Journey for Justice (J4J) is an emerging alliance of grassroots community-based organizations from cities across the United States representing constituencies of youth, parents, and inter-generational organizations who have been impacted by the closing, turnaround, and charter expansion of schools in communities of color. The goal of the Alliance is to bring the voice of those directly impacted by discriminatory school actions into the debate about the direction for public education in the 21st century and to promote equality in education for all students and sustainable, community-driven school reform for all school districts across the country.
ACTIVITIES & RESULTS
Thinkinc. was engaged through alliance member and longtime client, Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) (website.) to provide strategic media relations consulting services to gain national and Chicago-based media attention to promote J4J’s emerging national campaign for community-driven school reform.
May 2019 – Sixty-five years after the Supreme Court ordered an end to the “separate but equal” doctrine, we helped Journey For Justice get coverage of their We Choose Equity: Fund-Our-Future National Day of Action events in Washington and across the country. The group is pushing for passage of the Keep Our PACT Act, now pending in the U.S. Congress, which would mandate fully funding equal-opportunity laws.
August to September 2017 – When the leadership was preparing for simultaneous actions to fight school privatization, in cities across the country, we were asked to get them coverage. Using press materials, social media, we helped craft a message that could be used by each of the diverse groups, from major cities to medium-sized towns. On the ground, the message was being delivered in a series of tactics, including a rally and a bus tour.
Thinkinc. was up to the challenge of alerting media about a range of upcoming events across a broad swath of the country stretching over a period of months. Organizations did the nitty gritty and got coverage for their work. Their fight continues. Their fight continues.
August 2013 – As the nation commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which served as a compelling force for civil rights progress, J4J alliance members sought to leverage this timing to raise awareness of the perpetuation of race and class bias in access to quality education. Alliance members and activist groups from 25 cities across the country planned local actions on the anniversary, that while commemorating the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights activists, called for an end to the discrimination and the violation of human and civil rights resulting from current education policy and reform.
Working with J4J alliance members, Thinkinc. developed the media strategy and key messaging to draw media interest and create national and local coverage opportunities. Through a series of media alerts leading up to the anniversary and detailed press releases on the day of, Thinkinc. assisted the allied cities in promoting their actions to their local media, publicized the Chicago-specific actions and tied together the local initiatives to promote the overarching J4J campaign messages to the national media.
Thinkinc. developed a comprehensive media list including education reporters, political policy reporters, progressive media outlet reporters, media outlets with new and traditional media, as well as national and local news publications in Chicago and the 25 constituent Journey for Justice cities.
Thinkinc. conducted media outreach, facilitated interviews, organized press relations with key spokespeople from the coalition, assisted with onsite media relations for the Chicago press conference in advance of the local event and on the day of Chicago’s rally, and carried out follow-up media relations for story placement. (View Program Page | Download Media Kit)
- MYFOX Boston, Ch. 25 | August, 22, 2013: CPS Debate – Should Kids be Used as a Protest Tool
- MYFOX Atlanta, Ch. 5 | August, 23, 2013: CPS Debate: Activists Call for One-Day School boycott
- NBC Bay Area, Ch. 11| August, 28, 2013: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plea to parents don’t boycott school
- NBC Southern California, Ch. 4 | August, 28, 2013: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plea to parents, don’t boycott school
- MSNBC | August 31, 2013: Back to School in Chicago: Fights of closings, safety, budgets, and control
- FOX Chicago, Ch. 32 | August, 22, 2013: Community Groups, School Councils to Boycott
- ABC Chicago, Ch. 7 | August, 23, 2013: CPS boycott called for next Wednesday
- WTTW, Ch. 11, “Chicago Tonight” | August, 26, 2013: CPS students begin new school year
- ABC Chicago, Ch. 7 | August, 26, 2013: Chicago community groups call for CPS boycott
- ABC Chicago, Ch. 7 | August, 28, 2013: CPS boycott coincides with March on Washington anniversary, budget voting
- CBS WBBM-TV, Ch. 2 | August, 28, 2013: CPS Parents, students to stage boycott as board votes on budget cuts
- NBC Chicago, Ch. 5 | August, 28, 2013: CPS Passes Budget Amid Protests
- WGN-TV, Ch. 9 | August, 28, 2013: CPS Parents, students to boycott budget cuts
- WGN-TV, Ch. 9 | August, 28, 2013: CPS looking into possible closures consolidations
