Amir Curry - Capstone

Oppression. Resistance. Justice. Liberation. These are the broad dynamics of society which I’ve learned about during my 7 months with the Philadelphia Student Union. I’ve always been personally interested in understanding the mechanisms of systemic injustice, and how to combat it. PSU’s core values center around student leadership, political education, and wellness. We’re constantly confronting the experiences of students in Philly, and how many of our experiences often can adversely impact our mental health and our intrapersonal development. In challenging the institutionalization that black and brown students are expected to conform to, we often discover inquiries which guide our work in deinstitutionalizing schools. How does educational justice manifest? What should schools look like? How do we identify and fight the systems which enable injustice in our educational system? We are constantly exploring these questions, and perhaps there is no solid monolithic answer. However, these questions can be applied to specific situations we encounter. I, as an organizer with PSU, spent the last year, strategizing, collaborating, and organizing around issues that concern students. From aggressively taking on a metal detectors mandate from the School District to analyzing the vigorous workload of SLA Beeber and figuring out methods to improve the morale and mental health of students. I have participated in various ways to build student power. In resisting and organizing against authority that would be detrimental to the development of black and brown youth. We not only build power for those stakeholders, but we realize a broader vision for educational justice and expand the platform of student's voice. We must not be silent!