’s Active Resistance to Education Equity for Black Children. The event took place at the Wilder Foundation in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The Wayfinder Foundation was founded in 2017 to connect women of color activists from historically marginalized communities with resources, support, and training to amplify their voices and leadership skills, and has partnered with RJN! to highlight the connection between the school to prison pipeline and literacy.
Minneapolis School Board member and Wayfinder Foundation Team Member Chauntyll Allen was the M.C. for the event. Based on her experience as a school board member and a local activist, she had a wealth of information for audience members.
Dr Akua is a Professor of Educational Leadership at Clark Atlanta University and a leading authority on increasing the achievement of today’s students, especially those in the most challenging schools and communities. He has helped thousands of educators, leaders, teachers and students increase achievement for African American students and students of color through professional development, seminar and supplementary curriculum resources.
Dr. Akua moved the audience with his power point presentation as he addressed the filled room. His presentation led to a long question and answer session, that informed community members on what could be done to change the state of the school system today.
To further drive home the reality of the school to prison pipeline and how it effects individuals, families, and communities, a portion of the documentary titled, ” Thugs: The Criminalization of Black Youth” was played on a large screen for all to see.
The documentary explores the control of Black people through racially profiled arrests and incarceration, essentially modern day slavery, or the “New Jim Crow”, and the role it plays on Black youth across the country.
Panel Discussions were held following the viewing of the documentary, that featured local Minneapolis activists and community members. Audience members were provided with a deeper insight into what has been happening in the twin cities regarding education.
To close out the day, RJN! Co-Executive Director, H.A. Jabar presented Racial Justice NOW!’s culturally relevant curriculum toolkit as a compliment to Dr. Akua’s lecture, offering a list of resources that educators and community members could use to assist in education and training.
To Download a copy of the White Paper – Dismantling the Preschool to Prison Pipeline Through Black Literacy and Education for Transformation