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Last update: 2013-06-20

#PhillyFast

2013-06-20
Length: 3m 39s


The fight over public education in Philadelphia escalated Monday, June 17th, when two local parents and two school district employees began to fast to protest the closure of 23 schools and firing of 3,783 education professionals. On Blast member, Jeremy Olivieri, went on location to learn more about them and their demands. …

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Student-Teacher Relations

2013-05-14
Length: 2m 12s


Abu Kanu is a radio producer for On Blast. In this segment, Abu explores the complicated nature of student-teacher relationships. At the Philadelphia Student Union, we support students AND teachers. …

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Student want nurses at BFHS!

2013-05-14
Length: 1m 47s


On Blast Radio Producer, Jeremy Olivieri, created a radio piece about the lack of nurses at Benjamin Franklin High School in Philadelphia. With more budget cuts looming, schools in Philadelphia stand to lose even more nurses. Students want nurses and students want nurses to keep their jobs. The Philadelphia Student Union chapter members at BFHS are organizing a campaign to keep nurses in their school. …

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What is Young People's Oppression?

2013-04-04
Length: 4m 38s


Young People's Oppression might not be something that you have heard of. But for members of the Philadelphia Student Union, it is a part of daily life. When young people are stereotyped as unruly and violent it keeps us all down. In this piece, Tiana shared her experiences of young people's oppression and lays down the basics of the steps in the cycle of oppression. …

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A Student Analysis of the School to Prison Pipeline

2013-03-12
Length: 7m 28s


The School-to-Prison Pipeline is a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Members of the Philadelphia Student Union created the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools (CNS) to work towards improving school climates and ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline. On Blast youth radio producer, Julian Roessler, explains a youth perspective on the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Julian interviews Josh Glenn, an organizer with YASP (Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project) and Decarcerate PA. Josh is also a member of CNS. Together, they explore the deeper roots of the School-to-Prison Pipeline. …

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Students Rally in Harrisburg at Budget Address

2013-02-07
Length: 1m 52s


One of the root causes of the conditions and problems that we see in Philadelphia's public education system, that has now resulted in the potential for school closures, is the chronic and systematic underfunding from the state. Members of the Philadelphia Student Union traveled to Harrisburg to hear Governor Corbett's budget address on February 5th, 2013. On Blast radio producers asked other attendees why they came to Harrisburg as well. …

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Violence and School Closings

2013-01-02
Length: 3m 46s


School closings have become an epidemic across the nation. Reporting for On Blast, Nuwar Ahmed and Julian Roessler discuss violence as a possible result of the new wave of school closings that may happen in Philadelphia. …

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Voices of New Members

2013-01-02
Length: 2m 22s


Tiana Stokes, Basil Hasan, and Marquan Bond are all new PSU members. Hear what they have to say as they share their experiences and thoughts on PSU. …

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The Community Has Spoken. We Reject This Plan.

2012-05-31
Length: 4m 15s


The Philadelphia School District released a plan to close schools, dismantle the school district as we know it, eliminate union jobs & and privatize schools.

The people who are the most affected by school reforms -- parents, teachers and especially students -- had no say in designing this plan.

So what do parents, students and teachers think about the proposed plan? Kim Reed Hyman went to a recent SRC community meeting to find out. Listen now.


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May 10 Meeting. Come Out. Speak Up.

2012-05-08
Length: 55s


The School District of Philadelphia is proposing a plan for drastic changes to our schools. There was no student, parent, teacher or community input on this plan. Come out to this meeting and speak up!

Community Meeting with District Officials
Thursday, May 10.  6 - 8 p.m
West Philadelphia High School, 4901 Chestnut St.

SIGN THE PETITION TO RESTORE SAFE NUMBERS OF SCHOOL NURSES.

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Making Schools Safe for Everyone: LGBTQ Youth Develop Solutions

2012-04-19
Length: 5m 55s


In Philadelphia, young people are starting a crucial conversation about how to make schools safer for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students.  Youth from the Attic Youth Center are working with the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools to identify the root causes of why LGBTQ students are being pushed out of schools.

In this radio piece, we hear from a few of the youth who are organizing to create student-centered solutions; Timothy Miller, Tevin Kirk and Azeem Hill.

Shayla Johnson, a senior at Overbrook High School, produced this piece.

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Philly's Next Superintendent Should Be...

