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Racial Equity Knowledge Center

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Lessons in Racial Justice and Movement Building: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Colorado and Nationally

Aug 1, 2014

Lessons in Racial Justice and Movement Building: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Colorado and Nationally is a joint effort by Padres & Jóvenes Unidos (PJU) and Advancement Project to address excessively harsh and racially discriminatory school disciplinary procedures, which have proven to be endemic in public schools across the United States. Using the Denver Public Schools as case studies to reform disciplinary practices and address zero-tolerance policies, PJU and Advancement project offer context on the problem of racially discriminatory disciplinary practices, present real-world and quantitative examples of disciplinary application throughout the Denver Public School System, address long-standing stereotypes, and present insights from each school. From the work presented in this report, organizations and individuals can begin to understand how other organizations and communities are addressing unjust and discriminatory policies and work to strengthen collective understanding of the School-to-Prison Pipeline movement.


The report is dived into four sections:



  • Section One of the report presents an analysis of the School-to-Prison Pipeline's and its origins. 

  • Section Two describes PJU's five organizing and advocacy campaigns, and Advancement Project's role in supporting them, highlighting elements that could be relevant for others engaged in similar efforts. 

  • Section Three includes a brief data snapshot of the progress that PJU and Advancement Project have made together. Finally, 

  • Section Four presents overarching reflections on and thoughts on how society can more effectively challenge the system of laws and public policies that impede the advancement of low-income communities and communities of color across the country.