This is our first 482Forward blog! We’ll be updating these (at least) monthly in order to keep our members, and interested community members up to speed on 482Forward events and happenings!
We’re so excited to see what we can build this year as a network. This year we are focusing on making sure our member support is stronger and you are clearer as members about how to get involved in our campaigns.
In this blog below we are laying out a few things:
1) What are action teams? Who leads the 482Forward action team?
2) What are committees? Who leads the committees?
3) What are the 482Forward platform planks?
An Action Team is the basic building block of 482Forward. Action Teams are responsible for training members to lead local campaigns, listening and spreading the word in the community that they serve. They are usually made up participants from the Organizational Member that is hosting that Action Team.
- MISD (MIStudentsDream)-Lead is Yvonne Naverette- Southwest Detroit
- TANN (Taking Action for Nuestros Ninos)- Lead Cristian Aranda- Southwest Detroit
- JIRON (Join In To Revitalize Our Neighborhoods) -Lead Mariam Bazzi- Southwest Detroit
- ELITE (Education engaged Leaders Initiating Tomorrow’s Education- Lead AnaLisa Alvarez- Southwest Detroit
- PODER (Padres Oganizado Demandan Educacion Real)- Lead Cindy Gamboa- Southwest Detroit
- BEAT (Brightmoor Education Action Team)- Lead Jerrica Mickens-Brightmoor
- HEAT (Hope Village Education Action Team) – Lead Tinu Usoro- Hope Village
- NEAT (Neighborhood East Action Team) -Krystina Wilson-Kendrick – East Detroit
- DMYC (Detroit Muslim Youth Council) – Mohammad Muntakim- Citywide
If we do not have an Action Team in your neighborhood, you may want to participate instead by joining a Network Committee. Network Committees support our campaigns by training our members to be experts in Policy, Media Arts, Training, Research, and Membership (Outreach).
- 482 FACT: Focuses on research that seeds and supports our organizing campaigns.
- 482LAW: Tracks and analyzes legislation relevant to education justice, engages with current electeds.
- 482TALKS: Generates media to spread the word about our campaigns and educate the public about key issues
- 482TRAIN: Develops skills and knowledge-building trainings ,ost relevant to our work. The Adult organizing collective is a major part of this.
- 482VOTE: Engages our members and communities to turn out informed voters inlocal, statewide, and federal elections.
- YOC ( Youth Organizing Collective): Middle and high school students join (as individuals or through our member organizations) to learn more about our school system, develop organizing skills, and participate in education justice campaigns
- MEJC (Michigan Education Justice Coalition): Education justice organizations around the state who are members of MEJC participate in statewide campaigns, events, and actions led by 482Forward
- AOC (Adult Organizing Collective): An application-based opportunity for AOC Fellows to deepen their skills around organizing tools and practices.
Recent Events & Updates
Your Brain on School- a 482Forward YOC & Congress of Communities Art Exhibit
February 11, Youth organizers and artists from Congress of Communities and 482Forward have been working together for the past year to build an immersive art installation showing the impacts of school on Detroit students. Watch this video to take a virtual tour through the exhibit, and read more about the project in this Michigan Radio article.
482Forward members voted YES to launch campaigns on the following:
- Full and Fair Funding: To launch a campaign to fully and fairly fund public education in Detroit and throughout Michigan. This campaign will work with our statewide partner MEJC
- Welcoming, Inclusive, and Community-Centered Schools: To launch a campaign to build welcoming, inclusive, and community-centered schools in Detroit
- Charter Organizing Committee: To launch a committee to explore how to effectively organize charter parents, students, and staff
- Repeal the law that retains third grade students: To launch a campaign to support the repeal of the law that retains third grade students for low reading scores and build proposals for alternatives that will support literacy in Detroit. UPDATE: The House and Senate are voting to repeal the retention of 3rd graders now. 482FACT is finalizing a report on best practice on how to support literacy in Detroit.
- 5.Transportation Plank: To add a new Platform amendment to the 482Forward plank to include equitable transportation. UPDATE: 482Forward will sign on to support the Transportation Riders United Campaign to increase DDOT budget to hire 100 new bus drivers
- If you are interested in supporting a campaign please reach out to molly@482Forward.org here.
Upcoming Orientations- All 482Forward members go through an initial orientation to become a member. If you aren’t a member but you want to become one, or if you know someone who should be a member, feel free to click these links and register for our next orientation.
