The resistance is rising.”
– Keron Blair – Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools
Saturday’s citywide convening of School Defense Committees brought together parents, students, educators, community members, and politicians from all around the city and beyond to take the next step in the fight against public school takeovers and advance public community schools for Milwaukee.
The morning started of with passionate and thought-provoking speeches and calls to action from Alliance to Reclaim Our School’s Keron Blair (video), Dyett School hunger striker Jeanette Taylor (video below), and author and educator Isabel Nunez (video).
Following the morning speakers, the real work of the day began. Attendees met in small groups, where they worked through School Defense Committee (SDC) toolkits that provide individuals and groups with the blueprints to organize locally in their building, church, or community group against public school takeovers.
These SDC Toolkits are available to parents, students, educators or community members, who want to organize others in their school community to stand up for public schools. All those organizing SDCs will be making sure to hold their first meeting by January 31st, 2016. It was also announced that on February 17th, 2016 Milwaukee will be joined by over 20 other cities in a third round of walk-ins for public education. The next convening of SDCs will take place on March 20, 2016. Details will be released when they become available.
The School Defense Committee Toolkit includes:
- First steps to get your committee started, hold your first gathering, and build a communication structure
- Handouts – flyers, articles and talking points you can copy and share
- Background reading for the organizers of your group
- Documents to help you set up leafleting and tabling at school events: a volunteer schedule, a sign-in sheet to build your network of supporters, and a school-year calendar to chart upcoming events at your school.
Click on the links above to view and print sections of the toolkit, or click here to download a toolkit.
Anyone who decide to organize a School Defense Committee should fill out this form so we can track who is organizing School Defense Committees. Be sure to include the date for your first School Defense Committee gathering.
As Jeanette Taylor ended her speech, “We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for,” and now is the time we must act to ensure public education is not killed on our watch.