WLU Literacies for All Summer Institute Preconference Workshop - National Council of Teachers of English

Keynote Speaker: Jitu Brown

Jitu Brown is the national director for the Journey for Justice Alliance, a network of 37 grassroots community-based organizations in 25 cities organizing for community-driven school improvement; he was formerly the education organizer for the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO). He has organized in the Kenwood Oakland neighborhood in Chicago for over 22 years, bringing community voices to the table on school issues; they have together successfully organized to stop several school closings in the area and secured resources for neglected neighborhood schools. KOCO now serves as a resource for organizations nationwide dealing with school closings and the elimination of community voice from the decision-making process. In 2015, Jitu was the organizer of the historic Dyett High School Hunger Strike, which lasted for 34 grueling days and resulted in the reopening of Dyett as an open-enrollment neighborhood school with over $16 million in new investments. A believer in working locally and thinking globally, Jitu has taken youth leaders from KOCO to the United Nations, the Passamaquoddy Native American reservation in Maine, and the UN Conference on Racism in South Africa. He has been widely published and has appeared on several talk shows, including MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry and The Ed Show.

11:45 a.m. Check-in and Lunch
12:00 p.m. Welcome and Overview
12:15 p.m. Break Out Session I
1:45 p.m. Keynote and Conversation (Jitu Brown): “We Choose Campaign”
3:00 p.m. Break Out Session II
4:30 p.m. Open Space Conversations
5:00 p.m. Actions and Commitments

Community Activists Making a Difference

  • Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle
  • Jason Downs: Civil Rights Attorney

Fighting School Closing

  • Journey 4 Justice Film: “Our Children are not Collateral Damage”
  • BMORE (Baltimore Movement of Rank-and-File Educators Caucus)

Organizing, Supporting, Recruiting, and Retaining Educators of Color

  • Howard County Educators of Color Caucus
  • Transforming Teacher Development: Teacher Ed Activists

Union Activism for Racial and Social Justice

  • Think Global, Act Local Campaign

Creating School “Safe Zones” for Dreamers and DACA

  • SOS Activist School Board Caucus
  • High School Student “Dreamer”

Racial Justice Activism in Schools and Communities

  • Racial Justice NOW! and Culturally Relevant Curriculum Toolkit
  • Dignity in Schools Campaign

School-to-Prison Pipeline, Restorative Justice

  • Advancement Project
  • Restorative Justice Initiative


Special thanks to the sponsors who help to make the Literacies for All Summer Institute Preconference Workshop possible.


Center for Expansion of Language and Thinking (CELT)

Save Our Schools (SOS)