“You’re looking at somebody you know, love, trust and respect and are proud of, but you can’t help them,” Blake told CNN’s Sara Sidner. “You sort of have to remove yourself in order to maintain your sanity. ”

― Justin Blake

Equity Challenge Week 5 Wednesday Racism in Schools

For the second to last portion of our talks on structural racism, we will be looking at racism in schools. This is a topic of significant importance when considering the impact that your education can have on your life projection.


School to Prison Pipeline (4 Minutes)

Read this article to learn the American Civil Liberties Union’s “steps” that a growing number of students are taking on the path to incarceration.

The Origins of the Term “Affirmative Action” (8 Minutes)

Read this article from the Smithsonian Magazine to learn about the history of the term “affirmative action” in the court of law.


A Tale of Two School Districts (30 Minutes)

Description via NPR: In many parts of the U.S., public school districts are just minutes apart, but have vastly different racial demographics – and receive vastly different funding. That’s in part due to Milliken v. Bradley, a 1974 Supreme Court case that limited a powerful tool for school integration.

Introducing: Nice White Parents (5 Episodes, ranging from 47 minutes to 1 hour long)

From Serial and The New York Times: “Nice White Parents” looks at the 60-year relationship between white parents and the public school down the block.

We know American public school do not guarantee each child an equal education. Two decades of school reform initiatives have not changed that. But when Chana Joffe-Walt, a reporter looked at inequality in education, she saw that most reforms focused on who schools were failing: Black and brown kids. But what about who the schools are serving? In this five-part series, she turns her attention to what is arguably the most powerful force in our schools: White parents.


The School-to-Prison Pipeline, Explained (3:15)

Description from YouTube: The school-to-prison pipeline starts in preschool. Thousands of law enforcement officers are stationed in American schools – and they’re a key part of the “school-to-prison pipeline,” which places students into the criminal justice system for matters of school discipline.

It started in the 90s, when schools began responding to rising crime rates with zero-tolerance policies. They were originally put in place to stop weapons and drugs from entering schools and to prevent tragedies like Columbine-these policies extended beyond to include smaller infractions such as uniform violations, talking back, insubordination, etc.

Schools in Oakland, California are exploring new ways to break the school-to-prison pipeline. These schools practice restorative justice where both parties talk out their issues instead of administrators suspending or expelling students.

This is How Affirmative Action Began (2:24)

Watch this quick video to get an overview of how affirmative action began.

Description via CNN: Racial Discrimination and police brutality sparked riots in the 1960s, and affirmative action was used to calm the unrest, historian Mark Naison says.

Affirmative Action: Crash Course Government and Politics (7:13)

Description via YouTube : S0 we’ve been talking about civil rights for the last few episodes now, and we’re finally going to wrap this discussion up with the rather controversial topics of affirmative action. We’ll explain what exactly affirmative action is, who it is for and why it still exists. Now, affirmative action is a pretty problematic concept. SO we’ll get into the court’s rationalization for it in the 70s as well as its fall from favor in more recent years. Now, people tend to have pretty strong, and varying opinions, about this stuff, – so we’ll start talking about how these opinions are informed next week when we start our discussion on politics.