Alumni Events

Mar 20

How are the Children VI: Reimagining Public Education in Minnesota

Wednesday, March 20 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Schulze Grand Atrium
University of St. Thomas School of Law
1100 LaSalle
Minneapolis, MN

Children are the future, and education is the best way to preserve their future. This is the basic premise of the upcoming symposium, "How Are the Children, Part 6: Reimagining Public Education in Minnesota." The Community Justice Project (CPJ) will host the sixth annual event at UST Law on Wednesday, March 20.


The CPJ strives to bring together community members, attorneys, and government officials in order to address inequities impacting underserved communities. This year, keynote speakers Dr. Verna Price and Dr. Josie Johnson will discuss the disparities that children of color face in the public education system.


African American boys are particularly affected. “These children are being disciplined, expelled, and placed in special education at a far higher rate than their peers,” says Ashley Oliver, 3L at UST Law and coordinator of the event.


However, re-imagining public education affects more than simply the school system. Oliver notes that some states even base the expansion of their prison system based on school dropout rates of these boys. "Education is equivalent to liberty in 2013, but its utility has been evasive to many of these boys for some time now," she says.


Evidence suggest that Minnesota’s future viability depends on making structural and systematic changes to the public education system. "I chose to be the coordinator of this time-honored event after witnessing its meaningful impact in connecting varying communities that otherwise may not have gotten a chance to collaborate," Oliver says.