Earlier this month, Californians for Justice celebrated community, art, and student voice as part of Art Hop in Downtown Fresno. The event doubled as an open house for our new offices within Common Space and allowed our youth leaders the chance to engage community members in relationship building and conversations about the importance of racial justice in our education system.
Student leaders from Edison and Roosevelt high schools led tours of the space including an interactive exhibit created by youth to reveal the deep impact relationships, or the lack of, with caring adults on campus have on their lives. CFJ interns also shared stories of what drew them to join the movement with CFJ and fight for educational justice.
“This year I wanted to step up and do better not only for myself but for my community so I joined CFJ … and I grew to love CFJ, including the work I did. I had an amazing opportunity to do a youth program in the Fall called WAVY or Working to Amplify Voices of Youth, which was a very heartfelt experience for me that I won’t forget. It made me the leader that is standing in front of you today.” — Mica Castaneda
CFJ Fresno youth also contributed art to the space, showing the reality of their lives in school and community. The occasion marked the end of our statewide mass tactics campaign that saw students in all four of CFJ’s locations (Long Beach, Oakland, San Jose and Fresno) collecting postcards from students and teachers voicing why they support building Relationship Centered Schools. Our organizing team and student leaders worked hard over the last few weeks and in Fresno alone we were able to collect more than 500 postcards to help inform and build support for relationships and racial justice in our public schools.
We encourage all who couldn’t attend the open house to stop by our office at Common Space in the near future to see how we’re working hard to uplift youth voice and empower community on the issue of racial justice in education.