African-Centered Education Elevation Day
August 13, 2009 Resolution
We have come to the nation’s capital to acknowledge and elevate the need to restore our childrens' inalienable right to a childhood by challenging consciously responsible Black adults to lead by example; and to make better choices in how and where Our children are educated. We challenge this administration to support those choices by acknowledging challenges faced by African American children in a Eurocentric educational environment, and by supporting alternative learning environments that instill a sense of self-worth and cultural responsibility.
We support African-Centered Education for African American children. It focuses on character building and instills a sense of self-worth, while promoting cultural responsibility. Black children do not receive any psychological stimulation in a Eurocentric educational environment. African-centered learning prepares Black children both academically AND psychologically to succeed in a society that primarily promotes accomplishments of Europeans, and is fundamentally and institutionally racist.
These challenges faced by African American children can no longer be overlooked. Public Schools have failed our children.
Empirical evidence, at the community level, proves that the introduction of African-Centered Education creates a positive self-identity for Black children and has positive impacts on educational outcomes. Scholars such as Dr. Janice Hale, Founder and Director of the Institute for the Study of African American Children (ISAAC) at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI have provided the supporting research recommending African Centered Education for African American children. Hale’s research and ISAAC enjoy the support of other scholars such as Dr. Molefi Asante of Temple University, Dr. Haki Madubhuti at Chicago State University, Dr. Safisha Madubhuti at Northwestern University, and Dr. Na’im Akbar at Florida State University.
What is needed is the facilitation of these scholarly resources to implement an effective educational pedagogy across a broader spectrum of charter and independent African-Centered Schools. The challenges of current education systems have disproportionately impacted poor and Black students. It is therefore intuitive that a greater level of resources will be needed to overcome the disadvantages. Otherwise, many Black students are doomed to permanent underclass status.
The challenge current African-Centered Chartered and Independent Schools face is “how to achieve excellent results with limited resources.” The way to “connect the dots” with excellent outcomes for this innovative approach is first to acknowledge the structural inequalities inherent at the start, and then provide a level of additional resources necessary to overcome the deficits in achievement from which most of our alternative schools must start. As the Obama administration seeks to encourage creativity and improvements, there needs to be a bottoms-up approach, in addition to the top-down initiatives.
We suggest an “Academic Innovation Fund” provided from Our tax dollars.
Grassroots initiatives that embrace proven methodologies need access to additional funding to accelerate progress toward improvements and closing achievement gaps. In addition to the “Race to the Top” fund, which is driven top-down by state departments of education, an “Academic Innovation Fund” at the federal level can be accessed by grassroots programs that do not enjoy additional funding resources, such as KIPP schools. Enabled with access to additional funds, a pedagogical approach such as ACE will have a better chance of success against the overwhelming odds that most Back children face.
With all the above in mind, as well as other more intimate variables such as better training of teachers, expanding programs, and providing updated technology in our classrooms, we proclaim August 13th African Centered Education Elevation Day.
On this day Black adults commit to revive Our sense of responsibility to restore our children’s inalienable right to a childhood; to elevate their sense of self; and to challenge this administration to acknowledge the validity of African Centered Education as the most effective alternative learning environment that will change the condition of African American children by supporting an “Academic Innovation Fund” for the purpose of funding African-centered learning environments.
WE RESOLVE THIS DAY, August 13, 2009