America is a racist country.

America is killing its people.

America is responsible for the mass incarceration of people of color.

Black students are 3.5 times more likely to be expelled than white students.

Latino students are 2 times more likely to be expelled.

Indigenous students are 1.5 times more likely to be expelled.

Students with disabilities are 2 times more likely to be expelled

LGBT students are 1.5 times more likely to be expelled.

Let us not forget the youth of color who are LGBT and have disabilities that are criminalized in our school system.

Youth are being pushed out of these schools and directly into prisons.

America has blood on its hands.

America has the highest prison population in the entire world.

America has no problem sentencing children to death.

Systems of oppression are rampant in America and are perpetuated through the media

Dehumanizing images of youth of color are everywhere.

America needs to let youth of color create media that represents themselves.

Youth of color need to have the skills to deconstruct these images.

Youth deserve to survive.

America needs Graduation Not Incarceration.

The Center for Graduation Not Incarceration will bridge the gap between the schools and the prisons.

We are a community center for youth of color.

We strive to educate youth in media literacy and in that process also teach them about systems of oppression.

We want to give youth a positive learning environment to keep youth in school.

Our center would provide resources for youth based on their needs and provide support to prevent students from abandoning their education.

We fight for the right to education that has been stolen from our youth.

We demand:

  1. Advocacy towards restructuring the education system to fit ALL students
  2. Schools teach community engagement
  3. Communities increase opportunities for free extracurricular activities
  4. Schools develop curriculum that addresses youth’s needs and educates them about their community, their community’s history, and the injustices occurring.
  5. Students have a right to an education in new media and other forms of creative expression
  6. Students should have access to restorative justice and alternative forms of discipline

We will do this through our community center.

We will launch an educational campaign and have our center serve as a resource for the community.

The Center of Graduation Not Incarceration will develop strong relationships within the community, specifically with local middle and high schools to outreach with youth and get them involved in our organization.

We will work with these local schools and help develop curriculum around community engagement and media literacy.

Our center will work on policy to make education more inclusive to all students.

We strive to give youth education, support, and access to resources.

We want to give youth of color access to media to change and shape conversations about themselves and their communities.

We strive to give students a safe space where they can come and do their homework, get tutoring, and spend time.

The more time that is invested by youth in our center the less time will be invested in community violence.

Our center would have access to movies and television shows for youth.

We would also provide entertainment speakers and people from the field to talk about what they do and talk about internship and job opportunities.

It is crucial we teach these youth how to deconstruct the images they have seen

We will teach youth how to use technology, how to share their stories, and the significance of making the personal political.

The Center for Graduation Not Incarceration would have a partnership with a local public access film studio in which the students involved would produce a weekly news program about their experiences, their neighborhoods, and issues revolving around the criminal justice system.

We will give youth resources to become successful and dismantle their path to prison.


3 responses »

  1. Action Firm says:

    Education Not Probation 🙂 Are you trying to rile m up 🙂

  2. Hey guys, thanks for your presentation today. I wanted to ask you this when you finished, but we ran short on time. I think the community center idea is really great, will it include a component/program to rehabilitate ex-cons once they are released from prison? When youth are incarcerated, they often miss out on critical years of development and lag behind in the job market, which initiates the cycle of houselessness and unemployment. Would your center include a program to help rehabilitate these ex-prisoners into working and productive members of society?

    • rbhalla2018 says:

      Thanks for your question! Graduation Not Incarceration plans to help incarcerated youth get the skills to succeed in society and will work on rehabilitation. It is important for us to prevent students from going to prison but also help students who were in prison, reintegrate back into society. Ideally, we would use media to give these incarcerated youth the opportunities to reflect on the conditions that pushed them into prisons (depending on the situation – we wouldn’t want to bring back topics that could be harming). We would also have older students intern with us and help us with more management roles as a part of their reintegration to develop job skills for the job market.

      Hope this helps!

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