180: Mississippi Rising

Of our fifty states, I can think of no other whose local history — for better and for worse — captures the essence of the larger American story.

In a sense, we are all Mississippians.

To wit, our next 180 story provides a glimpse of the systemic and generational impacts of racism, and how vital investment in education is to all residents —  and to the entire state’s economy. We see this all through the eyes of local organizer (and Mississippi native) Albert Sykes, his 11-year-old son Aidan, mothers in Jackson Public Schools, a mayor, a school board member, and other community advocates. Part history, part vignette, and full of humanity, our hope is that Mississippi Rising will begin to connect the dots of who needs to be engaged to identify, understand, and create a bright future for Mississippi that involves the entire community.

The release of this video is timely. On September 14th of this year, the Mississippi State Board of Education recommended a state takeover of Jackson Public Schools. Governor Phil Bryant is considering the recommendation, while many of Jackson’s students, families, faith, and business leaders — along with the Mayor of Jackson and several school board members — believe they should be the ones to determine the future of Jackson Public Schools. They are asking the Governor to support local governance. Commenting on the Governor’s decision, says Albert Sykes, the Executive Director of IDEA, “The Governor – and even the State Board – may have the right concern, but a takeover of JPS is clearly the wrong policy.”

The Breadcrumbs: Additional vignettes and calls-to-action (CTAs) 

Thank you for watching. And stay tuned! #thisis180

Categories: Democracy, Equity, Learning, Organizational Change, Voice

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