Do we really have to say this? Children don’t belong on prison buses. Children don’t belong in environments meant to cage and hold adults. It is entirely inappropriate for any children at any time for any reason.
How much worse, then, that these children were largely children of color from underserved communities. These children have grown up in economically distressed, segregated communities. One reason these communities are economically distressed is the predatory policing practiced against African-Americans and other people of color. This predatory policing has been described as the “school-to-prison pipeline.” The idea that the Sheriff and the City would deliberately load black and brown schoolchildren onto a prison bus is beyond endurance.
It adds insult to injury that other vehicles have been used for other children; why is it the black and brown who are loaded onto prison buses?
We would have applauded the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for sponsoring a beach trip for underserved youth. We would have applauded the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department for organizing the trip. Instead, these two organizations have demonstrated their inability to understand (or perhaps their callous disregard of) the difficulties faced by the poor and the brown in the City of San Diego.
The NAACP San Diego Branch is in its 100th year of supporting Civil Rights and fighting discrimination. We would be delighted to help educate Sheriff Bill Gore and his Department, as well as Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his Parks and Recreation Department. These thoughtless and insensitive actions do real harm to our children and our communities, and they must stop.
For those of you who are interested in what ACT-SO looks like, here is the full video of the awards ceremony. It’s four hours long, so you might want to either lay in a big supply of popcorn or else just dip into it here and there.
While our returning Poetry Performance competitor, Ms Jor’Denay Collier, didn’t medal this year, she did get a significant part in the award ceremony for the second year running. (If you want to skip right to Jor’Denay, she appears at about the 36th minute of the video.) We could not be more proud of Jor’Denay; in addition to her fine performances, she was a strong President of the Eastlake High BSU this last year. As a rising Junior, we expect even more wonderful things from her this year!
This year’s STEM camp at Bell Middle School was bigger and longer than last year’s. Nearly 30 students participated, learning electrical engineering, computer programming, and even a little business, marketing, and entrepreneurship!
While we’ll have some photos of the other parts of the camp to post eventually, engineering and programming are famously non-photogenic. It’s always the CEO’s who get the press, and our camp is no different!
Well, it is different, because in our camp, all the kids got their turn to be CEO and be part of the product pitch. Watch them all here:
We are very thankful to the major sponsors of our camp, SDG&E and Wells Fargo!
Would you like to be part of our future efforts at bringing premium STEM experiences to the underserved? Write [email protected] or donate by clicking below:
On August 3rd, 2019, ACT-SO will be at the fantastic community event, First Saturdays at the Spot, put on by Pillars of the Community. Join us there for food, fun and shopping, and also to find out a little bit about ACT-SO, and speak to some of our past and future competitors!
August 3rd, 1-5pm, 6443 Imperial Avenue–see you there!