Topics: disabled Black students and students of color, community trainings and resources.
Shawn: “The system was set up purposefully to target people of color and people that have IDD such as myself. Because instead of them giving us the resources that we need, they would rather put us in jail and make us work for cheap labor. Do you agree with that Mazzii?”
Mazzii: “I definitely agree with that. I think that’s a great segue into the point that the reason why the school-to-prison pipeline thrives is because the prison system is a lucrative business for our government and private business as well. So, to them we as Black people and people with disabilities they see us as a dollar sign rather than human beings. They see us as profit rather than people that could actually contribute to our society. And that kind of ties back into how we live in a white supremacist nation. So, I definitely agree with you, and I see a lot of connections.”
This project featured the Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth (PLAAY-Inclusive) curriculum, which uses culturally responsive skills training to help youth recast or positively reappraise racially or disability stressful encounters in classrooms, street corners, and playgrounds. Results from the PLAAY-Inclusive intervention informed a series of training modules which addressed implicit bias and ways to facilitate de-biasing for school, community, juvenile justice, judicial system, social work, and law enforcement professionals.
Supported by the PA Developmental Disabilities Council, in collaboration with the Racial Empowerment Collaborative at the University of Pennsylvania, and POPPYN at Temple University.
Shawn Aleong, Legal Studies Major at Temple University; Dr. Sally Gould-Taylor, Executive Director at the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University; Stormy Kelsey, Media and Communications Coordinator at Temple University Community Collaborative; and Mazzii Ingram, Senior Producer at POPPYN.
Students with disabilities and students of color are more likely to be punished, and punished severely, than white students. Compared to white students, Black students are 5x, Latinx students are 3x, and students with disabilities are 2x more likely to get suspended. When school staff are unable to manage their racial stress or acknowledge their implicit biases, they are susceptible to misinterpreting behaviors and authorizing inequitable discipline and special education referrals.
The school-to-prison pipeline describes the process through which children of color are pathologized, criminalized, and pushed out of classrooms, schools, and ultimately their communities into disciplinary schools, detention centers, jails, and prisons.
We produced asynchronous and accessible video training modules for individuals to self-direct their learning about the interconnections between racism and ableism and the school-to-prison pipeline. Training materials include accessible audiovisual recordings of facilitators leading the trainings, downloadable PowerPoint presentations, and a resource guide with over 50 online sources for further learning. Trainings are designed for school, community, juvenile justice, judicial system, social work, and law enforcement professionals.
What Training Participants Are Saying
- “Always positive to hear directly from the most affected. Hearing from Shawn and the young people in the documentary added more depth to my knowledge.”
- “The training was informative and inspiring. A perfect balance of raising awareness of an issue and focusing on improving the systems in place.”
- “I’ve never heard the term ableism before. This was a good introduction to this topic.”