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Destroy the school-to-prison pipeline

Thinkinc. stands with Journey 4 Justice and their Equity or Else campaign that seeks to purge racism from the United States, destroy the school-to-prison pipeline, and create sustainable community schools across the nation for people of ALL income levels and ethnic backgrounds.

We stand with J4J’s goals not just because J4J is our longtime client but because this nation sorely needs the healing power of their broad-based campaign.

In January 2022, Thinkinc. worked with J4J leader Jitu Brown to create a moving opinion piece for the Chicago Tribune. Following is an excerpt:

The centuries-old epidemic of racism in the U.S. has left in its wake a nationwide education and juvenile justice system that has created and feeds a school-to-prison pipeline, disproportionately ensnaring Black, brown and Indigenous children in a trap that can last a lifetime.

Adolescents who attend schools with high suspension rates are substantially more likely to be arrested and jailed as adults, according to the fall 2021 issue of the journal Education Next. Researchers found that Black male students are more than three times as likely to be suspended from school as white male students.

The Equity or Else campaign’s major goal is sustainable community schools. The 2022 federal budget would allocate $440 million to establish such schools, reversing the trend of privatizing public education through charter schools. The movement for equity in public education aims to make American schools more welcoming and truly safe spaces for all children where they can look forward to learning.

Culturally relevant and challenging curriculum, supports for high-quality teaching, wraparound supports for every child, a student-centered school climate, and meaningful parent and community engagement make for the types of schools all children deserve.

In an America where many claim to care about racial justice, it is past time to require zero tolerance for racism toward Black, brown and Indigenous children and communities.