Our next orientation is March 11, 2023 from 11am-12pm via Zoom
3rd Grade Retention Law
- The Policy
- What is the 3rd grade reading law?
- The 3rd grade reading law was first implemented in the 2019 school year. Each year, Kindergarten through 3rd grade, students would be given a reading assessment. If the assessment identifies students as having a ‘reading concern’, the school has to make an Individualized Reading Improvement Plan (IRIP). Students that have IRIPs are assessed several times throughout the year. If by third grade they are still a grade or below on their reading as measured by MSTEP, then they may be held back.
- What’s the problem?
- Research by Andrew Martin published in 2010 shows that holding kids back a grade harms a student in several ways; they often miss more school, complete less homework, and holding back damages their self-esteem. Further, families could argue against their student being held back, while other families may not have known that was an option, potentially exacerbating socioeconomic discrepancies.
- What work have we done around it?
- As you all know, we’ve been heavily supporting this bill as an organization, alongside our partners. A few of our members personally went to Lansing to support this bill on January 31, and we will continue to keep you all updated as it makes its way to Governor Whitmer.
- Here is a video of Arlyssa and our member, William Weir, testifying: https://drive.google.com/file/
d/1-CmsUbvTEJCi- leHSIYMYEpiI3M3DhX8/view?usp= sharing
- Why should people care about this?
- Students should not be possibly permanently damaged in regards to their education, which is currently what the law does. Instead, we need to work on relieving struggling students of pressures, stresses, frustrations,etc. that keep them from achieving literacy. Further, we need to address socioeconomic inequities that make educational challenges worse for students.
- What should people do?
- Since the bill has passed the Senate, call their state representative and tell them that they support the modification of the 3rd grade reading law to remove 3rd grade retention.
School Safety/Gun laws
- What is it?
- The Senate and House both introduced packages of bills to curb gun violence, including things like “universal background checks to prevent private sale loopholes, creating secure storage laws, and establishing extreme risk protections orders, which are also known as “red flag laws,” which allow courts to temporarily remove firearms from those who pose a threat to themselves or others.”
- What isn’t as well known right now is also a package of bills introduced in the House specifically about safety in schools. HB 4088 – 4100 all involve increasing security and mental health supports in schools. Some of the measures include: updating school emergency operations plans and creating crisis teams within schools; using police to train educators for crises; creating a school safety and mental health commission which will attempt to address teen suicides and other issues; increasing lockdown drills; and creating positions within districts for mental health and emergency coordinators.
- What’s the problem?
- Gun violence continues to plague public spaces and schools. Schools seem to be especially vulnerable to right-wing terrorist attacks. Last week a gunman shot up Michigan State University, killing and maiming several people. It’s the 67th mass violent event in 50-something days in the US.
- The package of bills is largely around providing multiple trainings and plans for educational employees and school resource officers. Criticisms of training for school crises, such as ALICE, revolve around several larger key points. First, they do not address the root of the issue, which is that people have essentially unfettered access to deadly weapons. Second, the funding for such training feeds into law enforcement, and tends to reinforce the school-to-prison pipeline.
- In terms of mental health, while programs like OK2SAY are of possible benefit to students, the root causes of mental health issues must be addressed – namely that we live in a dehumanizing capitalist system that has clearly demonstrated to youth that human lives do not matter; one only has to look at recent news reports to see global industrial disasters, increasing cancer rates, extreme effects of global warming, not to mention mass shootings, and the ongoing mass disabling event known as the COVID pandemic.
- Why should people care about this?
- This problem impacts everyone, because everyone is impacted by gun violence. Parents should not have to worry about their students’ safety in somewhere as sacred as a school building. And teachers shouldn’t have to fear for their lives doing what they love to do.
- What happened that makes this news right now?
- We specifically want to take this as a moment to honor the three lives lost, Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser, and Alexandria Verner, along with the other eight students who were harmed in this tragic incident.
- What should people do?
- Call their Senators and Representatives to pass the gun control packages of bills.
- Donate to the gofundmes of those students impacted in MSU’s unfortunate tragedy
- Guadalupe Huapilla-Perez- https://www.gofundme.com/f/
- Memorial for Arielle- https://www.gofundme.com/f/
- Nate Statley- https://www.gofundme.com/f/
funds-for-the-family-of-nate- statly?qid= e3b11634f054e0a11be527d702bcf5 04
Thanks for reading, and make sure to check our home page for upcoming events!