Books for changing the world

Black Lives Matter at School: California Edition

Education activists Nathaniel Genene, Jesse Hagopian, Taunya Jaco, Denisha Jones, and Cecily Myart-Cruz in conversation about the struggle against systemic racism in schools, how we can win real educational justice and get cops out of our schools and other lessons from Black Lives Matter at School organizing in California and beyond. The event will include also include a statement from Derrick Sanderlin. #carenotcops



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. She is the Chair of the CTA Civil Rights Committee, Chair of the NEA Black Caucus and member of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.

Denisha Jones is a member of the national Black Lives Matter at School steering committee and Director of the Art of Teaching, graduate teacher education program, at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the co-editor of Black Lives Matter at School.

Taunya Jaco, a 6th grade ELA/Social Studies teacher, serves as a member of the National Education Association (NEA) Board of Directors, Secretary for the NEA Black Caucus, and Chair of the Civil Rights in Education Committee for the California Teachers Association‘s (CTA) State Council. She is pursuing her doctorate of education at San Jose State University, where she is conducting a qualitative study on the implementation of Ethnic Studies in California K-12 schools and the impact of its implementation on teacher preparation programs.

Jesse Hagopian is a member of the national Black Lives Matter at School steering committee and teaches Ethnic Studies at Seattle’s Garfield High School. He is the co-editor of Black Lives Matter at School, an editor for Rethinking Schools magazine and is a co-editor of Teaching for Black Lives.

Nathaniel Genene is a rising senior at Washburn High School in South Minneapolis. He serves as the student representative to the Minneapolis Board of Education and the at-large member on the City-Wide Youth Leadership Council. He also works with ThriveEd, a nonprofit working to build an educational paradigm shaped by innovation and joy for learners and educators, and Our Turn, an advocacy organization fighting to mobilize young people in the fight for educational justice.

Derrick Sanderlin is an artist, musician, and community organizer. He is now organizing with Sacred Heart, co-leading the committee for Racial Equity and Community Safety. He has also joined the efforts of the San José Unified Equity Coalition, whose mission is to reimagine safety across the district and reallocate funds previously used for sworn police officers toward student support positions and resources, restorative justice practices, and a district wide safety plan led by the community. The proposal has been lovingly named the Derrick Sanderlin Resolution to Defund the Police in light of his attempts to de-escalate police violence during the George Floyd/Breonna Taylor protests in downtown San Jose last summer.