College Students Organizing for Education Justice in their Communities

For first generation college students, having to overcome some adversity is often a common shared experience. Despite the challenges we have faced, being able to sit in a college lecture hall is a tremendous privilege. We have the opportunity that many in our communities had taken away from them at an early age through different systemic injustices. Many of us come from families who constantly ingrained in us that education is the key to success and we need to “echarle ganas!”

It is so easy to get tied into navigating the college world, that we tend to forget the power in our stories. Our truth is undeniable. Meeting our education with our stories is a powerful weapon we can use to fight the injustices our communities continue to face. We have a seat at the table, and that comes with a bigger responsibility to represent our families and communities and make sure that their voices get across as well.

Community organizing has been my strength during my time at UC Berkeley. It has been the constant connection with my community and what has kept me afloat while I struggled through my college experience.

Through Students for Education Reform, I have found like minded individuals who believe in the potential of all students to succeed under the conditions they deserve.  Organizing is meeting people where they are at and providing them with the resources necessary to fight injustice in our communities. We are stronger together, and our voices will not be silenced once people start demanding their power.

As community organizers, we need to equip those in our communities with the necessary knowledge and skills so that they can go out and replicate this with their families, neighbors and friends. Organizing is building power and empowering people to promote their interests. It is not our job to deny people the right to practice the art of organizing.

Community organizing is necessary now more than ever before. Our country is facing extreme divisiveness, but those who desire justice are ready to fight for it, we must capitalize on people being thirsty for justice. For people who have different mindsets, if we are at a place where we are mentally and emotionally capable, we must engage in dialogue and share our stories and experiences with them. We need to begin putting faces to policies for people to realize the humanity behind the legislation and executive orders that are oppressing our communities.

Organizing is seeking justice and solidarity. I have a passion, and organizing is my purpose. It starts with one person feeling the urgency to fight for what is right and coming together to fight for justice in their communities.

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Daniela Felix

Daniela Felix

Daniela is a first generation college student who is heavily involved in education in her home district, West Contra Costa Unified. After becoming a mother at a young age, Daniela’s passion for education justice only intensified and she began to fight for an equitable education for all children, regardless of background or zip code. Daniela played a key role in organizing parents with the California Charter Schools Association and is a firm believer in school choice for all families. She is currently a Lead Organizer with Students for Education Reform, organizing college students around education justice issues in her home district. She was recently accepted into Teach for America and plans to continue impacting the lives of children in her hometown of Richmond, CA as a high school social studies teacher. Daniela is a UC Berkeley senior pursuing her B.A. in Legal Studies and Education along with her 4 year old daughter and husband. Daniela is a firm believer in that every single child is capable of meeting high expectations if given the correct support. Daniela hopes to be a provider of that support.

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