Freedom to Learn:
Paths to Victory for the
Police Free Schools Movement
Photo Credit: Bebeto Matthews/AP
Two years ago, at the height of the 2020 racial justice uprisings, youth, parent, and community organizers from the Black Organizing Project (BOP) won a historic victory making the Oakland Unified School District the first district in the country to eliminate an entire school police department. Additionally, the school district was directed to reallocate funds previously used for sworn police officers, to student support and resources, such as school-based social workers, psychologists, and restorative justice practitioners. This victory, along with a similar victory in Minneapolis in the summer of 2020, were watershed moments in the decade-long national movement to remove police from schools.
The Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ) leads the National Campaign for Police Free Schools and both AEJ and the National Campaign serve as the primary national intermediaries supporting the dozens of organizations that comprise the Police Free Schools Movement. In the wake of the racial justice uprisings, several AEJ members won "police free schools" victories across the country helping to transform the narrative around ensuring safety and investing in supportive learning environments in public schools.
Two years later, as the white-lash against the racial justice uprisings shape the political environment and calls for more police in schools reverberate in the aftermath of the Uvalde School massacre, BOP, AEJ and members of the National Campaign are fighting to hold decision-makers accountable to their commitments to create supportive school environments where Black and Brown students have the freedom to learn.
Thank you to those who joined us for this great conversation and to our co-sponsors - Communities for Just Schools Fund, the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and the Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing.
If you would like to learn more about this work and/or be in connection with any of the incredible speakers and organizations featured in our briefing, please reach out to us so that we may put you in contact.
Executive Director of the Black Organizing Project
Executive Director for Coleman Advocates for Children & Youth
Development Director of the Black Organizing Project
Managing Director of Campaign Strategy for the Advancement Project
FREEDOM TO LEARN: PATHS TO VICTORY FOR THE
POLICE FREE SCHOOLS MOVEMENT
00:00 - Welcome & Intro
04:52 - Vision for Liberatory Education & Police Free Schools
17:00 - Organizers' Fishbowl
1:07:18 - Q & A
1:19:22 - Call to Action & Closing