Equity in education and housing!!

Here in DC and Baltimore, we are doing our best to keep lifting up the struggle for access to equitable housing, education, nutrition, health, employment, transportation. Moving toward equitable and sustainable communities require the coming together of all these conditions that make a community equitable. Check out these current events and send your energy or join where you can. Each one of us matters!!

Homeless families file lawsuit
against Baltimore City Public Schools

September 24, 2013:

Represented by Public Justice Center, three homeless families filed a class action lawsuit on September 20 against the Baltimore City Public Schools for failing to provide transportation, school uniforms, and fee waivers for homeless students. Under the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Education Assistance Improvements Act, schools are required to provide these services to homeless students to ensure that their education continues even when their housing is disrupted.

The violations and lawsuit follow years of advocacy by the Public Justice Center and a broad community of organizations who support vulnerable families. In response, the City Schools took steps forward in their efforts to keep kids in school – and to support their success – regardless of whether or not they have a permanent address. In March 2013, City Schools staff proposed to the Chief Executive Officer and Board of School Commissioners a draft policy and implementing regulation governing the rights of homeless students. On May 14, 2013, the Board and CEO approved a final version of the policy that reflected all of the PJC’s recommendations as well as a final version of the regulation that incorporated most of the PJC’s proposed changes.

As school started again in August, however, the PJC heard from many families that these advances were not being implemented. Specifically, we learned of widespread violations of the law including in the areas of transportation, access to uniforms, access to fee waivers, and the provision of information to families about their rights. The lawsuit is intended to focus the City Schools’ attention on addressing these violations.

We applaud the families named as plaintiffs for their courage to stand up for their rights. For more about the case, read this article in the Baltimore Sun

Baltimore City Public Justice Center

SOLIDARITY – A Photo Exhibit

Solidarity by Dominic Moulden

Join ONEDC (in Washington DC) for their Solidarity Campaign for the right to housing for all, through October 20, 2013.

Solidarity: Housing is a Human Right

September 8th at 4:30pm – Opening Reception – Solidarity: Housing is a Human Right

September 28th at 4:30pm – BookTalk – Urban Alchemy with Mindy Fullilove

October 20th at 4:30pm – Closing Event – The Kelsey Garden Story: Right to Housing in DC

Sankofa Gallery
2714 Georgia Ave NW Washington, DC 20001

See flyer. Solidarity Campaign: Housing is a Human Right

Study Circle Pamphlet: Race and class determine ‘who gets the land’

Dear friends,

The link below will allow access to a web version of a pamphlet developed for study circles addressing community organizing and community rebuilding in Middle East and East Baltimore. The ‘points of reflections’ on the last pages uses the book as a resource.
There is also a print version of this pamphlet which will print into a 2-sided pamphlet, front to back, and can be stapled for convenience. Please be in touch with me if you would like access to the print version.

Please use as a tool on this path of changing the status quo of rebuilding disinvested and abandoned communities for the white and middle and upper classes while neglecting low income and historic communities of color-and the acute and long-term trauma caused by these oppressive and discriminatory practices.

In spirit!


Rebuilding Middle East Baltimore:
Race and class determine ‘who gets the land’
Marisela B Gomez

Images: Groundbreaking for Hopkins student housing during 2 rebuilding projects in East Baltimore (1956 Broadway Redevelopment Project, black and white photo; 2001-current Johns Hopkins and EBDI Development Project, color photo). In both, more than 800 households, of low income and African American people, were displaced to make room for Johns Hopkins expansion. The legacy of this history of power imbalance continues today, in the people and the spaces of East Baltimore.