- The Hartford Guardian | August, 25, 2013: Hartford group joins national school closings protests
- Modesto Bee | August, 28, 2013: On March on Washington’s 50th anniversary, reminders of victories and battles still to fight
- The Community Voice | August 29, 2013: Local Group Joins National Education Alliance
- Wichita Eagle | August 28, 2013: Activists call Wichita school closings discriminatory
- Chicago Sun-Times Post | August, 22, 2013: Activists call for CPS boycott
- Chicago Tribune | August, 22, 2013: Activists call for one-day boycott of CPS schools
- Chicago Tribune | August, 22, 2013: CPS to vote on budget amid rally, threat of boycott
- Voice of Detroit | August, 26, 2013: Detroit Joins National Coalition to call for moratorium on School Closings
- Chicago Sun-Times Post | August, 27, 2013: Rahm Emanuel Pleads with parents, don’t boycott school Wednesday
- Chicago Sun-Times Post | August, 28, 2013: Protesters rally against CPS budget slated for approval
- Chicago Tribune | August, 28, 2013: Chicago protesters gather as CPS board meets
- The Root | August 21, 2013: How School Closings Ruin Communities
- EmpathyEducates.org | August, 23, 2013: Citywide Education Coalition Calls For Chicago Public Schools Boycott
- Huffington Post | August, 23, 2013: Activists Call For One-Day CPS Boycott On Anniversary Of Dr. King’s March On Washington
- Politco.com | August, 23, 2013: Duncan under fire
- Diane Ravitch’s Blog | August 25, 2013: Civil Rights Groups Call for Duncan’s Ouster
- EdWeek | August, 26, 2013: Civil Rights Leaders Condemn Privatization of Prisons and Schools
- SportBalla.com | August, 26, 2013: Chicago community groups call for CPS boycott
- Education Insider | August, 27, 2013: National Education Alliance kicks off campaign to stop school deserts
- Huffington Post | August, 28, 2013: CPS Boycott Led By Students, Parents Coincides With March On Washington 50th, Budget Vote
- NOLA.com of Picayuni Times | August, 28, 2013: Education activists remain unresigned to post-Katrina changes
- People’s World | August, 29, 2013: Chicago school boycott demands elected school board
- In These Times | August, 29, 2013: Chicago students boycott class demanding an elected and accountable school board
- Minnpost and Christian Science Monitor | August, 29, 2013: Chicago Opens New School Year: Will it be Less Testy than the Last?
- The Nation | September 4, 2013: From the Sunbelt to Capitol Hill, Students Mass for Racial Justice
- DnaInfo | August, 22, 2013: CPS protesters call on parents, keep kids home from school Wednesday
- Gapers Block | August, 22, 2013: CPS boycott next week
- Progress Illinois | August, 22, 2013: Education Activists call CPS boycott [Video]
- ChicagoNow.com District 299: The CPS Blog | August, 27, 2013: So Far So Good
- Crain’s Chicago | August, 27, 2013: CPS Boycott Called for Tomorrow
- DNAInfo | August, 27, 2013: North Side Students, Parents to Join CPS Boycott, Protest
- NewsTips, Curtis Black | August, 27, 2013: No Celebration: Chicagoans Protest Police, Schools
- Chicagoist | August, 28, 2013: CPS approves budget as hundreds protest outside headquarters
- DNAInfo | August, 28, 2013: Hundreds March on CPS, City Hall, to Demand Elected School Board
- ChicagoNow, District 299 Blog | August, 29, 2013: Budget, Eval system approved – School
- Gaper’s Block | August, 29, 2013: The fight for education justice in Chicago rages on
- WLS-AM Radio | August, 23, 2013: Chicago School Board VP Urges Parents Not to Pull Kids Out of School for Boycott
- WVON Radio on the Cliff Kelly | August, 27 2013
- WBEZ-FM Radio | August, 27, 2013: Activists Call for CPS Boycott Wednesday
- WBEZ-FM Radio | August, 28, 2013: Hundreds March CPS City Hall: Call for Elected School Board
- WBBM-AM Radio | August, 28, 2013: CPS Parents and Students to Stage a Boycott as Board Votes on Budget
- WGN-AM Radio Mike McConnell Show | August, 30 2013
January 2013 – Thinkinc. was retained by Journey for Justice to provide strategic media relations consulting services to gain national and Chicago-based media attention, as well as provide support for alliance members in local media markets, for the Journey for Justice Community Hearing with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the U.S. Department of Education Auditorium in Washington, D.C. The Hearing kicked off the J4J national campaign calling for a moratorium on discriminatory school closings and the replacement of failed reform strategies with the J4J proposal for community-driven, sustainable school transformation. (View Program Page | Download Media Kit)
- Washington Teacher Blog | February 6, 2013: US Dept.of Education Faces Pushback on School Closures
- IVN.us | February 5, 2013: School Closures as a Civil Rights Issue Brought to Federal Attention
- Michael Klonsky’s SmallTalk Blog | February 5, 2013: Last week’s Journey for Justice
- National Journal | February 4, 2013: Tension on School Closings
- Philadelphia Inquirer | February 4, 2013: Editorial: Can’t avoid closing schools
- Associated Press | February 3, 2013: The Big Story: School Turnarounds Prompt Community Backlash
- NYC Public School Parents | February 2, 2013: Journey for Justice and “School choice” week; just whose choices are being respected??
