The Black Lives Matter At School national week of action has received endorsements from many leaders across the country in the struggle for racial justice, as well as by hundreds of professors, educators, and community activists. Additionally, the National Education Association, the largest union representing teachers and other educators in the country, voted to endorse BLM@School.

Below is the solidarity statement with the list of notable signatories from the 2018 BLM At School week of action.

We, the undersigned, are writing in support of a new uprising for racial justice that is being organized by educators around the country who have declared February 5-9, 2018, “Black Lives Matter at School Week.” Many thousands of educators will be wearing shirts to school that say, “Black Lives Matter at School” and will teach lessons about structural racism, intersectional Black identities, and Black history in cities all across the country.

At a time when the president makes openly racist statements about Africa, Haiti and El Salvador, it is more important than ever to support antiracist pedagogy and support Black students.  In addition, in this era of mass incarceration, there is a school-to-prison-pipeline system that is more invested in locking up youth than unlocking their minds.

That system uses harsh discipline policies that push Black students out of schools at disproportionate rates; denies students the right to learn about their own cultures and whitewashes the curriculum to exclude many of the struggles and contributions of Black people and other people of color; and is pushing out Black teachers from the schools in cities around the country. That is why we support the three demands issued by the Black Lives Matter at School movement:

1) End zero tolerance discipline, implement restorative justice

2) Hire more Black teachers

3) Mandate Black history/Ethnic Studies, K-12

Show your solidarity during this week of struggle by wearing your Black Lives Matter shirt to school or to work.

Signed,

Opal Tometi

 

Co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter; Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

 

Assistant professor of African-American Studies at Princeton University

Curtis Acosta

 

Former Mexican American Studies Teacher, Assistant Professor, Language and Culture in Education, University of Arizona South

Sam Anderson

National Black Education Agenda, retired Math & Black History professor

Jose Antonio Vargas

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, filmmaker, and founder/CEO of Define American

Wayne Au

 

Professor, School of Educational Studies, University of Washington Bothell

Bill Ayers

 

Distinguished Professor of Education (retired), UIC

Michael Bennett

 

Pro Bowl defensive end, Seattle Seahawks

Bill Bigelow

 

Curriculum Editor, Rethinking Schools magazine

Judith Browne Dianis

 

Executive Director, Advancement Project, National Office

John Carlos

 

Bronze-medal winner in the 200 meters at the 1968 Summer Olympics

Nancy Carlsson-Paige

 

Professor Emerita, Lesley University; Senior Advisor Defending the Early Years

Linda Christensen

 

Oregon Writing Project

Noura Erakat

 

Human Rights Attorney and Assistant Professor, George Mason University

Eve L. Ewing

 

University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration

Kevin James

 

Emcee Son of Nun, fmr. Baltimore City HS Teacher

Brian Jones

 

City University of New York Graduate Center

Ibram X. Kendi

 

Director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center and National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.

Joyce King

 

Benjamin E Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning and Leadership, Georgia State University, President, The Academy for Diaspora Literacy, Inc.

Shaun King

 

Columnist for The Intercept

Jonathan Kozol

 

Teacher, Author, of Shame of the Nation, Savage Inequalities, and the National Book Award-winner, Death at an Early Age

Jia Lee

 

Member, Movement Of Rank-and-file Educators and Change the Stakes/NYCOPTOUT

Barbara Madeloni

President, Massachusetts Teachers Association

Edwin Mayorga

 

Assistant Professor, Swarthmore College, Dept. of Educational Studies, Prog. Latin American and Latino Studies

Deborah Menkart

 

Executive Director, Teaching for Change

Tom Morello

 

Musician, Rage Against the Machine, Prophets of Rage

Pedro A. Noguera

Distinguished Professor of Education

UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies

Nikkita Oliver

 

Community Organizer

Alex Caputo Pearl

 

President, United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)

Bob Peterson

 

Rethinking Schools Editor, Past President of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association

Bree Picower

 

Associate Professor, College of Education and Human Services, Montclair State University

Adam Sanchez

 

Organizer and curriculum writer, Zinn Education Project

David Stovall

 

Professor, Educational Policy Studies and African-American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

Jose Luis Vilson

 

Math Teacher, NYC Department of Education, Executive Director, EduColor

Dyan Watson

 

Associate Professor of Education, Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling

Yohuru Williams

 

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of St. Thomas; Board of Directors, Network for Public Education