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The Youth Power Project is a group of politically active youth who fight for issues that impact youth in our state. It is youth led and youth organized, given this they are the best voices to speak out about anything educational justice. Currently, they have been joining forces with other youth leaders across the state to make their demands of a diverse education a reality. 

 

Our children have the right to an education. The education should consist of a broad spectrum of topics that discuss the contributions and history of Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) communities. Unfortunately, this is not the education our students are receiving. The education they receive is hyperfocused on the White influences, White figures, and if the topic of BIPOC communities is discussed the conversation is about the oppressions and injustices they have experienced. A state-wide fight is underway being led by the youth of our state from different counties to mandate an inclusive education model that discusses the contributions of and the importance of BIPOC figures. In educating our children about courageous people they can identify with. We open the doors to bigger dreams in our students, higher achievements, and a potential increase in the interest of students in school. 

 

We all want to be represented. Our students want to be able to see themselves in their textbooks and learn about their heritages without having to dig so deep into history. MRNV’s Youth Power Project has taken on the challenge to change this frame of education that too often bypasses the stories of BIPOC folk. Their work has just begun, but their power is undeniable.

 

To learn more about the Youth Power Project visit oue werbsite here.

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On April 7th, the Youth Power Project and Make the Road took the Clark County District Building to rally for police-free schools. Led by the powerful voices of directly impacted youth, the message was clear; “We are directly affected by the police presence on campus. Schools are a place of learning, not a place for the police” (Ivana, YPP). 

 

Tensions rose with the increasing heat fueled by the importance of the message and the courage of those who spoke out. Students used their resources and platforms to bring a difficult conversation to the District’s doorstep that serves them. Their voices chanted Education NOT Incarceration, and their chants hit heavy against the windows of the District Building as onlookers listened from inside. Receiving offensive efforts from counter-protestors, our youth stood their ground and demanded to be heard with courage and power. 

 

Here’s the issue | The latest available budget data shows that CCSD spent $18.4 million on salaries and benefits for members of the district’s police department in 2018–2019.35 While the district has 161 sworn law enforcement officers and 41 civilian officers, they are vastly under-staffed when it comes to nurses, social workers, psychologists, and school counselors. Aside from the monetary strain, the CCSD Police puts on our education system, the repeated violent offenses that police do to children ranging in age from Elementary school to High school need to end. 

 

Read the full report here.

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Las Vegas, NV– Monday, July 27th, 2020 Clark County School District Superintendent, Dr. Jesus Jara, met with Make the Road Nevada (MRNV) and Youth Power Project (YPP) members, consisting of parents, students, and educators, following a missed meeting the previous week. To open the meeting, Dr. Jara apologized for his tardiness at the previously scheduled meeting. Our members appreciate the effort put forth by Dr. Jara to reschedule and give much needed space to the LatinX community to voice their questions and concerns. We commend Dr. Jara’s willingness to keep communications open as we realize that there is a need for more in depth conversations on crucial topics like the school-to-prison/deportation pipeline.

Our MRNV and YPP members got the chance to ask questions and voice their concerns regarding the plans for distance learning at the beginning of this coming semester. Among those questions were that about the digital divide that low-income families face. Dr. Jara assured our members that households with the most need for distance learning technologies will take priority, yet questions about defining those parameters and multi-student households still arouse. 

For YPP, getting Dr. Jara to commit to police free schools was the priority. While Dr. Jara stayed firm in his defense of the role of law enforcement, something many YPP members did not want to hear. We are committed to continue the conversation and put black and brown student’s lives at the forefront. We will keep sharing the stories and voices of affected youths at our Gen Z VoiceZ Facebook live event, Friday, July 31st at 6pm. 

“After my interaction with Dr.Jara regarding police in schools, I have come to the conclusion that he is a reactive type of ‘leader’. In the meeting, he addressed the students of CCSD as ‘his kids’ but I’m not sure if any parent would put their child in harm’s way time and time again. Dr. Jara believes he has all the answers but I wonder how he will look a parent in the face after CCSD is ‘next’ [victim of police brutality]. For future meetings, I expect different from the superintendent and I feel none of this will change until CCSD is indeed ‘next’ ” Jordan Mcrae, YPP Member Leader

“Me siento agradecida de que el Superintendente tomó el tiempo para escuchar de nuestra comunidad. Aunque no estoy de acuerdo con todas de sus respuestas, estoy esperanzada de que cumpla con el compromiso de continuar teniendo conversaciones con nosotros mensualmente.” Nellie Tobon, MRNV Member & CCSD Parent

MRNV would like to note that we are not a part of recent recall efforts. Our main goal is and has always been to ensure that our member’s voices are being heard. We have not made any public comment on Jara’s future at CCSD.

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Make the Road Nevada (MRNV) builds the power of Latino and working-class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation and transformative education. 

DOWNLOAD THE FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE

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