Stolen Education: The Inequity of Education, Race, and Political Power
Lower 9th ward. Credit from 2017 participants
Our program will be rooted in Critical Race Theory, with a narrow focus on Environmental Racism and Justice, and Education Inequity. Starting with the Environmental Racism that can be found in the policy proposals historically made by the officials in New Orleans and what repercussion this policy choice had on the 9th Ward following Hurricane Katrina. We will delve into the community activism-- including Ninth Ward Civic Improvement League 1940’s and the Coalition to Save the Ninth Ward-- that took place in protest by various New Orleans communities, and consider which had larger political capital and effect in influencing the actions of the lawmakers and the National Guard. More specifically we will look at the role of political capital and disenfranchisement of low income communities of color played in the privatization of education. Included in this will be historic policy decisions made by Governor Kathleen Blanco to make the Recovery School District the wealthiest education system following Hurricane Katrina and the effect that this had on public, underfunded, and devastated schools.
March 9, 2018: Flying out of DC, landing in NOLA. Get settled in Project Homecoming. Shop for produce, students are permitted to walk around the community, but should be thoughtful in making sure they are not being intrusive.
March 12, 2017: First half of the day will include a panel with Community Activists (Lower 9th Ward Museum, The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice) Second half will be spent exploring the French Quarter.
March 13, 2017: In the morning we will meet with the United Saints Recovery Project or have a tour of Project Homecoming recovery sites. Following this we will visit the Lower Ninth Ward Museum. To digest what we experienced at the museum, we will have lunch at a local park where we can have an open dialogue.
March 14, 2017: The first half of the school day will consist of working in classrooms and assisting teachers in KIPP Central City Academy. The second half we will visit Arise Academy to offer whatever assistance is needed.
March 15, 2017: The morning will be spent brainstorming post-trip activism ideas. We will then visit Boys Hope Girls Hope New Orleans. We will end the night by driving to a different part of New Orleans, the one where Tulane students reside to watch a Poetry Jam.
March 16, 2017: In the morning we will arrive at APEX Youth Center. Students will have an opportunity to engage with the students they taught during KIPP classrooms in a different setting, Discover Fest After School Program Site.
March 17, 2017: This day will be designed by the trip participants. The intent behind this is to provide students with a chance to experience more New Orleans culture. Critical Final Discussion over Group Dinner. Explore parts of NOLA city life
Jacqueline Lantsman (she/her/hers) is a junior majoring in Public Health in the College of Arts and Science, and minoring in Education Studies and Justice. A low income, first generation college student, raised in Brooklyn, New York, she witnessed the inequity in education and health care between low-income and upper income households. Since then she has been advocating for equity and self-care education within K-12 schools, which she considers tools for neighborhood empowerment and community engagement. Her previous experience includes interning with NextGenVest, a NYC based education literacy tech startup, working on curriculum development for American University Experience (AUx), Interning with Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, and conducting research with two of her professors on topics of education inequity amongst Newark public schools and the death row community in the United States. Her advocacy and research on improved healthcare for inmates living in Correctional Institutions was recognized by the Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Student Health Scholarship. This upcoming year in addition to Co-Leading the Alternative Break to NOLA she will be interning with American University Experience (AUx), Peer-Mentoring for Complex Problems, Envisioning and Inclusive Future, and continuing her research on the subject of death row inmates across the U.S. She is thrilled to continue the necessary discussion about international service learning in conjunction with the New Orleans community.
Elizabeth Guillen (she/her/hers) is a junior double majoring in Sociology and Secondary Education. She is a member of both Phi Sigma Sigma and Alpha Phi Omega. During her free time she loves to read, travel and explore new places. Her favorite spot in DC is the Jefferson Memorial. As a daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college student, she witnessed and experienced some of the educational disparities affecting America’s educational system. Her experience with education has come vastly from being a student, but also interning with Horizons and Practice Makes Perfect in addition to volunteering with Horton’s Kids and the Latin American Youth Center here in DC. Elizabeth has had a passion for serving others through education for as long as she can remember. This past March, she attended the New Orleans Alternative break, which was a life changing experience. She is looking forward to working with others on an issue plaguing America’s public schools.