“Stop Killing Us” 3 Things to Do With Your Grief and Rage


Police dressed in riot gear accost peaceful protester in sundress. Baton Rouge. Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Reuters.

To be candid, this past week I’ve struggled to write Field Notes. As you know, at Progressive Pupil we strive to remain optimistic. A steadfast faith in the power of collective action and community-based leadership, rooted in the successes of social movements in the past, drives our work. Hearing the news of the killing of Philando Castile in Minneapolis, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, and Delrawn Small in New York, as well as witnessing the grief of their children, tested that faith.

I lost my mother and grandfather (who was a surrogate father to me) a few years ago and understand the pain of losing a parent as an adult. I can only begin to imagine the despair losing a parent causes a child. Seeing Alton Sterling’s 15 year-old burst into tears, nearly collapsing from grief, while his mother expressed outrage about his father’s death overwhelmed me with sadness and frustration. At a press conference, they stood in front of a sign that read “Stop Killing Us.”

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Podcast: Schools or Prisons?

In some neighborhoods, public schools feel more like prisons than schools. In this episode, former social worker and attorney Helen Higginbotham discusses the policing of children in schools with BLACK AND CUBA director Robin J. Hayes.

Written/Directed/Produced by:
Ariana Arancibia
Phyllis Ellington
Echo Sutterfield

Executive Produced by:
Dr. Robin J. Hayes

Recorded in New York City at TNS_Logo1_Small_RGB

Podcast: Segregation Education Nation

In this episode of Breaking Down Racism, a former PTA president of an East Village, New York City school speaks candidly about inequality in New York City’s public school system.  What do you think about segregation in public schools? Tell us in the comment section below.

Produced/Directed/Written by: Alina Baboolal, Nicole Moore and Phuong Nguyen

Hosted/Executive Produced by: Robin J. Hayes, PhD

Recorded at The New School in New York City.

Students at Public School 188 in Manhattan 2009 by Annie Tritt courtesy The New York Times

 

Glossary: Broken Windows

Vintage Policing

Any theory is just a theory. It can never be fully proven, but it can always be debunked. The Broken Windows Theory has been used to justify aggressive policing of identified ‘unsafe‘ areas. Broken Windows policing violates rights, moral ground, and creates a perception of criminality amongst certain communities. Introduced in 1982, the criminological theory is rooted in the belief that people view disorder as a breeding ground for crime. The example often used (and the theory’s namesake) is a broken window in a building or a car, more damage to the car or building would encourage several undesirable actions including, vandalism, loitering, and squatting. Ultimately, the theory alludes that police can make an area, or an entire city, safer by focusing on smaller crimes that may build up to larger acts of crime.
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Dominican Hair

Nedra Sandiford Dominican Hair Accompanying Photo (twitter,facebook)

We are constantly being confronted with images of how things are and how things should be. Worldwide, the prevailing image of beauty is no doubt becoming more inclusive. However, it continues to discreetly assert certain traits as more preferable, promoting pale skin and long, straight hair as the definition of beauty. Because of the dominance and prevalence of these images, some women go lengths just to achieve this look, even if it means disguising their roots.

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Principal Organizer Robin J. Hayes, PhD at the Free University

Progressive Pupil’s Principal Organizer, Robin J. Hayes will be leading a teach-in on the topic of Capitalism and the limits of pragmatism today from 4-5:50 PM at the Free University in Madison Square Park, New York City. Some of the questions that will be discussed include:

  • What are the limits welfare capitalism?
  • How can we eliminate domination and oppression?
  • Is it pragmatic to be optimistic about social justice?

The class will be located in Section L and is free and open to the public. We welcome your participation and input.