ERIC Number: ED478669
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Community Organizing for School Reform in the Mississippi Delta.
Racism is still the central problem in Mississippi. The White community resists participation by African Americans in every aspect of political, economic, educational, and cultural life. Education is the key to breaking the system, and it is no secret that the state's school boards, legislators, and corporations want to keep Black children and other children of color undereducated. Mississippi maintains a dual, segregated education system: Whites attend private academies, and Blacks attend public schools. Educational problems facing Mississippi Blacks include high-stakes testing with no accountability for teachers or schools, corporal punishment, and criminalization of students. Empowerment of the African American community is essential. The Mississippi Education Working Group (MEWG) is a coalition of grassroots community organizations working in their local school districts to improve educational opportunities for African Americans. MEWG trains grassroots organizations to impact education policy in their local school districts and pools the resources of the local organizations to impact education policy at the state level. Profiles of six community organizations in the rural, impoverished Mississippi Delta region present community demographics, history, current work, accomplishments, and future goals. Common elements of these groups are their engagement in an ongoing meeting, training, and debriefing process; the active participation of young people through an intergenerational model of work; and their policy and legal work through MEWG. More resources for legal assistance are needed. Although most groups have large memberships, the bulk of the work falls on a dedicated few. Other existing groups that have the potential to engage in real organizing work are identified. (TD)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Activism, Black Education, Community Action, Community Organizations, Corporal Punishment, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Empowerment, Equal Education, Leadership Training, Politics of Education, Racial Discrimination, Rural Schools, School Segregation
For full text: http://www.nyu.edu/iesp/publications/cip/mapping/Mississippi_Delta_Report.PDF.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A