Building Community in Our Schools
Contributor: Justice Matters
The purpose of Building Community In Our Schools module is to:
- To create authentic partnerships among parents, families, teachers, and administrators that lead to success in schools
- To support the creation of an educational culture that values and leverages the assets that all children possess, including children of color
- To understand how we, as societal members, become aware of others, their stories, and why they matter
Target audience: This module supports parents, teachers, and administrators through community building exercises that highlight the voices of parents in communities where they have, in the past, been unrecognized and unheard.
Building Community In Our Schools includes two core workshops provided by Justice Matters, an educational policy organization located in Oakland, California. The workshops include additional exercises and reflections contributed by World Trust.
“Justice Matters is dedicated to ensuring that education policy is rooted in community vision. As a racial justice movement building organization, we are actively engaged in powerfully amplifying the voices, visions, and values of communities of color. RacialEquityLearning.org gives us yet another platform to do our work.” – Olivia Araiza, Executive Director, Justice Matters
All handouts are found within the downloadable Facilitator’s Guide.
Section 1: Our Stories, Our Experiences Are How We Learn
This quote from Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot frames how listening to one another's stories is the first step in developing core values and beliefs.
Section 2: Using Art to Address Social Problems: Extreme Experiences All Over the World
This section features a video clip of Colombian artist, Doris Salcedo, discussing her work of art, Atrabiliarios, (Defiant Ones) which memorializes the disappeared people in Colombia. Discussion questions follow.
Sectino 3: Extreme Experiences In U.S. Schools: Our Disappeared
In this clip, Justice Matters Executive Director Olivia Araiza talks about how her language and culture were not appreciated or acknowledged in her Los Angeles high school.
Section 4: In My Shoes Community Mural Workshop
By inviting one another to stand and walk “In My Shoes,” this workshop provides the space for parents to learn from each other’s stories and develop stronger relationships among themselves, with teachers, and with administrators in order to empower them to influence the educational environment.
Section 5: In My Shoes Community Sculpture
In My Shoes Community Sculpture Activity articulates core beliefs through sculpture in order to build relationships and encourage leadership among parents, families, and communities.
Section 6: The Poetry in Me Writing Workshop
The Poetry in Me Writing Workshop uses the poem, On the Question of Race to help participants write their own poems, raps, or songs using their own cultural knowledge, history, and stories.