August 2020 – Monthly Spotlight with Alisha Page
by Save the Kids Staff
The following four questions were answered by Alisha below.
1. When did you get involved in activism in your life?
2. What was the first type of activism you got involved with?
3. How is racial justice, youth justice and being a school teacher relate in your opinion?
4. What is the biggest problem in schools that perpetuate the school to prison pipeline?
I first got involved in activism when my brother was wrongly convicted and sentenced. It was a devastating and numb time in my life and because I was so young I didn’t immediately act. It took years and it started with my brother telling me about people that he was incarcerated with having issues and needing some support. He didnt ask for help for himself he found a way to help others. So it started by small advocating and then it spread through showing other inmate families how to advocate for their loved ones and most importantly get them connected. The reason for me getting started is one hundred percent in result of my brother Maureces influence.
Outside of your parents, your teacher is your first teacher of society roles, requirements, and stigmas. If your teacher is bias they create a bias world for you. More specifically if you are a person of color and your teacher is bias that bias creates a slavery that is very difficult to break. With that slavery there is a dependence on Massa to be the freerer of your situation and author of your desting. In a free thinking classroom you are empowered to be all that you can be. You are not subjected to implicid bias behavior and have the opportunity to feel your worth and know that you are smart valuable. Simply put having a bias teacher is so like having your bully as a teacher.
Herein lies the problem. Children are pushed into unhealthy categories if they are a minority from the beginning. They are not called on, they are pumished more readily than there peers, they are placed into the category of being deviant just by being. Labels are so important, so when a child is placed in the deviant category punishment escalates and our court system quickly follows and it takes but a vapor and you have an institutionalized group of young people who if the proper trans formative justices steps are not taken will be a member of our modern day slavery, prison.