Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Thursday, Jul. 11 2:30 PM
Ends: Thursday, Jul. 11 3:30 PM
What Philly Taught Us: How Philadelphia Activists Beat School Privatization to Restore Local Control
Posted by Netroots Nation on Thursday, July 11, 2019
State control of Philadelphia’s schools came to an end in November 2017. This was an historic event, long in the making by a resistance campaign led by Philadelphians. State control had essentially stripped the city’s majority-black and brown residents of their democratic rights. The state agency emphasized cutting expenses and staff, closed neighborhood schools, and imposed various forms of “school choice.” Philly saw its core institutions ripped out and replaced with schools operated by private interests with no knowledge of community values and culture. But years of intense public opposition successfully pressured the mayor and governor to transfer state control to a People’s School Board representative of Philadelphians.
I am a marketing and communications strategist with nearly 30 years of experience – the past 20+ on my own as a freelance writer, advocacy journalist, and consultant. My award-winning advocacy work routinely appears in prominent news outlets including, Salon, Alternet, and The Washington Post. In commercial and fundraising ventures, my work has produced millions of dollars in sales and funds raised for clients, who range from prestigious nonprofit organizations, such as the National Geographic Society and Doctors Without Borders, to Fortune 500 companies such as Kimberley-Clark and Xerox.
Other sessions: Education Caucus
Kendra Brooks holds a BS in Therapeutic Recreation from Temple University and a MBA in Management from Eastern University. She is an instructor and consultant of Restorative Practices and family and community engagement. Kendra was formerly an organizing member and parent advocate/activist with Parents United for Public Education. She now is on the steering committee for 215 Peoples Alliance and the Our City Our Schools coalition. Kendra has conducted a wide range of trainings and family and community advocacy workshops in and around the country as well as presented at regional and national conferences. Her activism spans education, social justice and economics using Restorative Practices as a core value for systematic change.
Seated in 2016, Councilmember Helen Gym is a longtime educator and community organizer and the first Asian American woman elected to Philadelphia City Council. In her first term, she led a schools agenda that championed the successful end of a state takeover of the Philadelphia school system, passed a tax on soda distributors to fund pre-K, and restored nurses, counselors, music programs and safe drinking water to every public school. She established the city’s first legal defense fund for renters facing eviction and introduced and passed the nation’s most expansive “Fair Workweek” law to give stable schedules and a path to full-time hours for 130,000 part-time workers. She is Vice Chair of Local Progress, a network of progressive municipal electeds, where she leads national efforts to support Sanctuary Cities, affordable housing, and public education.
Other sessions: Pennsylvania Caucus, Not Just for Presidential Candidates: Bringing the Power of Small-dollar Donors to the Local Level (Sponsored Panel), Daily Kos/Netroots Nation Presidential Candidate Forum, Combatting Fake Clinics: Local, State and National Efforts to Fight Back, Building the Bench: Racial Equity and Diversity at the State and Local Level, Building a Movement to #EndPoverty in America
Domingo Morel is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, Newark. In 2018-2019, he will be a Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. He is the author of Takeover: Race, Education, and American Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is also co-editor of Latino Mayors: Power and Political Change in the Postindustrial City (Temple University Press, 2018). In addition to his scholarship, Dr. Morel has years of applied experience in education, political affairs, and public policy. He is also co-founder of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University and past president of the Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Brown University in 2014.
Horace Ryans III is a young African-American student in the city of Philadelphia. He currently attends Science Leadership Academy as a sophomore. He is very involved in the improvement of his local school and the upbringing of his fellow student. Horace’s passion for youth advocacy has allowed him to get more involved with local organizations in his community. He serves as the Philadelphia City Director for UrbEd, Inc working to bring quality and efficient urban education for all students. He also serves as the Youth Commissioner appointed by Councilman Bobby Henon Representing District 6 in the City of Philadelphia. He believes that every child has the right to know what’s going in communities. Shielding them won’t do them any good. It’s our duty to provided them with the resources so that they can begin to advocate for not only themselves, but for their communities. He hopes to one day teach in the place he fought for, right here in Philadelphia!