SEJ members utilize their voice to advocate for the issues that are important to them at both the local and state level. From panels, workshops, and community discussion to testimonies, public campaigns, and marches SEJ’s youth led advocacy is both effective and vital.
In 2019, SEJ worked with local youth-led organizations and State Representatives and Senators to pass CT House Bill 7082, which requires that all CT public high schools offer an elective in Black and Latinx studies by the year 2023. This success would not have been possible without the support of the many young people who organized others to show up at the CT capital and Hearing Youth Voices, Citywide Youth Coalition, Connecticut Students for a Dream, and the Black and Brown Student Union who rallied with us to improve and pass this bill. Together, we successfully gathered a collective of organizations and individuals to testify in support of HB7082 with our SEJ suggested amendments.
In June 2020, SEJ hosted a virtual community discussion focused on the history of Juneteenth. More than 100 participants joined the discussion. Community feedback was extremely positive and many students indicated that they wanted the history of Juneteenth included in their school curriculum. We recorded the discussion entitled Untold Black History: Juneteenth, A Community Discussion and encourage you to access it through SEJ’s website.
Over the summer of 2020 SEJ co-hosted a Day of Liberation march and teach-in, in support of liberation for People of Color and in protest of the repeated murders of Black men and women at the hands of the police.
Several SEJ student leaders designed and facilitated an Anti-Bias and Anti-Racist Session: Listen for a Change for teachers and educators. They instructed the teachers on how to incorporate anti-racist and anti-bias practices into their classroom and connect more authentically with students.