Happy back to school week! We hope you all are ready for another school year of fighting for education justice, and that all our students are enjoying their first few days of school.
We want you all to know that since September 6th was National Read a Book Day, and today is International Literacy Day, we thought it was only right to update you on all things literacy we’ve got going on, and let you know how to get involved!
Check out this newsletter to see what we’ve been up to, and what we got coming up!
Youth Organizing Department Updates
Civil Rights Immersion Trip: 482Forward sent 4 youth and an adult ally on a weeklong trip across the southern United States to explore cities and sites important to historical and contemporary civil rights movements. Our youth got to know other young people from Battle Creek, learn more about Black history and resilience, and think about how historical movements connect to their organizing work today.
Youth Organizing Institute: 482Forward‘s Youth Organizing Collective also hosted their annual Youth Organizing Institute in August! 40 youth were taught new organizing skills to get ready for the 2023-2024 school year!
Bold and Gold Camping Trip x DAYUM x COC: 482Forward, DAYUM, and COC partnered together for a camping trip to Indiana Dunes to immerse our students in nature and what it means to care for our surroundings.
Literacy is Liberation/Task Force Updates
So far, the Detroit Equity Literacy Task force has hosted one community meeting. This task force is made up of parents, students, community members, and district officials/literacy experts. There will be four more community meetings across the city, before October, to listen to community members and hear how we believe the district should spend the money to improve literacy.
Don’t miss out on the next community task force meeting, September 11th from 5-6:30pm on Zoom. We will text and email out the link once we receive it. And, if you want to know our recommendations for the district, and why this literacy conversation is so important, keep a lookout on our social media for updates.
Here is a flier with all community task force meeting dates, times and locations.
Board Member Highlight
Christine Bell, LMSW is a community and youth development practitioner, teacher and mentor with 18 years of experience, 16 of those years have been in Detroit neighborhoods. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Urban Neighborhood Initiatives. She was the architect of 9 high quality youth development programs, including the Southwest Detroit Mural Arts Project, and has been a leader in efforts focused on education and youth-driven community development. She is an adjunct professor at Madonna University in the social work department. Ms. Bell holds a bachelors degree in social work from Michigan State University (2001) and a masters degree in social work from Wayne State University (2006). Most importantly, Ms. Bell is a wife and mother to three beautiful children, Louis (5), Quintin (3) and Emersyn (1).
- Our next orientation will be September 16th from 11am-12pm, at TechTown, Detroit, 440 Burroughs. If you are a new member interested in going through orientation, please click here for more information.
- Don’t miss our screening of “The Right to Read” film, September 18th, where we’ll learn about the literacy problem that we’re facing across the nation, and the specifics about the science/process of learning to read. We will be hosting this event in partnership with MI Students Dream, and you can register here!
- We will be hosting our Team Huddle September 30th, an invite to all core members will be sent out this week to register. There will be information coming soon regarding the time, location, and discussion topic.
- And don’t forget about our Literacy is Liberation Conference, which will be November 4th. You can register here, and the save the date is below
Policy Updates from LAW
Another school year has begun and just like that, SUMMER is over!
Our Michigan Legislature is now officially back in session. As the year is officially winding down, we have to pay close attention to how the legislature will end 2023 and how we prepare for 2024. Word has it that the legislature will have “jam-packed” sessions now through the November 2023 elections. Side note: There are a series of recall efforts set to hit the ballot November 2023. At least 5 House Democrats and 1 Republican face recall petitions. This may be one to watch because of the potential impact it could have on the House majority. Let’s make sure that we don’t miss any opportunity to communicate with our legislators and push on the issues that matter most to our communities. Dates to remember: September 30th, 482 Forward team huddle and brunch with Detroit Legislators. Oct 4th, MEJC Billion Dollar Bake Sale & our Legislator Lunch & Learn in Lansing- ALL are encouraged to attend.