On February 11th, 2023 Racial Justice NOW! in partnership with the Wayfinder Foundation hosted a white paper launch in the nation’s capitol Washington, D.C. In the historic U Street neighborhood, spectators filled the room of the Thurgood Marshall Center to hear keynote speaker Dr. Chike Akua present his Whitepaper titled- “Dismantling the Pre-School to Prison Pipeline Through Black Literacy and Education for Transformation: Recommendations for School Leaders, Parents & Policymakers”.
This study was prepared by Chike Akua, Ph.D. for the Wayfinder Foundation and Racial Justice NOW! The whitepaper examines the relationship between the pre-school to prison pipeline and the need for increased and effective Black literacy and education.
In front of a filled gymnasium, Dr. Akua did not disappoint! His power point presentation sparked minds and granted listeners all kinds of new insights. After a nutritious lunch, RJN! founder and Co-Director, Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, facilitated two panel discussions that provided deeper insight into Dr. Akua’s presentation. The panel included public school teachers, community organizers, Wayfinders fellows and others.
The event ended with Brotherly Love (a youth project of Racial Justice NOW!) reciting by heart the student creed written by Dr Akua. Coincidentally, the members of Brotherly Love had been working to memorize the student creed for the last few months, so it was a surprise to Dr Akua, the Wayfinder Foundation, and the attendees!
The white paper provides a cultural and historical context for a better understanding of Black literacy and educational excellence, how it was disrupted and how it can be restored. It also provides guidance on how to move forward in building educational justice for black children.
The white paper launch was an epic success and will be followed with future events that span the country. The reality of the school to prison pipeline is a national challenge, as is the increased need for literacy.
Less than two weeks later, RJN! Co-Director, Hashim Jabar, delivered the whitepaper to the Montgomery County Maryland school board of education during the public comment section of the meeting.
To download the White Paper CLICK HERE