SJA Campaigns

SJA Campaigns

From Sundown to Safe Town Campaign: Make San Leandro a Sanctuary City! 
Make San Leandro Unified School District a Sanctuary District!
The scholars of the Social Justice Academy participated in a successful campaign alongside community members and organizations and allies that made all schools in the San Leandro Unified School District "safe havens" and San Leandro a sanctuary city.  


Educate to Liberate, Know Your Vote Campaign 
by the Senior Class of 2017
The seniors led the academy in educating the campus and wider community about the election.  They focused most of their attention on getting Measure J1 and Proposition 55 passed.  They were a big part of the passage of Measure J1 in San Leandro that would fund much needed repairs in our school district, most especially, the elementary schools, where some of the facilities are over 100 years old with basic structural and electrical problems.  The youth tabled, phone banked, went precinct walking, and held rallies on a near daily basis for this campaign!  Their efforts were not in vain!

Senior Quest Projects
In their 3rd year of the program, SJA seniors engage in a year long independent project called Quest.  Essentially, it is a mini campaign where they seek to answer their proposed essential question by engaging in research, inquiry, cultural work, outreach, direct experience, networking, and so forth.  Feel free to see their projects by clicking on the following links to their websites that documented their projects.  

2017 Quest Projects


Senior Quest Projects


Past SJA Campaigns

2010: Pass AB 540! 
 
This campaign was in support of Assembly Bill 540 that would place an extraction fee on oil corporations in California.  The money would then be used to alleviate the budget cuts in California public schools. The Class of 2010 with the help of the other SJA students, collected over four thousand petition cards, registered over one hundred people to vote, ran workshops, invited Assembly Member Alberto Torrico to speak, and so forth as part of the campaign. 

2011: We are not your toy soldiers!  

This campaign sought to decrease military recruitment on campus and educated youth and adults about the effects of war.  The SJA class of 2011, along with the other two SJA classes, brought in Iraq Veterans Against War (IVAW) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to speak to students, facilitated workshops, collected opt out forms, participated in the Ethnic Studies Conference, and ran a mock funeral illustrating the impact of war. 


2012: Reclaim Our Education!
Excerpt from the press release:

Monday, March 12, 2012

RECLAIMING OUR EDUCATION

Students Hunger Strike to Stop the Cuts!

SAN LEANDRO, CA— The senior class of the Social Justice Academy (SJA) in San Leandro High School (SLHS) have been organizing the Reclaim Our Education campaign to address the budget cuts to education in the San Leandro Unified School District (SLUSD). After weeks of teach ins, informational meetings, outreach, and a demonstration in front of their school, the students of the academy were able to organize and mobilize 200 students to the capitol for the state-wide rally and march for education on Monday, March 5th. The students of SJA hoped to draw attention to Jerry Brown’s inadequate budget proposal and pressure congress to author a bill that places an extraction tax on California oil companies, which can potentially refund public education. They were one of the only high schools to have attended amongst the thousands of college students present.  This is due to the fact that the students of SLUSD have been and will continue to suffer from the underfunding of California public schools. 

The youth of SJA have also made valiant attempts to pack the last two SLUSD school board meetings with students, parents, and teachers.  They made passionate pleas to the school board begging them to utilize the district’s rainy day funds to mitigate the effects of the devastating cuts that they outlined.  These cuts include massive layoffs to staff such as counselors, elementary specialists, and librarians and cuts to sports, music, and art across all levels.  This has created tremendous uproar in the school and community. “I worry not only about my wanting to pursue higher education, but the state of k-12 education in California.  I refuse to sit back and watch our teachers get laid off, programs like music and sports be cut, and for class sizes to reach these unbelievable numbers, we can’t survive these cuts“ said SJA senior Yusra Oweis.

On March 6th, three academy students, Veronica Mandujano (18), Kayla Ely (17), and Anai Rosales (18), all graduating seniors, started a hunger strike in response to the district’s refusal to dip into the reserve money.  Mandujano announced at the board meeting, “Hopefully, I draw to your attention, just like my body cannot function on the bare minimum, neither can the student body."  The hunger strike was not an activity planned within the campaign, and the students were not encouraged or coerced into this huge undertaking.  However, the academy as a whole supports and respects the students’ courage and sacrifice and would like to see the strike end sooner than later. Despite pleas from academy teachers and their parents to reconsider or modify the strike, Mandujano, Ely, and Rosales have chosen to participate and are now in day six of the strike.  Ely also stated that, “I will be starving myself in solidarity with all of the schools in California starving for funding.”

SJA has planned a demonstration afterschool at 3:00pm on Thursday the 15th in front of the school to address the cuts and the ongoing strike. 

WHAT: Reclaiming Our Education Youth Demonstration & Action lead by SJA

WHEN: Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 3:00pm

WHERE: San Leandro High School

Press

Start of the Hunger Strike, KTVU

Start of Hunger Strike

Radio Interview with KPFA's Davey D

Result of the Hunger Strike, CBS 5

End of Hunger Strike



2013: Restrict the Drones! 

Excerpt from student petition: 

What are drones?  Drones are aircrafts without a human pilot aboard, primarily used for surveillance or mission specific duties such as: finding a missing person, detecting wildfires, searching for suspects, etc. Many times, drones are also called UAVs, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Drones come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, configurations, and characters. 
What do we want?  We, the students of the Social Justice Academy, are taking action against the use of drones in the city of San Leandro. We plan on setting a limit to the usage of drones and implementing specific guidelines for what drones can, and cannot do. We want to solidify the fact that the rights of San Leandro residents will not be violated, as a trade off for public safety.

 Our goals:

  • To limit the usage of the drones so they aren't misused
  • To ensure our right to privacy as protected by our ninth amendment.
  • To ensure our physical and public safety
  • Secondary objective is to let our city officials know that we have concerns about what is happening in our city
  • To show how much power police have in their hands, therefore, we want to make sure it doesn't get abused
The SJA class of 2012 authored and presented the following resolution at a San Leandro City Council Meeting (click on the picture below to access the full resolution):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6BvK3KAEphAelFNYzNBeWExYmM/view?usp=sharing
2014: We want ethnic studies! 

This campaign sought to bring back Ethnic Studies to SLHS and revitalize it.  Some of the goals included: educating students on what Ethnic Studies is, making it a graduation requirement, and hiring a new teacher with a strong background in Ethnic Studies to teach the classes.  This campaign ran into many bumps, and unfortunately, Ethnic Studies sign ups on campus remain low and a teacher ready and willing to teach the course has not been hired.

2015: Local and National Police Accountability 

Peace in the Streets, March 12, 2015
Click on Projects and Youth Work tab for more information. 

Thanks, But No Tanks Demonstration, February 2, 2015: A demonstration against the militarization of the San Leandro Police Department.  The SLPD purchased a BearCat vehicle. 

Black Lives Matter March to City Hall, December 16, 2014
Jennifer Torres commanded the crowd during the 4 minute die in honoring Michael Brown.

Campaign Development Resources for Educators

SJA Campaign Development Packet
http://tinyurl.com/SJACampaignDevPacket

School of Unity of Liberation (SOUL) 
http://www.schoolofunityandliberation.org

Doing Democracy! 

Doing Democracy


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