You Can't Build Peace with a Piece April Fools' Week of Action!

04 Apr in
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April Fools' Week of Action - Youth of Color Say Stop Foolish Policies, No More Police in Schools!

During the first week of April, youth of color in cities around the country held concerts, rallies, teach-ins and lobby visits to urge federal and local policy-makers to fund counselors, social workers and community intervention workers instead of foolish policies that would further criminalize students and put more police in schools in the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Sign the petition to President Obama and the U.S. Congress in support of the You Can't Build Peace with a Piece call for positive alternatives to police in schools. You can also read the full Statement by Youth of Color on School Safety and Gun Violence in America.

This call to action was led by youth of color-led organizations, including members of the Youth Justice Coalition from California and many others around the country, and is supported by allies from national groups such as the Dignity in Schools Campaign, Alliance for Educational Justice, Advancement Project, NAACP-Legal Defense Fund and ACLU.

Help Continue to Support and Promote the You Can't Build Peace With A Piece Campaign!

- Like You Can't Build Peace with a Piece on Facebook.

- Share and promote the Youth of Color statement.

- Sign-on to the petition.

- Use #nopiecewithapiece and #school2prison on Twitter when you post about You Can't Build Peace With A Piece and the petition.

Here are some highlights of actions and events that took place during the April Fools Week of Action:

Los Angeles, CA - On April 1 the Youth Justice Coalition hosted the L.A. for Youth Rally and Concert from 2-6pm at L.A. City Hall, 200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Click here to read a report back about the concert by Julio Marquez of the Youth Justice Coalition.

On April 2nd and 3rd, youth also spent the day walking the halls at L.A. City Hall, L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the state Capitol, handing out tickets, suspensions and expulsions to elected officials, their staffers and lobbyists for the same kind of behavior that would get many students of color punished, kicked out of school, criminalized and even arrested. Click here for a complete listing of events in California.

Click here to see photos from these events.

Throughout the week the Community Rights Campaign of the Labor Community Strategy Center also held a series of trainings and teach-ins.

Mississippi - Nollie Jenkins Family Center held the first in a series of anti-violence meetings under the title: You Can't Build Peace With A Piece: "Solving Violence With Strategic Planning & Action" in Holmes County, MS and Citizens for a Better Greenville worked with local high schools students who staged a skit for their fellow students about school pushout. They also hosted a block party and a live radio show while interviewing members of the community on the issue of school safety policies in Greenville, MS.

Click here to see photos from the Citizens for a Better Greenville events.

Miami, FL - The POWER U Center for Social Change held an "End the Schoolshouse-to-Jailhouse Pipeline in Miami Public Schools" rally on April 3rd at 5:30 pm at the Miami-Dadein School Board office (NE 15th St & NE 2nd Ave.)  to call for restorative practices in schools as an alternative to policing. Click here to see photos from this event!

Raleigh, NC - NC HEAT spoke at a Community Forum on Monday, April 1 at the campus of UNC Chapel Hill on the need for restorative justice programs in schools. Click here to see photos from this event!

New York, NY -Members of the Dignity in Schools Campaign New York, including Sistas and Brothas United, Urban Youth Collaborarive and Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) held a youth outreach campaign throughout the week gathering support for the You Can't Build Peace with a Piece call to action and petition. Click here to see photos by DSCNY!

Chicago, IL - Project NIA and  Blocks Together were a part of "Yes To Counselors, No To Cops" legislative action and call-in day to  deliver a "Counselors not Cops" Petition to their Senators.

Washington, DC - Critical Exposure will host a Restorative Justice Forum on April 12.

You can also access the following resources developed by the Dignity in Schools Campaign and allies:

- Issue Brief: Police in Schools Are Not the Answer to the Newtown Shooting

- DSC Statement on White House Proposal on Gun Violence

Youth Justice Coalition