Build Knowledge and Power

On Our Terms builds on a long history of community organizing, and is only one small piece of a much larger movement for educational justice and racial justice. In New York City and beyond, there are countless people—youth, educators, families, organizers, community workers, advocates and more—who have been leading the fight by sharing knowledge, dreaming up (and putting into action!) new ways of doing school, building people power, and fighting for changes in education policy.

Check out resources on this page to learn more about their work and find community resources and tools for movement organizing, transforming schools, building restorative cultures, and community education about the impacts of the school-to-prison pipeline and what you can do to fight it.

Learn more about the School to Prison Pipeline

  • Urban Youth Collaborative & The Center for Popular Democracy, The $746 Million-A-Year School-to-Prison Pipeline: This report outlines the growing movement demanding that New York City divest from punitive, ineffective, costly, and discriminatory disciplinary policies, and instead invest in creating schools that respond to student needs and provide all students with access to opportunities necessary to thrive in school and beyond. 
  • The Alliance for Quality Education, Systemic Racism & New York State’s School to Prison Pipeline: This report demonstrates that a pattern of suspensions, law enforcement referrals and youth incarceration exists across the state. This pattern is focused on Black and Latinx youth, and in particular on Black youth. 
  • Advancement Project, We Came to Learn: The report centers the voices of young people from around the country who describe the everyday indignities that they experience at the hands of school police. It also, for the first time, catalogs known assaults of young people by school police officers. The report chronicles how Black and Brown youth have used organizing and advocacy to advance a vision of school safety that is not reliant on policing.
  • Girls for Gender Equity, The State of Black Girls in New York State: This report raises critical issues including the need for educational equity, ending criminalization and sexual abuse, and the elimination of sexist and racist labels like “incorrigible” from state law.

Learn More about RJ in Schools and Beyond

  • RJI Citywide Index: This is a directory of organizations and individuals who engage in restorative practices, restorative justice, transformative justice, or who advocate for these practices. We hope this directory can serve as a starting point or next step in your search for restorative justice resources and practitioners and in your journey to becoming more involved in New York’s restorative justice movement.
  • Outcomes of Restorative Circles Program in High School Settings: This study uses interviews to identify benefits and downsides of school-based restorative practices, in a school with a large population of African American students and students eligible for reduced lunch. 
  • Improving School Climate: This report is composed of excerpts from articles, reports and disciplinary data from schools and districts implementing restorative practices. This data is taken together with “in their own words” reports. 
  • Restorative Justice in U.S. Schools: Practitioners Perspectives: This report provides an overview of how educators are integrating restorative justice into their schools. 
  • The Starts and Stumbles of Restorative Justice in Education: Where do we go from here?: This policy brief from the National Education Policy Center summarizes research on restorative initiatives, with a focus on implementation and outcomes in U.S. schools.
  • Colorizing Restorative Justice (Print Book): The 20 authors of color in this book raise unsettling issues about restorative justice and restorative practices (RJ/RP), situated as they are in white supremacist settler societies that sustain deep roots in European invasion and colonizing.
  • Circle Forward (Print Book): Circle Forward is a resource guide designed to help teachers, administrators, students and parents incorporate the practice of Circles into school community life.  This resource guide offers comprehensive step-by-step instructions.

Tools for Transforming School Culture & Growing the Movement

  • Teachers Unite Member Toolkit: The Growing Fairness Toolkit is over 250 (and growing!) pages of original reflections, protocols, lesson plans, and so much more, written by teachers and students in schools across the city that are working to create restorative and inclusive school communities. The Toolkit is a resource created alongside the Growing Fairness documentary. Organized by school, it includes relevant information for readers to best understand the climate in which the tools were developed. Only available to Teachers Unite members and donors.
  • Girls for Gender Equity Police Free Schools: As nationwide momentum propels us forward, now is the time to dream our biggest and most extravagant dreams of freedom and liberation along with all our people and schools. GGE’s vision for police-free schools seeks to end youth criminalization and what made police in schools possible, and in that work, transforming what schools can be.
  • Advancement Project School to Deportation Pipeline: What you need to know about the phenomenon that is pushing immigrants and youth of color out of school and into prison, detention, and deportation proceedings. Plus, the questions every parent and advocate should be asking their school today. 
  • Advocates for Youth Divest from Police and Divest in Sex Ed: The toolkit covers the visionary campaign of Miami-based organization Power U Center for Social Change to divest from policing and invest in sex education, nurses, counselors, and other things students need and deserve in schools.
  • Urban Youth Collaborative, Why New York City Needs Police Free Schools – Fact Sheet: For over a decade, youth leaders with the Urban Youth Collaborative have been organizing to remove police from NYC schools in order to end the school-to-prison pipeline and transform schools into nurturing, liberatory spaces. Here’s why New York City needs Police Free Schools.