482Forward is creating a Detroit where every student graduates ready to become a fully engaged participant in the world, equipped with the character and the capacity to negotiate her environment and change it for the better.
482Forward is a network of organizations, parents, students, educators and residents who are directly impacted by the education system. We are trained in education organizing to ensure we have a say in the issues and decisions impacting our schools. We identify issues impacting schools through listening, conducting participatory research on best practice solutions to those issues and then taking action to address the issues.
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CARE ABOUT EDUCATION IN SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN?
The quality of our education system impacts our ability to negotiate and navigate the world around us. Educational quality across Michigan has fallen considerably in the last 10 years. As we think about the future of Michigan, we have to think about how our education system is or is not building a brighter future for the next generation.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THE REGION FACES IN EDUCATION?
Funding is our biggest challenge. Michigan’s public schools are underfunded, at minimum, by 3 billion dollars per year. Our students go to school every day in under-resourced schools.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY THE REGION FACES IN EDUCATION?
Young Michiganders are more politically engaged and raising their voices for a more racially and economically just metro Detroit. As we approach important elections in 2018 and 2020 we have key opportunities to elect people who invest in equitable public education.
HOW DOES YOUR ORGANIZATION ADDRESS THESE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES?
Most importantly we are developing the capacity of parents, students, educators and residents to lead the fight for educational justice. A current campaign we are coordinating is called Babies Over Billionaires. This campaign is calling for a weighted school funding formula and for the state to raise 3 billion dollars for our public schools.
Share any specific ways people can get engaged in your organization to address issues in education:
For more information, visit 482forward.org.