Planning Schools as Public Infrastructure: Linking Universities with Grassroots Education Organizing

This talk will focus on efforts to create a community-driven school facilities master planning process in Philadelphia. Building on decades of organizing and in partnership with parents and advocates across the city, we discuss the role of universities in supporting a movement for educational justice through school facilities planning. Specifically, we talk about the role of the classroom and pedagogy in bringing together researchers and communities in participatory action research (PAR). Drs. Ariel Bierbaum (University of Maryland) and Akira Drake Rodriguez (University of Pennsylvania) have partnered across universities to collaborate in creating curricula that align with and are responsive to on-the-ground community needs for healthy school buildings and transparent school district planning in Philadelphia. Drs. Bierbaum and Rodriguez will discuss their multi-year project on planning for public schools facilities as equitable infrastructure, how their partnered courses provide a new component of PAR, and how their and their students' work support organizing for improved district and city decision-making.

Learn more about this event:


Thursday, September 29 at 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Virtual Event