- American Prospect | February 1, 2013: Pushing Arne Duncan to Fast-Forward
- Council for American Private Education | February 2013: Nation Considers Measures to Keep Students Safe (PDF)
- Diane Ravitch’s Blog | January 31, 2013: Is the Tide Turning?
- Thomas Fordham Institute | January 31, 2013: On closing schools
- Administr@tor Magazine | January 30, 2013: AM News: Debate about School Closings and Charter Schools Rages On
- California Political News & Views | January 30, 2013: Community Organizers DEMAND Black Students Stay in Failed Government Schools. Bigots?
- Common Dreams | January 30, 2013: Parents, Teachers Slam Department of Education Over Mass School Closures
- Democracy Now! | January 30, 2013: Parents, Students Confront Education Dept. on School Closures
- Education Week | January 30, 2013: Closing Schools Violates Civil Rights, Targets Minorities, Protesters Say
- Examiner.com | January 30, 2013: US Education Department hosts ‘Journey for Justice’
- Michigan Chronicle | January 30, 2013: Civil Rights Leaders Criticize Obama’s Education Agenda
- NJ Spotlight | January 30, 2013: Advocates for Newark Education Make Their Case in D.C.
- WBEZ Chicago Public Radio | January 30, 2013: Chicago school closing being investigated
- AL.com Blog | January 29, 2013: National group demands moratorium on school closings as Birmingham prepares to close 8 to 10 this year
- Blog for Arizona | January 29, 2013: School closings protested in Philadelphia, Detroit, Newark
- Chicago Sun-Times | January 29, 2013: Parents, Students Confront Education Dept. on School Closures
- Education Week | January 29, 2013: Arne Duncan Fields More Complaints About School Closings
- Huffington Post | January 29, 2013: School Closures Violate Civil Rights, Protestors Tell Arne Duncan
- The Inquisitr | January 29, 2013: Parents, Students Confront Education Dept. on School Closures
- Medill Reports | January 29, 2013: Chicago residents call school closings a civil rights issue at D.C. hearing
- MSNBC | January 29, 2013: Mellis Harris Perry Show: re recent school closings a civil rights issue?
- Village Voice | January 29, 2013: City Advocates Shine National Spotlight on Bloomberg’s Reign of School Closure
- Washington Post | January 29, 2013: Parents, Students Confront Education Dept. on School Closures
- Michigan Radio | January 28, 2013: Detroit students say education policies violate their civil rights
- Los Angeles Times | January 28, 2013: Crenshaw high group opposes reform plan and school closings
- New York Times | January 28, 2013: Education Dept. to Hear School Closing Complaints
- The Notebook | January 28, 2013: Groups press civil rights complaint on school closings
- NJ Spotlight | January 28, 2013: Parents, Students Confront Education Dept. on School Closures
- Philadelphia Inquirer | January 28, 2013: Activists gear up against planned Philadelphia school closings
- Substance News | January 28, 2013: Philadelphia calls for moratorium on school closings prior to D.C. hearings on Duncan’s closing record while resistance grows in New York, Detroit, and Chicago
- Wall Street Journal | January 28, 2013: School Closures Challenged
- WBEZ Chicago Public Radio | January 28, 2013: Chicago activists speak out against school-closings at D.C. hearing
- MSNBC | January 27, 2013: Melissa Harris-Perry Show: Community Frustration from Local School Closures
- The Nation | January 15, 2013: Fighting Education Shock Therapy
- Washington Examiner | January 15, 2013: Barras: Saluting D.C. teachers, then delivering a smack in the face