Community justice and the education system

In October 2016, the Community Justice Film Series kicked off the series with a focus on education, one of the foundation's of a just community. Many communities continue to struggle on this theme as schools become more segregated, classrooms are more crowded, students are criminalized inside school walls, public funding disappears in favor of "school choice," and higher education continues to contribute a growing crisis of personal debt. Read the Op-Ed written by film series partners and published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch to learn more. 

Approximately 50 community members gathered at the Wall Auditorium in John M. Ellison Hall at Virginia Union University to watch the following short films, share stories, and develop solutions to address community justice in our education system. 

In 2013, Chicago Public Schools announced that an unprecedented 49 schools would be closed. Follow CPS parent Rousemary Vega through the maze of hearings and protests that preceded the largest school closings in US history.

More about the school project at

Chicago's school discipline policies have unintended consequences. Is there a better way? Young filmmakers from Free Spirit Media explore causes and solutions to Chicago's school-to-prison-pipeline. 

More about the school project at

Community justice is based upon true education: The passed down knowledge of a people; their history, their practices of self-care, sustenance and community building, how to live right, how to think whole, and how to die with dignity.
— Burton, Johnson, Pettiford-Wates, Saka El, Op-Ed published in Richmond Times-Dispatch, Oct 2016


*Organizations are partners of the Community Justice Film Series. If you have additional books, articles, and other research to contribute to the list, please send us a message.


  • "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire
  • "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn

Articles and other research


*Research found at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute,

CJFS Education Poster.jpg

*Click on the topics below to explore other themes.