Proposals are due by Friday, September 1st, 2017. See Theme for the Fair below:
THIS IS NOT A TEST: White Supremacy, Climate Change, and the Future of Our Schools
This is not a test. Schools divide students into “failures” and success, exclude families and communities, and marginalize staff who want change. We feel the hot, hurtful consequences everyday, and refuse to see more lives ruined. Yet, society, like our schools, is on fire. A new President brings nothing but another 4 years of mass deportations, climate chaos, police murder, rape culture, mass incarceration, gentrification, white supremacist terror, and war. When students walkout, families demand change, or staff stand up - retaliation comes, communities respond - and the future is born from our collective efforts. This is not a drill. The drill is under the Mississippi River. Standing Rock woke the nation but liberals refused to fight to win, now oil will flow through the Dakota Access Pipeline. Yet our schools continue as normal, recreating their own pipelines. These pipelines funnel black and brown children from schools to prison: racist special ed labeling is a mental attack on our capacities as human beings, while prison beds are set to third grade reading levels. The staff who fight these pipelines are fired. We are our only protection, we must fight back. Organize, or else. The oceans are projected to be dead by 2050, when our current kindergarteners will be 38 years old. A majority of students face poverty and gentrification. Many face daily threats of violence, family collapse, no opportunities but low wage jobs or worse. White supremacists gather at the MN Capitol against immigrants, and for Trump. How are our assessment tools taking that into account? How can we defend our communities and ourselves? Playtime is over, new ways to expand our imaginations and change the world are what schools needs most; and yet all we get is more test prep in reading and math. Will we change systems designed to maintain the status quo or be drowned by them? Will we connect our aspirations for ourselves - students, families, educators, and communities - with the broader struggles of all for justice and sustainability, self-determination and freedom? How? When? Call For ProposalsFor the 6th annual Social Justice Education Fair we ask you to propose workshops that showcase the work that is succeeding for our students, families, educators, and communities. We are looking for workshops that directly confront the problems schools and society face, and embolden us all to dream and build together in order to solve them. Our whole society lurches towards an uncertain future as climate catastrophes and open white supremacy increasingly change the landscape. It is on us as educators, students, families, and communities to choose, imagine, and fight for a future worth having - and to transform schools and society to serve that purpose. We call on all education revolutionaries - particularly K-12 students, families, and educators- to submit your workshop proposals, discussions, panels, etc., by September 1, 2017 (submission form here). Workshop slots are 75 minutes long with four workshop sessions over the course of the day. As you craft your proposals, we encourage to keep with the Fair’s 2017 theme (This Is Not A Test!”) and consider the following questions:● How are students, families, educators, and communities - particularly working class people and people of color - already struggling for a radically just and sustainable world within, across, and beyond schools? How can we better defend, expand, or support these efforts?● How do we understand the moment we’re in, and how can schools be places that help clarify that moment and grow revolutionary consciousness for students, families, educators, and communities?● What are we doing in and as schools to succeed for our students, families, and communities in relation to present and growing catastrophes and structural violence? How can we defend ourselves, each other, and that which is working? ● How is intensifying white supremacy and climate change changing our schools? How are we working to fight white supremacy or climate change within our schools?● What are the ways in which the education system embodies and prevents the creation of social justice in society and education, particularly around climate change and white supremacy?● How are, or can we, reenvision schools to meet the challenges of the present? What should the future of schools look/be like? Want To Collaborate With Us on Your Workshop Ideas?Let us know how we can co-create an event you need for fights in your schools and communities, or if you want to create a series of related workshops (often called a “track”) for the Fair. Workshops and Workshop Tracks will be reviewed and approved by the planning team as they are submitted.