Beacon Press: "Lift Us Up, Don't Push Us Out!"
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"Lift Us Up, Don't Push Us Out!"

Voices from the Front Lines of the Educational Justice Movement

Authors: Mark R. Warren, David Goodman

Parents, young people, community organizers, and educators describe how they are fighting systemic racism in schools by building a new intersectional educational justice movement.

Illuminating the struggles and triumphs of the emerging educational justice movement, this anthology tells the stories of how black and brown parents, students, educators, and their allies are fighting back against systemic inequities and the mistreatment of children of color in low-income communities. It offers a social justice alternative to the corporate reform movement that seeks to privatize public education through expanding charter schools and voucher programs. To address the systemic racism in our education system and in the broader society, the contributors argue that what is needed is a movement led by those most affected by injustice—students of color and their parents—that builds alliances across sectors and with other social justice movements addressing immigration, LGBTQ rights, labor rights, and the school-to-prison pipeline.

Representing a diverse range of social justice organizations from across the US, including the Chicago Teachers Union and the Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network, the essayists recount their journeys to movement building and offer practical organizing strategies and community-based alternatives to traditional education reform and privatization schemes. Lift Us Up! will outrage, inform, and mobilize parents, educators, and concerned citizens about what is wrong in American schools today and how activists are fighting for and achieving change.

For more information and to read profiles of the people and organizations in the book, visit
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“A welcome addition to most public and academic library collections.”
Library Journal

“[An] impressive collection by a diverse array of education activists . . . Contributions are written as first-person narratives, giving this collection the feel of shared knowledge toward movement building.”
Rethinking Schools

Lift Us Up! Don’t Push Us Out! is a bold and exciting book that presents the stories we never hear—powerful stories of successful grassroots organizing in schools and communities across the nation led by parents, students, educators, and allies. The lessons we can learn from these inspiring activists and campaigns need to be spread far and wide. They show how social justice unionism plays a vital role in the fight for equity and justice for all our children and in the growing movement against privatization of public education.”
—Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union

“Full of powerful ideas, powerful examples, powerful policy strategies, and powerful people, this book touches both mind and heart. These compelling stories—told by those who lived them—teach us about and advance the much-needed educational justice movement.”
—Jeannie Oakes, Presidential Professor Emeritus, University of California at Los Angeles, and author of Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality

“Each one of the essays is a tour de force. You are captivated by the passion, the fury, the courage, the honesty, and the determination that is expressed so brilliantly by the writers, who have found a way, by working arm-in-arm with others, to fight for educational justice for all children. This book brings the powerful and authentic voices of parent and community movement leaders into our classrooms and communities.”
—Karen Mapp, senior lecturer on education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

“Featuring diverse and powerful stories of fights against the corporate degradation of American schooling, Lift Us Up, Don’t Push Us Out! weaves an inspiring vision of what education could and should be if we valued all children and their potential. It could hardly be more timely.”
—Charles Payne, author of So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools

“At last! This book of victorious stories guides us through the resistance to racism and assaults on public schools. It is incredibly inspiring to see how educators, students, parents, and community organizations—people of color, in particular—are joining in the fight back to defeat school closures, charter expansions, and other privatization schemes. Organizing is key as uplifting policy solutions, community schools, and intergenerational movement-building replace appalling alienation and rampant disinvestment in education.”
—Dr. Joyce E. King, Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, Georgia State University

Lift Us Up, Don’t Push Us Out! weaves together the stories of parent organizers, student activists, and committed educators who are forging a powerful movement for educational justice across the United States. Through compelling first-person narratives, the book highlights grassroots activism as a strategy for making schools culturally responsive, inclusive, and equitable.”
—John Rogers, professor of education, University of California at Los Angeles, and director of UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA)


Building an Educational Justice Movement
Mark R. Warren

PART ONE: Building the Power for Change: Parent, Youth and Community Organizing

“I Can’t Make a Teacher Love My Son”: A Black Parent’s Journey to Racial Justice Organizing
Zakiya Sankara-Jabar

#SouthLAParentLove: Redefining Parent Participation in South Los Angeles Schools
Maisie Chin

Speaking Up and Walking Out: Boston Students Fight for Educational Justice
Carlos Rojas and Glorya Wornum

Fighting for Gender Justice: Girls of Color Assert Their Voice
Kate McDonough and Christina Powell

The Freedom to Learn: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline in the Southwest
Pam Martinez

PART TWO: Building Alliances for Systemic Change

#FightForDyett: Fighting Back Against School Closings and the Journey 4 Justice
Jitu Brown

There Is No National Without the Local: Grounding the School Discipline Movement in the Mississippi Delta
Joyce Parker

The School Is the Heart of the Community: Building Community Schools Across New York City
Natasha Capers

Fighting for Teachers, Children and Their Parents: Building a Social Justice Teachers Union
Brandon Johnson

#EndWarOnYouth: Building a Youth Movement for Black Lives and Educational Justice
Jonathan Stith

PART THREE: Educators for Justice: Movement Building in Schools, School Systems & Universities

Teachers Unite!: Organizing School Communities for Transformative Justice
Sally Lee and Elana “E.M.” Eisen-Markowitz

Can Schools Nurture the Souls of Black and Brown Children?: Combatting the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Early Childhood Education
Roberta Udoh

System Change: Following an Inside-Outside Strategy as a School Board Member
Mónica García

Walking into the Community: Community Partnerships as a Catalyst for Institutional Change in Higher Education
Maureen D. Gillette

#schoolismyhustle: Activist Scholars and a Youth Movement to Transform Education
Vajra Watson

PART FOUR: Intersectional Organizing: Linking Social Movements to Educational Justice

Janitors Are Parents Too!: Promoting Parent Advocacy in the Labor Movement
Aida Cardenas and Janna Shadduck-Hernandez

The Same Struggle: Immigrant Rights and Educational Justice
José Calderón

Organizing Intersectionally: Trans and Queer Youth Fighting for Racial and Gender Justice
Geoffrey Winder

Conclusion: Educational Justice as Catalyst for a New Social Movement
Mark R. Warren

About the Contributors


"Lift Us Up, Don't Push Us Out!"

ISBN: 978-080701600-8
Publication Date: 8/21/2018
Size:6 x 9 Inches (US)
Price:  $17.00
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.