Social Justice

Island Life and Sustainable Development A Discussion Featuring Nichole Murray Broome

The Caribbean life is on the frontlines of climate change with increasingly severe hurricanes, shifts in agricultural production, floods, and warming oceans directly impact the ways that people live. Afro-Caribbean Social Entrepreneur, Nichole Murray Broome will discuss the effects of climate change on Barbados, Guyana, and the Caribbean region while also outlining grassroots efforts to take action for the future.

1919 author, Eve L. Ewing, on Charter Schools

If you’ve been following our One Book, One College programming this year, you already know Eve L. Ewing, author of 1919 and other books and articles.  A couple of weeks ago, her opinion piece, Can We Stop Fighting about Charter Schools? was published in The New York Times. As a sociologist and educator, she is often asked about her thoughts on the topic. In this piece she argues that, we need “political leaders to abandon some of the principles that have guided education policy in our generation.” She says “we need to replace the fight over charter schools with the assertion that every child deserves a great school,” and to do that, we need to take “seriously the ‘educators don’t get paid enough’ realizations of 2020” and address “the teacher shortage that is going to worsen in the aftermath of the pandemic,” (Ewing, 2021).

If the topic of charter schools interest you, the library can help. You can find books on charter schools in our library catalog.  If you are looking for articles, our education databases are a good place to start. You can also find articles on the topic in our news databases and many of our multiple subject databases. When in doubt, be sure to Ask a Librarian!

Ewing, E. L. (2021, Feb 22). Can we stop fighting about charter schools? New York Times (Online) Retrieved from https://go.openathens.net/redirector/morainevalley.edu?url=https://www.proquest.com/newspapers/can-we-stop-fighting-about-charter-schools/docview/2493195195/se-2?accountid=1977

Actions for Creating Safe Communities

If you’ve been paying attention to the protests calling for an end to police violence towards the Black community, you may have seen “Defund Police” or “Abolish Police” on posters and hashtags. These ideas might sound new or even outrageous–the police and the criminal justice system are one component of our social structure that seems fundamental–but questions about the role of policing to keep communities safe have been asked by communities of color for a long time. 

The current movement to shift government funds from police to communities grew out of the prison abolition movement that began in the 70’s. The concern with both prisons and policing stem from the deep racial inequities that are revealed in who is imprisoned and policed. Are Prisons Obsolete by Angela Davis is a good and short place to start. Davis introduces and explains the term Prison Industrial Complex which is used “to describe the overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing, and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social and political problems” (Critical Resistance). Activists have charted the way this collusion of interests has led to over-policing and the criminalization of minority communities

Abolitionists, like Mariam Kaba, see alternatives to the Prison Industrial Complex and policing in transformative justice and community accountability. One example of how this might look is presented by Chain Reaction: Alternatives to Calling the Police a project from Project Nia

Below you’ll find readings that explain both the concern with prisons and policing as status quo as well as the potential for creating real systemic change.  

“Abolition is not about destruction and anarchy—it’s about building alternatives…”You can’t just focus on what you don’t want, you have to focus also on what you do want”

Abolish the police? Organizers say it’s less crazy than it sounds

The War on Neighborhoods : Policing, Prison, and Punishment in a Divided City by Ryan Lugalia-Hollon and Daniel Cooper–When the main investment in a community is policing and incarceration, rather than human and community development, that amounts to a “war on neighborhoods,” which ultimately furthers poverty and disadvantage. Longtime Chicago scholars Ryan Lugalia-Hollon and Daniel Cooper tell the story of one of those communities, a neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side that is emblematic of many majority-black neighborhoods in US cities.


Invisible No More : Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea J. Ritchie–A timely examination of how Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color experience racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement…it documents the evolution of movements centering women’s experiences of policing and demands a radical rethinking of our visions of safety—and the means we devote to achieving it.

Freedom is a Constant Struggle : Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis (Audiobook)–Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today’s struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles-from the black freedom movement to the South African antiapartheid movement. Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. 

