Books Not Bars: Educators striving to change the experience in the classroom
New Initiative to Halt Pipeline to Prison will offer training, awareness to Oregon Public Schools

Imani Muhammad                                                
Youth Organized and United to Help ( )
(503) 662-2558
Portland, Oregon: Oregon faces a discipline crisis among it’s Black and Brown students. , a Portland-based nonprofit is launching a new initiative, Books Not Bars, to bring awareness and training for educators, administrators, parents and students in Oregon schools.
●     In Portland, 1 in 11 students is Black, but comprise nearly 33% of disciplinary actions.
●     Nationally, Black and Brown students are 4x more likely to be disciplined than their White peers.
●     In Oregon only 1 in 10 Educators are ethnically diverse
The lack of representation in the classroom among teachers and students of color often leads to a disproportionate amount of disciplinary actions against children of color. This is often caused by a lack of training in equity and trauma-informed care within school districts including educators who are typically White women and make up 80% of the teaching staff. In the State of Oregon, Black and Brown students are disciplined in schools with suspension or expulsions at higher rates than their counterparts. Black and Brown girls are suffering at a higher rate. 

According to recent studies and the book “Push Out” if youth are being disciplined then they are not getting classroom instruction and therefore, falling behind academically. It is a domino effect and we want to assist teachers who desire and are committed to making a change and difference in their classroom to change the success rate of Black and Brown students. 

Literacy, reading and comprehension scores have a direct correlation on outcomes and incarceration. Oregon spends $10K per student, $44K spending per inmate.
In Washington County, Black students are 100% more likely than a White student to be suspended or expelled even though national research finds no evidence that they are more disruptive, overall in classes that other students. 

Look to join the movement and hire for training and resources that will change your classroom and overall community.

Youth Organized and United to Help exists to inspire, motivate, and empower youth, family, and educators to dismantle the school to prison pipeline by challenging existing systems and structures. We will amplify our work through programs inside existing after-school programs, parent engagement classes, events and a first class digital marketing campaign beginning 2019.