PRAXIS YOUTH ORGANIZING CONFERENCE
It is with heavy hearts that we have decided to postpone the PRAXIS 2020 conference due to the spread of COVID-19 and national call to cancel large gatherings. While we only have one confirmed case of the virus in Pima County at this time, several youth groups scheduled to present are unable to travel due to current school district travel restrictions. We hope this preventative measure increases the chances of keeping everyone safe and do hope to reschedule the conference for the fall.
As we monitor the situation and develop plans to move forward, we will be in touch with each of you to share details.
PRAXIS 2020 Conference Planning Committee
Meet some of our PRAXIS 2020 Presenters!
NAACP Youth Council – Seattle
“In the fall of 2016, when an elementary school in Seattle faced a bomb threat because teachers and community members dared to declare that the lives of Black students mattered, Seattle educators responded with a day of action – Black Lives Matter at School – during which thousands of educators wore Black Lives Matter at School t-shirts and taught lessons about racism. This historic day in Seattle has grown to become a national week of action centered on four demands: ending zero tolerance policies, mandating Black history and ethnic studies, hiring more black teachers, and funding counselors, not cops, in our schools. The NAACP Youth Council is fighting for these demands, as well as others, in Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to make the district and the greater Seattle area a more equitable place. In our workshop, we will discuss the Black Lives Matter at School movement, as well as the intractable racism commonplace in our public schools that led to it, even in what’s known as a “liberal” city. Sharing our personal experiences within the system, we will elaborate on the NAACP Youth Council’s demands, our efforts to realize them, and lessons learned from our successes and failures. Finally, we will strategize with participants how to grow the coalition of youth – the group too often kept from decision-making bodies — so that together we can work for racial justice and create the schools that we deserve.”
Garfield High School Social Justice Club – Los Angeles
“The Garfield High School Social Justice Club is part of a larger Los Angeles-based organization called “Students Deserve”. We have worked on issues that relate to “fighting for the schools Los Angeles students deserve”, such as the fight against random searches and the fight for more mental health services in our schools. We were part of the historic teacher strike in 2019 and the LA school board’s decision to end the racist random search policy. We meet once a week as a school club, and we also meet once a month with other chapters in Los Angeles to plan vision, goals, strategy and tactics. We are interested in gaining more resources at our schools to lower class size, increase support staff, and provide supports such as legal assistance for undocumented students and psychiatric social workers at our schools. We learn about our role in the larger fights against the school to prison pipeline, and all systems of oppression. We would like to present on the Students Deserve framework, how we organize chapters at our schools, and how other schools across the nation can get involved. Our goal at the Praxis Joining Forces Conference is to network with others who would like to participate in the fight to create equitable, fully funded schools across the nation.”
Sunrise Tucson & High Schoolers 4 Climate Justice
“Sunrise Tucson & High Schoolers 4 Climate Justice invite you to a presentation on organizing principles and on the next steps for organizing a mass nonviolent direct action to help prevent the climate crisis and create millions of good paying jobs in the process. At the presentation you will learn more about the background of the Sunrise Movement and how we are drawing on the history of nonviolent action and strikes to build our movement and to create change. We will be sharing about our fight for a livable future for all and ways we can all join forces to ensure a just transition away from fossil fuels that protects those who are feeling and will feel the climate crisis the most, especially youth. Come learn, organize, and fight for our future.”
PRAXIS Youth Organizing Conference Mission Statement:
“Liberation is a praxis : the action and reflection of people, upon their world, in order to transform it.”
― Paulo Freire
PRAXIS Youth Organizing Conference is a conference for youth to explore, learn, network and collaborate on community organizing and social justice issues. The conference is focused on supporting existing youth groups and inspiring new ones to emerge. This will happen through workshops, student and youth group presentations, and keynote sessions. The academic model used during this conference will challenge students to engage in critical thinking around issues facing them, their communities and the world today.
The theme of this years PRAXIS conference is “Joining Forces”. Joining Forces means prioritizing the development of new relationships and partnerships in social justice and organizing spaces as a way to build power in our networks. PRAXIS will stress the importance of how ordinary people, and most importantly youth, can collectively create (through vision and action) a more just world that we want to live in.
Registration is closed; we hope to see you next year!
For more info. or to connect with Praxis, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a look at the Program Outline for 2020:
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