Girls for Gender Equity

Being in the streets and not following the rules can put you behind bars at a young age. Let's reduce the harsh discipline! - image and message by Margaret Grilliam.

Being in the streets and not following the rules can put you behind bars at a young age. Let’s reduce the harsh discipline! – image and message by Margaret Grilliam.

This past April, Progressive Pupil partnered with Girls for Gender Equity on an Image Voice Workshop that sought to reimagine “school pushout” through photography. Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is a Brooklyn-based organization that works to promote the physical, psychological, social and economic well-being of girls and women through coalition building and youth development programming that educates and empowers young women to question the status quo.  Led by Nefertiti Martin, community organizer for GGE and Progressive Pupil’s lead organizer, Dr. Robin Hayes, GGE’s motivated group of young women found a space to express their conflicted feelings around the punitive practice of rampant suspensions and expulsions for “bad” behavior in their high schools.

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Hoping for more on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

Photograph courtesy of KQED.org.

Photograph courtesy of KQED.org.

Most American cities have a Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, a boulevard that is almost always located in a struggling low-income Black neighborhood. Growing up in west Baltimore, MLK Jr. Blvd was known for a few things: its projects, the homeless people who lived under the bridge and as the dividing line for several extremely impoverished, mostly Black neighborhoods from the extremely White and wealthy downtown Baltimore.  Intersecting with MLK Jr. Blvd as you drive south is Baltimore’s famed “Highway to Nowhere” or an almost 1.5 mile expressway to West Baltimore that was constructed in the 70s, but required the displacement of thousands of Black Baltimoreans in the 60s and remains a source of generational mistrust for developers and politicians. Many Black families, my father’s included, were uprooted and though the “slum conditions” were considered cleaned up for many families who dispersed throughout the city, the conditions haven’t changed much and the doctor’s dream remains deferred.

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