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The IDEA Blog

Charting a new path forward in education by sharing positive stories of change, providing perspective on key issues, and giving you the news and analysis you need to take action.

We who believe in Freedom Cannot Rest… there is still work to be done

Last week I was asked to help with a Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School site visit in Neshoba County, MS. For those of you who don’t know the significance of freedom schooling and how it relates to democratic education, I hope you take a few minutes to read this. Just last summer, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer, also known as the Mississippi Summer Project.  That summer of action fifty years ago was coordinated by the the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) which is made up of Congress on Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the NAACP and SCLC to focus on increasing voter registration and establish Freedom...

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Posted on Jun 25, 2015 - 10:30 AM by Crystal Mattison

February Reflections from an Oregon Learning Tour


Spring has fully sprung in certain areas of the country. Despite the pollen, this is definitely one of my favorite seasons. One of the seasons I absolutely L-O-V-E. The type of love you feel in February as some of us celebrate Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. The type of love you feel when you know you are making a difference in your community or in someone’s life. With all that is going on across the country and world, I reflect on the bright spots, the hard work that folks are doing on the ground, and how we can better connect and share the brightness from city to city, state to state, and eventually country to country.

The bright spot I would like to...

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Posted on Apr 09, 2015 - 10:24 AM by Crystal Mattison

“P-O-WER! We’ve got the POWER…”

Those are the first few words to a well known chant usually heard by different organizations and groups across the country focused on social justice issues. On Wednesday, November 12th, IDEA hosted it’s first Network Learning Call of the year entitled “The Power of Parents & Educational Justice.” We were joined by Natasha Capers of the Coalition for Education Justice and Sheila Warren of Portland Parent Union who definitely work to help parents understand their true P-O-WER!

Network Learning Call Flyer - Nov 12, 2014

Both of the ladies are great examples of women of power within what we call ‘change work.’ As parent, community, and child advocates, these mothers dedicate their lives to educational justice through their work...

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Posted on Nov 19, 2014 - 06:54 AM by Crystal Mattison

Posts by Crystal Mattison