r. Robinson has a capacity to engage both youth and adult audiences. Her talks are encouraging and informative. The workshops may be tailored to fit the needs of educational institutions, correctional institutions, corporation, and community organizations.
The school to prison pipeline phenomena has triggered significant examination. Socio-historical factors like integration and zero tolerance policies have systemically constructed the pipeline. Generations of African American men have been disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system and for many their involvement began in their youth. Understanding the impact of the school and justice systems on the lives of African American men has implications for educators and policy maker as we begin to undo the damage of the school to prison pipeline.
How do we understand the sociocultural/sociopolitical issues that influence the complex ways that cultural and social issues continue to shape U.S. schools, justice systems, corporation, etc. Discussions will be centered on respectful dialogue regarding race, gender, class, privilege, and sexual orientation.
Educational and Legal identity of African American Males
African American boys have been misrepresented and miseducated in such intense ways that incarceration has the potential to become a part of individual African American boys’ psyche; a part of a normal trajectory (Robinson, 2012). The systematic process of racializing and criminalizing African American males in schools has hastened their entry into the criminal justice system. African American males have been over-determined for the criminal justice system in part by documents and documentation such as school policies, school files, arrest records, and probation documents. The documents and documentation have shaped their educational and legal identity.
Alternatives for Youth in Alternative Placement
All of the presentations can be tailored to accommodate youth and adult audiences. This presentation in general has elements of an intervention, but the nature of the intervention depends larger on the needs of the youth or adult audience. A single presentation or series of workshops can be structured to meet the needs of a particular school, district, youth group, correctional facility or advocacy organization.
Children with incarcerated parents are hidden in plain sight. They are often matriculating in our schools without receiving any services. This is my story and the story of 2.4 million children in the United States that are impacted by parental incarceration. The research suggests that children of incarcerated parents suffer with anxiety, attention disorder and post-traumatic stress disorders (Bernstien, 2005). Children are also challenged with anger management, poor school performance, worry and guilt. While the research seems bleak there are other possibilities for children impacted by parental incarceration. Intervening on many different levels in a child’s life can create positive change.
Parents Partnering with Schools
Parents can be their children’s greatest advocates and they have the ability to provide support to teachers and schools in enormous ways. However, parents can only partner with schools when they have the tools to navigate the school environment. The presentations help parents understand the school’s expectations and policies. It further provides creative ways for parents to support their children and school.