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A legacy of mistreatment for San Francisco’s Black special ed students

This is part of an ongoing series, “Learning while Black: The fight for equity in San Francisco schools,” being broadcast on KALW’s Crosscurrents. African American students across the country are much more likely than any other student group to be placed in special education, and that’s true at San Francisco Unified too. The district’s troubled history has plenty to teach us about what is and isn’t working for Black students with special needs today.

Hundreds of students at HBCU Fair gain sense of hope and...

More than 500 high school juniors and seniors from around the Bay Area convened at San Francisco’s Mission High School for the Seventh Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Recruitment Fair. Dozens of students were admitted to schools on the spot while many walked away with merit-based scholarships. The annual fair provides students with an opportunity to get a head start in the college admissions process while learning about historically Black colleges and universities and seeing them as viable options.

Hunger striker Hassani Bell speaks on the end of the Ethnic...

Block Report Radio interviews hunger striker Hassani Bell, one of four hunger strikers who were fighting to preserve and expand the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State. The hunger strikers were Hassani Bell, 18, Julia Retzlaff, 19, Sachiel Rose, 19, and Ahkeel Mestayer, 20, and their organization is called Third World Liberation Front 2016 in homage to the 1968 strike. After 10 days, many of the demands were met by the SF State administration of President Wong, but not all of them. The strike is suspended as the fight continues.

It takes a village to send African American students to college!

The San Francisco Alliance of Black School Educators (SFABSE) is sponsoring the Second Annual “Black Family Cradle to College and Career Resource Fair” Saturday, Sept. 19, at San Francisco Unified School District’s Mission High School. Attendees can look forward to workshops on Early Education, STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics), Discipline and Criminal Justice, College and Career, and Parent-Guardian Involvement.

The fight to save City College: Push back against push-out

The fight to save City College is taking place on two levels. We’re winning one but losing the other. Many elected and appointed city and state leaders have taken action to preserve City College as an accredited, accessible, community-friendly institution that serves all of San Francisco. But on another level, the fight to save City College has taken a terrible toll. Enrollment has dropped from 100,000 students in 2008 to 65,000 this year. The fight to save City College is also the fight to save San Francisco as a truly diverse city, not just a gentrified and overwhelmingly white enclave.

Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe ’s ‘Traveling While Black’ at Brava through Oct. 26

“Traveling While Black” is epic. It is a story that has audiences laughing while at the same time catching their breath as Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe takes us with her into situations only a well-written narrative can then retrieve us from unscathed. The journey is fraught with peril. Cooper-Anifowoshe transports us from a Muni bus ride in San Francisco to a slave ship off the coast of West Africa without a blink of an eye.

March and Rally for Equity in Education: Parents of Black students...

A team of parents and supporting organizations announced today that they will march and rally on Malcolm X Day, May 19, 2014, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to support equity initiatives in public schools and protest unfair disciplinary actions and a culture of low expectations for Black children. The team is also pressing school districts to target the needs of Black students with new state funding pursuant to a Local Control and Accountability Plan.

Eric Holder, Arne Duncan tell schools to stop pushing students into...

Today, for the first time, the United States Departments of Education and Justice jointly released guidance that outlines civil rights obligations regarding school discipline that schools and districts throughout the country must follow affirming that “racial discrimination in school discipline is a real problem.” The guidance was included in a resource package with guiding principles and a resource guide from the Department of Education.

Guardian Scholars: From foster children to SF State graduates

San Francisco State University graduated more than 8,000 students at its commencement exercises on May 21. Among our impressive graduates are three African American students with something in common and unique perspectives on success.

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Sacramento PD arrests 12-year-old Black child, places plastic bag over his...

Let there be no mistake. Shooting and killing an unarmed Black woman, who professed to be pregnant in Houston, Texas, or “bagging” a small in stature 12-year-old in Sacramento must be called out for what it is. These actions are more reflective of the practices of “slave catchers” and “Jim Crow” era law enforcers than of proper urban policing techniques focused on de-escalation and by governments truly committed to empower police officers to “protect and to serve” our entire community.

Marie Harrison, mother of the movement for environmental justice

Remember the many years Marie Harrison owned the back page of the Bay View? She defined what “speaking truth to power” means. With headlines like “We’ve always survived your whip and your noose,” and observations like “Voter education isn’t just somebody educating the voters. It’s the voters educating the people they elect,” as we carry on without her, we must infuse every fight with her courage.

Statewide day of action for educational equity in California’s public schools

May 22nd is a statewide day of action calling on the California state legislature to fully fund its public schools. In Sacramento, teachers, students and families will spend the day lobbying and gathering in and around the capitol to demand change. Solidarity actions will also take place throughout the state in numerous schools and public spaces. If you stand in solidarity with us, but cannot attend any of the actions, please sign my petition at http://chng.it/wwPR6mwBGn to support our publicly educated future leaders.

‘Far, Far Better Things’ playing through May 19 at Live Oak...

It is easy to become what you know, so easy. What’s difficult is resisting. Unresolved trauma haunts the gene pool. A son, Josh (actor Yohana Ansari-Thomas) witnesses his mother’s murder or its aftermath – Dad’s bloody shirt and subsequent kidnapping of the children until he is captured. This same boy, now man, still has unresolved memories of that day when his mom was shot and the housekeeper “stood there and did nothing.”

In tribute to Marie Harrison: Until our very last breath

You’ve been an especially effective, strong, patient and articulate voice confronting forces that do not respect human rights or human life. You’ve told these opportunists firmly and politely that every human being on earth has the right to live and raise their children and see their grandchildren thrive in pollution-free places and to breathe clean air without toxins.