There exists an urgent need to address the racial-ethnic inequities of the school suspension system of the Osseo School District, well before the impact of the current policies propel thousands of young African American, Hispanic, and Asian American students into lives of unemployment and prison. In two major public schools of the Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center community, recent reports for African American, Hispanic, and Asian American student suspensions reveal a system in which 90% of the children belong to the minority student population, a population that comprises less than 40% of the overall school enrollment.
In an effort to overcome racial-ethnic inequities, barriers to parent empowerment, and the cultural barriers that inhibit united action against such inequities – the African American Action Council (AAAC) intends to organize community residents, parents, leaders, and partners to address inequitable out of school suspension for minority students in Brooklyn Park schools. AAAC leaders will engage key stakeholders via: forum dialogues with parents, students, community, business and school leaders; workshops to empower parents and students of color in communication and negotiation skills; and solidifying AAAC infrastructure, leadership, finances, and relations with other organizations. Project outcomes will work towards developing a plan that results in reduced suspensions, improved teacher racial-ethnic sensitivity, and youth empowerment as they begin to clarify and exert their rights.