SJEM is a an organization focused on nourishing Twin Cities movements for social justice in education so we may all survive and thrive. We create spaces to share tools, raise consciousness, and build people power; connect and collaborate with those fighting to transform our education system; and organize until our schools are run by the direct democracy of those who have been historically and systematically oppressed, including students, families, educators, and communities.
In our work within, against, and beyond the state-run education system, we see daily the interconnections between schools, police, violence, and prisons. We bear witness to the ways Indigenous, Black, and Brown young people are brutalized by police and military officials in schools, oppressive curriculum, the exclusion and marginalization of teachers and staff of color, and the general prioritizing of student, parent, and staff compliance over respect and engagement. We see our work as deeply entangled with the work of #BlackLivesMatter, and we voice our commitments to make political meaning of these events with our peers, our young people, and our fellow workers in our education spaces. From this sense-making work, we must realize our collective power and take action to change these conditions, as more than 50 Anwatin middle schoolers so inspiringly demonstrated by walking out of school Friday, November 20th.
We offer this statement in support of the communities of North Minneapolis, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, the NAACP, the IWW African Peoples Caucus, and all people rising up to protest the vicious murder of Jamar Clark by Minneapolis Police. Opposing and refusing to stay silent in the face of police brutality and white supremacist violence is a part of the work to transform our education system. We dream of education free from colonization, capitalist exploitation, assimilation, and the erasure of histories and languages. This dream is predicated on the simple value statement that Black lives matter!
With the spirit of resistance and in deep solidarity,
The Social Justice Education Movement