The Social Justice Academy (SJA) is a small learning community consisting of over one hundred sophomores, juniors, and seniors. This small learning community engages in self reflection, organizing, self-expression, and critical thinking through a variety of projects. It utilizes critical pedagogy centered on decolonization, healing, and liberation.
I am Social Justice Poem
I am social justice because it saved my life.
I was a freshmen ignorantly swimming into the school to prison pipeline.
I had a 1.9, but two people saw the potential I had when no one else did.
I am social justice because it saved me from a cycle.
I’ll be first to walk the stage in my household.
I am social justice because I grew tired of running a rat race blind.
It gave me the cheat sheet to a happy life.
And it taught that life isn't a race it’s a marathon.
As long as you finish, you win.
And for that, I owe social justice my life.
I am social justice because social justice taught me how to organize and mobilize.
It taught me how to save someone’s life.
How to invoke my personal rights.
I am social justice because it taught me there’s more than one way one to be a superhero.
I am social justice because it made me appreciate the struggle.
It gave me a voice when I struggled to find mine.
It made me strong mentally.
And even though I don’t do it, social justice taught that it’s ok for men to cry.
I am social justice because it enlightened a mind lost in the darkness.
So I owe social justice my life.
It saved me from myself.
And Imma dedicate my life to social justice.
I just wanna say thank you, Dolid and Viray.
I am eternally grateful.
Hassani Bell, Class of 2015
Excerpt from Senior Term Paper
“A moral and just society does not deny people the right to live freely under their own pretenses. It does not deny people access to basic fundamental rights. It does not shoot and kill 12 year old children playing with toy guns, or college bound young men with their hands up. It does not deny people who live just $1 above the poverty line access to government assistance, but give multi-billion dollar corporations tax breaks. It does not allocate trillions of dollars to the inhumane removal of a people from their own land when there are millions of people without homes on American soil. A moral and just society is a society that prioritizes people as a whole, not just one group and certainly not money.”
Nikayla Johnson, Class of 2015
Excerpt from Author's Chair Piece
“Family, a group of people that has helped me get through tough times, laugh through those times, and made me look back at those times. A group of people that make me remember where I come from. Surely this family ain’t perfect, nope, not one bit, but they are just perfect enough to call family. I am talking about the students and teachers of the Social Justice Academy.”
Tyler Stevenson, Class of 2015