Educators, experts to convene at RYSE Center Monday to address school-to-prison pipeline

RYSE Center's Winter Wonderland on Saturday features food, music, toy and shirt giveaway

In honor of National Day of Action, Bay Area educators, advocates and experts will convene at Richmond’s RYSE Center on Monday for the first “Education Not Incarceration” event.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the center at 205 41st St., students, parents, educators, policy and data experts and advocates will assemble to address the school-to-prison pipeline in the Bay Area and to identify best practices and solutions when disciplining students. The event is part of the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) National Week of Action.

“School pushout and the criminalization of our young people are closely connected to a range of other regional issues, including gentrification and displacement, workforce development, public transportation, and the growing gap between the rich and the poor throughout the Bay Area,” said Neva Walker, executive director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth in San Francisco, in a statement. “To effectively address this regional crisis, we must collectively create regional solutions, pool resources and expertise, and support each other to win the school system changes all of our young people deserve.”

Tia Elena Martinez, a renowned national expert on this subject, is a featured speaker who will present new data and analysis.

“While more attention has been called to addressing the negative impact of over-policing and police violence against black and brown youth, school districts across the Bay Area continue to rely on police to control and discipline students,” said Jackie Byers, executive director of the Black Organizing Project in Oakland.  “We have an opportunity to turn the tide and build a new model of school climate that dismantles the school to prison pipeline and reinvests in education and community.”

As part of DSC Week of Action, thousands of advocates across the U.S. are similarly requesting that policymakers and school districts “invest in public education not prison cultivation.”  On Tuesday, a DSC-sponsored event in Washington, D.C. will call upon the federal government, states and school districts to shift funding from school police to counselors and alternative discipline practices.

The event is hosted by Coleman Advocates for Children and YouthBlack Organizing ProjectDignity in Schools Campaign Bay Area Chapter, Policy LinkPublic Counsel Law Center, Gay Straight Alliance Network, Communities United for Restorative Youth JusticeACLU Northern California, and Equal Justice Society.

The photo in this story was taken from the RYSE Center’s Facebook page.