Organizing a Black Lives Matter Week of Action

Kendra Brooks, Shira Cohen, Kelley Collings, Ismael Jimenez, Shaw MacQueen
Caucus of Working Educators of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
Saturday, 11:15 pm to 12:45 pm -- Sellinger 003

From January 23-28, 2017, over 100 schools throughout the Philadelphia region participated in a Black Lives Matter Week of Action sponsored by the Caucus of Working Educators, a caucus in the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers committed to social justice. Organizers in the Caucus, motivated by the need to organize for racial justice in our school system and union, planned a week based on the 13 guiding principles of Black Lives Matter. Hundreds of educators, students, parents, community members, university level professors, and organizations in Philadelphia built a campaign, that included actions in schools; citywide public events and panels; shareable curriculum and resources; visual and written media; and statements of support that reached people across the country. In this workshop we will focus on grounding our organizing work in racial justice; how the Caucus organized the Black Lives Matter Week of Action; and create space for participants to organize their own work in and beyond their schools in the coming year.