2012-03-29
Length: 3m 22s


The search is on for the next Superintendent of the Philadelphia School District. What qualities are students looking for in the next leader? Students from several high schools share their priorities in this vox pop produced by Kim Reed. …

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Creating Nonviolent Schools and Communities: Highlights from MLK Day

2012-03-12
Length: 5m 46s


How can we make schools safer without criminalizing youth? How can we confront bias violence? What kinds of restorative practices should we implement in place of harsh discipline policies? What role should students play in finding solutions?

These are some of the questions that were discussed and answered during the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools' MLK Day event.  The Campaign for Nonviolent Schools hosted an expert panel of youth and adults, to offer solutions for ending structural, interpersonal, and bias violence in our schools and communities. Panelists included: Steve Korr, International Institute for Restorative Practices; Helen Gym, Asian Americans United; Bummi Samuels, Philadelphia Freedom Schools; Josh Glenn, Youth Art and Self Empowerment Project and Campaign for Nonviolent Schools; Neil Geyette, Philadelphia High School Teacher; Azeem Hill, Philadelphia Student Union and Campaign for Nonviolent Schools.

Here are some highlights from the event. This piece was edited by Andrea Jobe, and narrated by Shayla Johnson.

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On Blast Show for March 2012

2012-03-08
Length: 29m 59s


On this month's show:

Experts share insights on how to create nonviolent schools. Students from across PA unite against education budget cuts. Young people are growing the Food Justice movement in Philly. Philly teachers banned from administering PSSA test to their own students.

Plus music and other news.

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Students Tell Gov. Corbett: Education is a Human Right. Fund it that Way.

2012-03-01
Length: 4m 26s


On Valentine's Day, more than 400 students and parents from across Pennsylvania held a rally for public education at the State Capitol. This action came a week after Gov. Corbett announced his plan for the next state budget -- a proposal that would carry over last year's $1 billion cuts to education funding. Students demanded that Gov. Corbett restores the cuts and makes equitable school funding be a top priority in the next state budget.

The action was organized by Philadelphia Student Union, Project Peace, Chester student leaders, and A+ Schools' TeenBloc. It was co-sponsored by Juntos and the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools.

This radio piece features highlights from the action. It was edited by Ericka Johnson.

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Breaking Boundaries Together: Multi-Lingual Collaboration at South Philly High

2012-02-21
Length: 5m 14s


In South Philadelphia High School, students are coming together across racial & language barriers. As the School Safety Collaborative, Philadelphia Student Union, Asian Americans United, Boat People S.O.S, and Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia, are making positive changes inside the school with the support of Principal Otis Hackney.

Keith Lomax interviewed members of several organizations to produce this report.

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On Blast: Show for February 2012

2012-02-02
Length: 28m 54s


On this month's show:

A look at school closures on a national scale School nurse layoffs put students at risk An uncertain future for Chester Upland School District Students organize across language barriers at South Philly HS The search for the next Philly Superintendent

Plus music and other news.

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School Nurse Layoffs Endanger Students' Safety

2012-02-01
Length: 4m 43s


In an effort to save money, the School District of Philadelphia has laid off 47 school nurses. This means that there are now 32,900 additional students without a nurse on any given day. Apparently, students' safety is the latest casualty of Governor Corbett's education budget cuts.

Bernard Nesmith interviewed nurses who have been holding a weekly protest in front of the school district building and produced this story.

SIGN THE PETITION TO RESTORE NURSES TO SCHOOLS.

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Dear Governor Corbett,

2012-01-27
Length: 1m 35s


On February 7th, Gov. Corbett will announce his plan for the next state budget. A week later, on Valentine's Day, students and parents from across Pennsylvania are coming together to demand that Governor Corbett make equitable school funding a top priority in the next budget.

Valentine's Day Rally for Public Education
February 14, 2012 - 12pm - Harrisburg Capitol Building 

Register to reserve a seat on one of the Philadelphia buses: www.showloveforeducation.eventbrite.com

Rally sponsored by: Philadelphia Student Union, Project Peace (Reading PA), TeenBloc (Pittsburgh PA), Juntos, Campaign for Nonviolent Schools. Contact megan@phillystudentunion.org for more information.

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Vouchers Can't Find Support in PA

2011-12-31
Length: 2m 42s


On December 14, voucher supporters couldn't find enough support for a school vouchers bill to bring it to a vote. With this defeat, it looks like school vouchers will likely not come up for a vote again anytime this year. In a short roundtable discussion, PSU members Bernard Nesmith, Andrea Jobe, Daesya Parker & Keith Lomax reflect on this victory for public education. The students talk about the role they personally played in turning public opinion against vouchers. …

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On Blast Show for December 2011

2011-12-23
Length: 29m 18s


On this month's show:

Students, parents & teachers untite to form One Voice Students reflect on their defeat of school vouchers A third grader speaks about the school to prison pipeline The importance of art & music in school

Plus music & other news.

