Justice for children sounds simple enough, but it’s not. It requires families, communities, nonprofits and others to come together. Education is a key pillar of this platform, but providing a proper education means holding leaders accountable to invest in it. 

In that spirit, brightbeam (the parent organization of Citizen Ed), in partnership with Forward Promise, the Wayfinder Foundation and the Opportunity Institute, are hosting a virtual town hall called “Seeking Child Justice and Reimagining Whole Child Education in COVID-19 and Beyond.” Hosted by brightbeam National Director of Activism Zakiya Sankara-Jabar (follow her on Twitter if you don’t already), the June 10 Facebook Live-YouTube live stream will discuss the ins and outs of how to address the whole child in education, and how that affects students for the rest of their lives.

WATCH: https://www.facebook.com/CitizenEdForward/videos/296538091529524/

Guest panelists include brightbeam CEO Chris Stewart, Wayfinder’s Nekima Levy Armstrong, the Opportunity Institute’s Kedda Williams, Forward Promise’s Rhonda Bryant and “Black Boy Poems” author Tyson Amir

Discussion topics include the social determinants of health, how schools can work to improve children’s overall health and more. The discussion goes live Wednesday, June 10, at noon Eastern. We’ll see you there. 

Learn more about…

Brightbeam is a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and a brighter future for every child. 

It is the umbrella organization for the platforms known as Citizen EdEducation Post, Project Forever Free, and more than 20 other local and regional sites that spotlight education issues nationally. 

One of brightbeam’s primary concerns is that, in many of America’s most progressive cities, hidden in the shadows of all that prosperity are too many children who will never enjoy all that their city has to offer. See brightbeam’s report, “The Secret Shame: How America’s Most Progressive Cities Betray Their Commitment to Educational Opportunity for All,” by clicking here.

Zakiya Sankara-Jabar is the national director of activism at brightbeam. She is the co-founder of Racial Justice NOW! and most recently served as the National Field Organizer at Dignity in Schools Campaign. Zakiya came to organizing, advocacy, and policy work organically as a parent pushing back on harmful school discipline policies that disproportionately impact Black students and their families. Zakiya’s organizing and advocacy acumen has led to significant policy changes at the local and state level in the State of Ohio. Since then, Zakiya has worked in communities all across the country sharing tools, strategies, and skills with Black parents to shift education policy and practice.

Zakiya has been named to the inaugural #Power50 leadership fellowship for women of color with Community Change and the Community Activist Fellowship with Wayfinder Foundation. Zakiya is a preeminent thought leader in racial and education justice and has received numerous awards. In her free time, Zakiya enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and 2 children.

Chris Stewart is the chief executive officer of brightbeam. He was named CEO in April 2019, after formerly serving as chief executive of Wayfinder Foundation. He is a lifelong activist and 20-year supporter of nonprofit and education-related causes. In the past, Stewart has served as the director of outreach and external affairs for Education Post, the executive director of the African American Leadership Forum (AALF), and an elected member of the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education where he was radicalized by witnessing the many systemic inequities that hold our children back.

In 2007 Chris was elected to the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education. In that role, he helped establish the Office of New Schools, an area of the Minneapolis Public Schools to implement school reform strategies. At the same time he created the Equity and Achievement Committee, authored a board-level “Covenant with the African American Community,” and advocated safe, orderly, and rigorous schools that prepare students for the real world.

Forward Promise
“Forward Promise is a national program that seeks to build and strengthen the villages that raise and empower boys and young men of color to heal, grow and thrive.”

Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant is deputy director of Forward Promise and president and CEO at The Moriah Group, an international consulting firm, based in Huntsville, Alabama. Dr. Bryant has over 20 years of work experience focused on issues of children of color across the age span of birth to young adulthood in the areas of program development and public policy advocacy. Her expertise has been integral to advancing the national work on BMOC through her prior work with Forward Promise and other initiatives. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services, a master’s degree in Urban Affairs & Public Policy, and a doctorate in Education Leadership.

The Opportunity Institute
“We work to increase social and economic mobility and advance racial equity through partnership and collaboration with those seeking to promote systems change.”

Kedda Williams is the deputy director of the Opportunity Institute’s P-12 program where she holds an internal leadership role focused on organizational strategic planning, fundraising, and administration. Kedda continues to act as Senior Program Director of State and Local Networks where she leads the development and implementation of national-level policy guidance that seeks to advance equity through meaningful stakeholder engagement at the state and local levels.

Related Links:

The Wayfinder Foundation
“Our strategy is radically simple: Invest in women. Change the world.”

Nekima Levy Armstrong is a civil rights attorney, activist, and the executive director for Wayfinder Foundation. She previously served as a Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas Law School for thirteen years, where she founded and directed the Community Justice Project, an award-winning civil rights legal clinic.

Black Boy Poems

Tyson Amir is a rapper blessed with a poignant message, electrifying cadence, enlightening lyrics and it all combines to form a music with enough heart and soul to move a generation. Tyson is also a poet, emcee, educator, author, activist but if you ask him he’ll say he’s “a freedom fighter”. His fight is born out of love for humanity, justice and peace for all. Each one of these layers are intricately woven into his praxis and practice.

Related Links:

  • Email Tyson Amir at [email protected] for a sample of the Black Boy Poems online curriculum.


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