Books for changing the world

The Struggle for Police-Free Schools and an Equitable, Safe Re-Opening

A conversation with some of most dynamic teacher union leaders, community and student organizers in the country, will invite dialogue on pressing issues impacting public education in this unprecedented moment.

They will discuss the importance of a burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement to defund police and the need to replace them with counselors, social workers, nurses and restorative practices in our schools. Intimately connected to this question is how we can ensure that our students and communities are provided with the schools they deserve if and when they reopen in the Fall.



Priyana Cabraal is a Leaders Igniting Transformation fellow and an incoming junior at Milwaukee School of Languages in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She recently led the fight to get MPD out of MPS and is determined to do more for other Black and Brown youth in her city. She is passionate about creating a significant shift in leadership that results in the dismantling of all systematic discrepancies. She hopes to become a defense attorney after high school to defend those unlawfully prosecuted due to factors such as race, sex, economic status, and immigration status. Eventually, Priyana hopes to run for Congress and advocate for her community. Cabral is of Black and Asian heritage and enjoys visiting her family in Sri Lanka every year.

Moira Casados Cassidy is a teacher and activist in Denver, Colorado. She has worked to advance social justice and liberation in Denver schools as a member of the Caucus of Today’s Teachers.

Cecily Myart-Cruz is a teacher, activist and the United Teachers Los Angeles President. The first woman of color in the union’s 50-year history – having previously served as NEA Vice President for six years. Cecily has taught for 26 years, at both elementary and middle school levels, most recently at Angeles Mesa Elementary. As a UTLA Area leader, she has worked with schools, parents, students and the community to oust 23 “bully principals”. Cecily has collaborated with school communities in initiating the year-long boycott of district periodic assessments in protest of excessive testing of our students. She is no stranger in taking direct action, whether it is fighting against co-locations, demanding Ethnic Studies for our students, declaring the end the criminalization of youth, local and statewide lobbying efforts and much more.

Jonathan Stith is a founding member and National Coordinator for the Alliance for Educational Justice, a national network of intergenerational and youth-led organizations working to end the school-to-prison pipeline. He has 20 years of experience working with youth and community organizations to address social inequities. As the former Executive Director of the Youth Education Alliance (YEA), he was a critical leader in the School Modernization Campaign that won 3.2 billion dollars for school renovation and repair in the District. He was also a steering committee member of the Justice for DC Youth Coalition that successfully organized youth and their families to win critical juvenile justice reforms in the District.

Event Sponsors: Baltimore Teachers Union, Boston Teachers Union, Chicago Teachers Union, Journey for Justice, Little Rock Education Association, Massachusetts Teachers Association, National Educators United, and United Teachers Los Angeles.