Additional research options include the library’s databases:

Uncover: The Watts Riot of 1965 (video)

Moraine Valley students and staff will hear the story about the largest urban rebellion of the Civil rights era. This session will focus on the cause, timeline of events and historical significance of this known riot.

1968: Fifty years since King, Kennedy, Clash, and Classrooms

This year, 2018, marks fifty years since several watershed moments in American History. Senator, Presidential candidate, and former Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated on June 5, 1968. In August 1968, anti-Vietnam war protesters converged on the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Then Mayor, Richard J. Daley responded to protesters by summoning over ten-thousand police officers along with active U.S. Army Troops, U.S. National Guardsmen, and Secret Service Agents. The protest and riots lasted 5 days.

However, there were two other history changing moments in 1968. First, April 4, 2018 commemorates 50 years since the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Civil Rights Leader was slain in Memphis, Tennessee on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. The assassination sparked riots across the country including Chicago. In the midst of all the civil unrest and uprisings that began the night on April 4th and the morning of April 5th, another lesser known historical moment unfolded.

Jane Elliott, an Iowa school teacher, decided to use the solemn moment of King’s assassination to teach her 3rd grade class about racial prejudice and inequality. Elliott used eye color as a segregator with her students, giving blue-eyed students positions of privilege while relegating the brown-eyed student to experiences of exclusion and social subordination. By 1970, Elliott was using her Blue-Eye Brown-Eye experiment as the basis for pioneering Diversity and Inclusion training. Jane Elliot continues her social justice work to this day, well in to her 80s.

Here are additional resources for 1968: Fifty years since King, Kennedy, Clash, and Classrooms

Bland, K. (2017, November). Blue eyes, brown eyes: What Jane Elliott’s famous exercise says about race 50 years on. The Republic. azcentral.com.

Bloom, S. G. (2005, September). Lesson of a Lifetime: Her bold experiment to teach Iowa third graders about racial prejudice divided townspeople and thrust her onto the national stage. Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian.com.

Chicago Public Media. (2018, April). Sorrow, Then Rage. WBEZ.org

Corporation, C. F. (Producer), & Guru-Murthy, K. (Director). (2009). The Event: How Racist Are You? with Jane Elliott [Motion Picture]. You Tube.

Elliot, J. (2016, May). Jane Elliott on The Rock Newman Show. (R. Newman, Interviewer) YouTube. PBS: WHUT.

Elliott, J. (2017, September). Educator Jane Elliott Talks Trump, Kaepernick and Fixing Racism. (C. T. Whitfield, Interviewer) NBCNews.com.

Films, Y. U. (Producer), Peters, W. (Writer), & Peters, W. (Director). (1985). A Class Divided [Motion Picture]. Fontline.

George, A. (2018). When Robert Kennedy Delivered the News of Martin Luther King’s Assassination. Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian.com.

Gibson, C. (2016, July). What happened in Chicago in 1968, and why is everyone talking about it now? WashingtonPost.com:

Gitlin, T. (2018, January). Rage Against the Machine: A short story reimagines the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the chaos that shocked the world. Smithsonin Magazine. illustrations by Shane L.: Smithsonian.com.

Johnson, H. (2008). 1968 Democratic Convention: The Boss Strikes back. Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian.com.

Katz, J. (2018, January). Where RFK Was Killed, a Diverse Student Body Fulfills His Vision for America. Smithsonian Magazine. photography by Gregg Segal: Smithsonian.com.

Museum, N. C. (2018, April). National Civil Rights Museum Home Page. National Civil Rights Museum Home Page at the Lorraine Motel

New York Times. (2018, April). 50 Years Later, Remembering King, and the Battles That Outlived Him. nytimes.com

Small, A. S. (2018, April). ‘This was like a war’: Witnesses remember day MLK was shot. foxnews.com:

Tillet, S. (2018, April). Seeing Martin Luther King Jr. in a New Light. nytimes.com:

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