After a full day of plenaries and an evening of music and poetry, how could we top Day 1 of Education Anew? Allison Brown and Leticia Peguero welcomed everyone back with a poem and the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Love was once again welcomed into this space as Leticia encouraged us to truly love one another—even those we disagree with.
Today’s panel took a deep dive into the cost of mass incarceration and investment/divestment strategies for communities of color. Representatives from Communities United, Make the Road NY and Padres y Jovenes Unidos unpacked “The $3.4 Trillion Mistake.” Yes, trillion. They explored what would happen if we divested state and federal funding away from the current criminal justice complex and instead funnelled that money back into the communities that need it most. Digest their findings for yourself.
The panelists made it clear that, contrary to what politicians say, there is money. It’s just not being invested in low-income communities of color. Armed with this knowledge, we were called upon to dismantle the mechanisms of controls—which include the public education and criminal justice systems.
In the hours leading up to lunch (which was delicious by the way), attendees participated in the workshops of their choice. Topics ranged from sharing stories for youth affected by the school-to-prison pipeline to the science behind what happens to a child’s brain when stymied by toxic stress.
After lunch attendees were treated to a frank discussion about money with the brilliant and funny Dr. Julianne Malveaux—renowned economist, author and economic justice powerhouse. She didn’t shy away from talking about politics and the power structures that fuel economic inequality. She didn’t say money was the root of all evil, rather, the love of it. She urged all of us to become financially literate. In her own words: “Economic ignorance is not cute.”