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Save Our Schools

2011-12-23
Length: 4m 53s


Cities across the USA are closing schools rapidly. This story features interviews with parents and students from New York City & Philadelphia, who shed light on the effects of school closings. This piece was made to encourage people to continue to fight for pubic education and their human right to learn. Produced by Ericka Johnson. …

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Building Prison Beds Based On Third Graders' Test Scores

2011-12-23
Length: 2m 30s


The school to prison pipeline starts early. It has been said that you can predict the prison population by looking at how many third graders perform poorly on standardized tests. But has anyone ever asked third graders what they think about this? Kim Reed did. This is her report. …

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One Voice: Students, Parents and Teachers are Coming Together

2011-12-13
Length: 4m 10s


One Voice is a new formation emerging in Philadelphia. The purpose is to get parents, students and teachers talking about issues that affect our schools. Each of these three groups have been working to improve education in their own ways, but over the past year some key students, parents & teachers have seen the need to come together. Especially in this time of transition in the Philadelphia School District -- with new School Reform Commission members, & the search for a new Superintendent -- One Voice believes that now is the time for students, parents & teachers to have a voice in the new leadership. Shamiah Williams interviewed One Voice members to produce this report. …

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On Blast Show for November 2011

2011-11-23
Length: 26m 20s


On this month's show:

Chester schools feel the pain of budget cuts Students speak out about the conditions that push them out of school Furness High School stays off the closure list after pressure from students Youth across the country see victory as a new Congressional Youth Caucus is created

Plus music & other news!

This show features Pushed Out, a track produced by PSU's Movement Music, and segue music by Koby Murphy, a PSU alum.

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Students Organize Around the Root Causes of School Pushout

2011-11-13
Length: 3m 45s


Students all over Philadelphia are being pushed out of schools and right into the school to prison pipeline. This is happening because of the lack of resources inside schools and the use of harsh discipline practices that force students into the criminal justice system.

But students from several organizations are fighting to end the school to prison pipeline, as members of the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools. Many of these students shared their experiences at an event called Youth Speak-Out Against Push Out. It was a part of the Dignity in Schools National Week of Action on School Pushout.

This radio piece features students' voices from this powerful event. It was produced by Shayla Johnson and Andrea Jobe.

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Education Budget Cuts Hit Chester Students Hard

2011-11-11
Length: 3m 25s


State budget cuts have hurt the Chester school district in many ways: Class sizes have grown beyond capacity, two high schools merged into one overcrowded building, some elementary school grades have been combined due to lack of staff. In this report, Chester students, parents and community members speak out about how the massive cuts to state education spending are affecting them. This piece was produced by Keith Lomax. …

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How Students Fought to Keep Furness High School Open

2011-11-10
Length: 4m 56s


When students at Furness High School found out that their school was on the School District's list of potential school closures, they were shocked.

This radio piece, produced by Furness senior Bernard Nesmith, features interviews with students and Principal Tim McKenna to shed light on how Furness High School rose to become one of the best neighborhood high schools in the city. This is also the story of how the Philadelphia Student Union Furness Chapter fought to keep the school open.

Photo by Harvey Finkle

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"A win for youth." Congress Launches Youth Caucus

2011-10-20
Length: 3m 49s


Kim Reed joined hundreds of youth from across the country in Washington DC, to report on the historic launch of a new Congressional Youth Caucus. For the first time, the U.S. Congress will have a Caucus where legislators will be talking and thinking about youth issues. This victory was won through the work of the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ) and the Leaders Investing For Equality (LIFE) Campaign. Kim Reed produced this report for On Blast.

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"We need a penny!" Farmworkers Fight For Justice

2011-10-18
Length: 3m 4s


The Coalition of Immokalee Workers organized a rally in front of a center city Trader Joes and the Philly Student Union was there to help support.

Immigrant farmworkers across southwest Florida have been working under low wages and have been treated unfairly for many years. Back in 1993 they began organizing and between there hunger strike and their historic 230-mile march in 2000, their organizing ended over declining wages in the tomato industry. By 1998 they won industry-wide raises but wages still remained below poverty level. Today they are called the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and they are currently fighting for big chain companies like Trader Joes, Walmart, Stop and Shop, ect to sing off on their fair food agreement.

