Our ongoing work with the Milwaukee Public Schools has produced the CLEaR Justice Initiative, addressing issues of class, language, ethnicity and race. MAJC is part of the initiative’s advisory council and the initiative reflects the community’s urgent need to confront the practice, curriculum, and relationships that contribute to inequity and impede education.
MAJC created the training model and participated in the training of all 225 MPS principals, so that they can both lead these efforts at their schools and set the climate for the work that needs to happen to build understanding in the entire school community. Though the data shows, that addressing social justice issues in schools improves learning, performance and achievement, which is of paramount importance in overcoming poverty, all the principals felt the district had not been doing enough to train, assist and support faculty and staff with social justice issues.
MPS has also promised that they would put more books in classrooms and libraries that reflected Jewish history and culture, if we would recommend these books to the district. To that end the Freedom Readers, was established, to read, review and recommend books for inclusion in MPS. When some of the Milwaukee County librarians heard of our project, they asked if upon completion MAJC would share our recommendations with them.