In a recent article, philanthropists, school officials, and nonprofit leaders gathered together to ascertain the educational reform fate of #Blacklivesmatter. Since the inception of anti-slavery concept it appears that any movement that can enhance the overall efforts to improve the quality of life for Blacks needs some additional approval. Determining the educational reform fate of #Blacklivesmatter is problematic because it does not lend to the necessary solution that has been long avoided by the historical participation of philanthropists, school officials, and nonprofit leaders.
According to the article, How an Elite Education Reform Conference Felt More Like a #BlackLivesMatter Rally, the NewSchools Venture Fund Summit in San Francisco had a resounding theme consistent with the vision outlined by #blacklivesmatter. During the conference more that 1,000 #blacklivesmatter buttons were distributed.
Even though there was a plethora of Hispanic and Black speakers, “White speakers vowed to be more vocal allies for racial equality amid their White peers, some even pledged to groom leaders of color within their organizations to be their successors.”
This surprising shift is a result of a promise from NewSchools CEO Stacey Childress. She promised to increase the number of historically underserved presenters by 50 percent and a 30 percent increase of inviting nonwhites to the conference.
This shift has resulted in a decrease in the number of more conservative supporters which is the bigger challenge for the #blacklivesmatter movement. It appears that the #blacklivesmatter has made those who are in opposition reframe from any involvement. This will lead those who oppose to develop strategies to further stifle any efforts to improve race relations.
What type of strategies does #blacklivesmatter utilize that would cause conservatives to become oppositional?
#BlackliveSmatter is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence toward black people. It regularly organizes protests around the deaths of black people in killings by law enforcement officers, and broader issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.
In 2013, the movement began with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin. #blacklivematter became nationally recognized for its street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans: Michael Brown, resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, and Eric Garner in New York City.
Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions or while in police custody, including those of Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Jonathan Ferrell, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose and Freddie Gray. In the summer of 2015, Black Lives Matter began to publicly challenge politicians—including politicians in the 2016 United States presidential election—to state their positions on #blacklivesmatter issues. The overall movement, however, is a decentralized network and has no formal hierarchy or structure.
Due to the process that #blacklivematter utilizes it will not benefit Black students in education. If students were to implement the same process they would be arrested and become part of the infamous school-to-prison pipeline. However, Dr. Derrick L. Campbell has several alternatives.
One alternative was conducted by Dr. Campbell. In a recent study, Black students responded to the racism in the classroom by offering to mentor incoming students who were having challenges with teachers.
The Interact Club was a school-sponsored club. The president for the Interact Club and the vice president met with me Dr. Campbell in his office and stated, “The school has a mentoring program for students who get in trouble, but the good students need mentoring, too.”
On student exclaimed that at her previous middle school they had a club called Ladies of Excellence. Female teachers mentored the female students. They met periodically and participated in community service projects. She said, “It was nice to see teachers in a different light.” I asked the student, “What do you recommend?” The student stated, “The Interact Club can have mentoring for students.” Several months passed, and the sponsoring teacher and the president of the Interact Club requested that I help them get started with the new adventure that would mentor incoming ninth-grade students.
When I meet with the students, I began the process by having the students write their personal vision. Most students’ personal visions included helping ninth-grade students adjust to teachers at the school.
Afterwards, we developed a shared vision. This shared vision development included the teachers participation. The shared vision we developed was “Our vision is to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment for [School name] incoming freshman in a place they can have positive interactions with people inside and outside of school.” After a few months passed, the teacher submitted a proposal for the new mentoring program that took effect in the next academic year.
This is why #blacklivesmatter does not belong in education reform because students need to learn how to use the education system to enhance their overall education.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
The Raccelerate Phenomenon
Treasures of Hidden Racism in Education
“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.
~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”
~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President