Since the fall of 2015, the University of Michigan’s Community-Based Research on Equity, Activism, and Transformative Education (CREATE) team has partnered with 482Forward to research their dynamic education organizing work. We have been studying the ways that 482Forward and its members and partners strive to influence educational reform and school improvement in Detroit. Additionally, the UM CREATE team has worked with 482Forward’s research committee, Finding Answers and Creating Truth (FACT). The UM CREATE Team and 482’s FACT Committee continue to collaborate in designing research projects that help 482Forward gather education data to inform the group’s campaigns and organizing efforts. We have also engaged with the 482Forward community at meetings, trainings, rallies, and conferences. As we look back on what we have witnessed, our team is impressed and moved by 482’s strategies, persistence, and courage.
Our members come to us because they care about education, and that’s primarily what we talk to you about. And although we focus on education, we understand that to include anything that could affect student achievement. Transit, housing, trauma – it’s fair game for 482Forward if we can establish a direct link to children succeeding. But that’s still a pretty strict reading of our mission.
Molly and I have often said over the past two years that we need to get strong internally first so that we can become a good ally to other pieces of a broad movement for justice. But the moment has come to us, ready or not.
My mother’s family is Jewish, from Eastern Europe.
Donald Trump is the President Elect of the United States of America. Ah’m jus’ sayin’.
As we seek to adapt to this unexpected fact, questions and blame and credit taking abound. Pollsters are pouring over exit polls and post-election polls and pre-election polls to see what went wrong or right depending on how or where you stand on the candidates.
I want to take a different tact.
I am sure the elections of 2016 will be remembered as one of the most historic elections in our history. This election cycle was about more than just popular names on the ballot, but some might argue, that it was about freedom, ideology, opportunity, natural life. Not only were there historic decisions being made on a national level, but Detroiters were casting their votes for the long-awaited Detroit Public School Board (Community District).