This radio piece was produced by Ericka Johnson and it includes a interview with Oscar from the CIW.

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Teacher Layoffs in Philly: One Teacher's Story

2011-08-05
Length: 3m 45s


Anissa Weinraub is one of about 1500 Philadelphia teachers who recently got laid off due to massive budget cuts to education. Kimberly Reed Hymen interviewed her to find out how being laid off has affected her and her students. …

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Young People Fight for Food Justice

2011-08-05
Length: 4m 1s


Daesya Parker & Imani Curtis interviewed two members of the Urban Nutrition Initiative to find out what food justice means to them. To learn more about the Youth Food Bill of Rights, you can go to www.youthfoodbillofrights.com. …

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The Struggles of Taxi Workers

2011-08-05
Length: 5m 17s


Devon Henderson & Felix Baez interviewed Ron Blount, the president of the Unified Taxi Workers Alliance. Ron explained the struggles that taxi drivers in the city face, including unsafe conditions, getting paid below minimum wage, and not having any health benefits. …

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Working Hard in Philly

2011-08-05
Length: 2m 40s


"The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor." Andrea Jobe & Baseerah Watson went out on the streets of Philadelphia to talk to working people about their jobs and their opinions on workers' rights. This radio piece highlights some of the responses they heard. …

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Exposing the Threats Behind Vouchers

2011-07-23
Length: 6m 56s


Right now in Pennsylvania, school vouchers are being proposed as a way to "fix" public education, by using public money to pay for the private or parochial school tuition of certain students who receive vouchers.

Philadelphia Student Union members have taken a strong position against school vouchers, and we were part of a "Say No to Vouchers" Tour with Action United & Education Law Center. Students, parents and community members boarded a bus and visited legislators' offices to expose the threats behind vouchers.

During the bus tour, Ericka Johnson interviewed a spokesperson of voucher-proponent Sen. Anthony Williams, the Chief of Staff for Sen. Farnese, as well as parents and students, and produced this report.

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More classmates Less inmates

2011-04-28
Length: 6m 20s


In this piece Maryland Shaw, and Shaquille Carbon from Baltimore Algebra Project spoke out on the start of the school to prison pipe line in Baltimore. They talk about the school budget cuts and how the state will use the money to build youth prisons. They were apart of the "FUND OUR SCHOOLS NOT PRISONS" march. (See photo) -by. Ericka Johnson …

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Youth Power Summit: Building a Movement for Nonviolent Schools

2010-10-27
Length: 45s


Youth Power Summit: Building a Movement for Nonviolent Schools
Tuesday, November 9th. 9am-5pm. At the Community College of Philadelphia. An excused absence for all students who attend. Breakfast & lunch will be provided.

High School students register online now: http://youthpowersummit.eventbrite.com/

Students from these high schools are especially encouraged to attend: Audenried, Bartram, Ben Franklin, Carroll, Edison, Fels, FitzSimons, Frankford, Furness, Germantown, Gratz, Kensington Business, Kensington Culinary, King, Lamberton, Lincoln, Northeast, Olney East, Olney West, Overbrook, Roxborough, Sayre, South Philadelphia, Strawberry Mansion, University City, Vaux & West Philadelphia.

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What does it mean for our city now that SugarHouse Casino has opened?

2010-10-23
Length: 5m 31s


SugarHouse Casino opened September 23, 2010 at Frankford and Delaware Avenues despite years of strong public opposition. This has not deterred activists but made them more determined in their fight against casinos in Philadelphia. In this segment, I spoke to Lai Har Cheung, Reverend Jesse Brown, and Francesca Lo Basso. Produced by Cécile Ãœrményházi. …

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Should all students wear school uniforms?

2010-10-17
Length: 3m 47s


In Philadelphia, most public school students wear uniforms every day. But this is not the case across the country, as many rural and suburban districts have yet to require them. On Blast hit the streets of Philadelphia to ask people one question: Should all students have to wear school uniforms? We got some interesting answers from youth, parents and grandparents. While some folks feel that uniforms reduce conflicts, others feel that they stifle young people's self expression. This vox pop was recorded by Amirah Williams, Greg Jordan-Detamore and Justyn Williams. …

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On Blast: Show for September 2010

2010-09-24
Length: 50m 59s


On this month's show:

Denver youth win a students' Bill of Rights and new discipline policies in their schools Students from across the US unite to organize against the school to prison pipeline Farmworkers expose modern day slavery conditions in Florida's fields On the street interviews reveal Philadelphians views on public education Plus lots of good music!

