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Wednesday, Feb. 20 - My face was (and still is) all broken out because I was hella stressed out. Hella. We knew the strike was coming, so we planned. My identical twin sister, Kehinde Salter, and I were in the throes of planning the solidarity site for students at Madison Park Academy (MPA). MPA is the school our children attend and the OUSD school where I am a full time performing arts teacher.
In the grand scheme of things, I suppose I am not that unique and neither is this strike. I am one of thousands of teachers participating in one of many strikes nationwide to obtain a high quality education for our students. Nevertheless, my situation is unique in that I am viewing this strike through a very special lens.
On Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, teachers and support staff from Oakland Technical High School will join together with educators from across Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) in a one-day work action. This work action will significantly impact the school day, and we expect that a large majority of educators at Oakland Tech will participate. This “Day Without Educators” will give a small preview of what an actual, open-ended strike would feel like.
On Monday, Dec. 10, teachers from Madison Park Academy Upper joined with teachers across Oakland Unified School District to demand that OUSD prioritize teacher retention and access to student supports in order to maximize student success. Educators, students and community members rallied at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Tech leaders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from across the country attended the PUSHTech2020 Summit to continue the dialogue on diversifying the tech sector. The one-day conference, which was hosted by Rev. Jesse Jackson and the RainbowPUSH Silicon Valley Project took place May 6 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. In a pitch competition, diverse tech startup entrepreneurs competed for more than $15,000 in cash prizes.
Three weeks after the initial public promise to repost Urban Dreams and stop police control of Oakland school curriculum, Urban Dreams had still not been posted, ostensibly for aesthetic reasons. Two and a half hours after the following letter to Oakland Superintendent Antwan Wilson was sent – detailing OUSD’s official role in covering up the murder of Raheim Brown by school district police – Urban Dreams reappeared.
Perhaps you’ve heard or read the name Raheim Brown Jr. He’s the 20-year-old Black man who was beaten then shot and killed by Oakland School Police Department Sgt. Bhatt. What real justification can there be for officers – who were hired to secure a school dance on a school campus – to venture from their assigned duty posts and beat, shoot and kill innocent youth?
Parents, young students, teachers, families and community members have seized Lakeview Elementary School in Oakland in response to the Oakland Unified School District’s decision to proceed with closure. Lakeview was recognized for having low suspension rates of Black boys. In theory, OUSD has shown interest in interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, but in practice, the school closures push our youth out of the schools and into the streets. Visit the People's School and protest to Supt. Tony Smith!