This show was hosted by Azeem Hill and Lawrence Jones-Mahoney.

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The Alliance for Educational Justice: Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline

2010-09-23
Length: 5m 3s


Students from across the country are coming together to stand up against the school to prison pipeline and demand positive school discipline policies that address young peoples' needs.  Instead of zero tolerance policies, students are organizing for the adoption of restorative justice models that promote counseling, mediation and conflict resolution. Leading this fight is the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ), a national alliance of youth organizing groups that includes the Philadelphia Student Union (PSU).

Amirah Williams, a Philadelphia Student Union member, recently interviewed AEJ organizer Mustafa Sullivan about the effects of harsh discipline policies and AEJ's vision for change. This radio piece also features highlights from a national youth speak out that the Alliance for Educational Justice held outside of the U.S. Capitol building this summer.

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Restorative Practices: Respecting Students, Transforming Schools

2010-08-28
Length: 8m 34s


Harsh disciplinary policies, such as zero tolerance, contribute to the school to prison pipeline by criminalizing students and pushing them out of school. Restorative practices, on the other hand, offer an opportunity to repair & move forward after a problem arises, keeping more students engaged in their education.

For almost a decade, Padres y Jóvenes Unidos (Parents and Youth United) have been working to change the school system in Denver, Colorado by implementing restorative practices instead of zero tolerance policies. The parents and students organizing to make these changes succeeded in winning a new discipline policy for their school district. After a year of this new policy, which guarantees students' rights, schools have seen dramatic improvements in school climate and a large reduction of violent incidents.

Dan Jones interviewed Lalo Montoya (pictured) of Padres y Jóvenes Unidos to learn more about their strategies and successes.

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What's the biggest problem with Philadelphia public schools?

2010-08-22
Length: 1m 45s


During PSU's summer leadership program, Building A Youth Movement (BAYM), students hit the streets to ask people their opinions about public education in Philly. There were a lot of different thoughts about the problems and the solutions for our school district. Students took these answers and created this Vox Pop. Listen and see if you agree with what Philly residents had to say.

Carina Flaherty, Tatiana Griffin and Dan Jones recorded and produced this piece.

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Abolishing Modern Day Slavery

2010-08-17
Length: 5m 20s


Shakoya Patterson visited theCoalition of Immokalee Workers' Modern Day Slavery Museum when it came to Philadelphia earlier this month. She interviewed farmworkers who are members of the Coalition of Immokalee (CIW), who spoke about the recent cases of farmworker slavery that have surfaced in Florida and elsewhere. CIW members also spoke about the everyday conditions that farmworkers face, and explained how the CIW is organizing to end all forms of worker mistreatment.

This piece was produced by Shakoya Patterson.

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On Blast: Show for July 2010

2010-07-30
Length: 39m 10s


On this month's show:

Highlights and victories from PSU's '09-'10 school year Connecting the struggles of students and taxi workers Students from Philly and Harrisburg talk about ending violence Youth express themsleves through poetry Music and education news

This show was hosted by Azeem Hill and Gregory Jordan-Detamore. Matt Johnson was the engineer.

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Students Stand with Taxi Workers

2010-07-07
Length: 3m 28s


On Wednesday June 30th, the Philadelphia Parking Authority and Immigration and Customs Enforcement lured 26 taxi drivers to the PPA headquarters by telling them that they were to be reimbursed for previous credit card transactions. Instead, they were met with handcuffs and were immediately detained. There are still four drivers being held. This kind of harassment, especially when looked at alongside the long hours and constant mistreatment faced by taxi drivers, constitutes a form of structural violence similar to the kind faced by young people in our schools and communities. Rising Freshman and Student Union member Shania Morris spoke at a prayer vigil held for the detained drivers. …

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Building A Youth Movement Youth Leadership Institute

2010-07-07
Length: 50s


Student Union's week-long leadership institute BAYM (Building A Youth Movement) is entering into its 7th year. The program includes political education, leadership development and media trainings. BAYM is youth developed, youth driven, and youth facilitated. The program is 100% free, and participants will be provided with breakfast, lunch and tokens.

Building A Youth Movement Leadership Institute August 9th to August 13th 10am-4pmPhiladelphia Student Union office4205 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104

Pre-registration is recommended. Register now! …

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Young People's Poetry

2010-06-21
Length: 5m 20s


This collection of poetry features original pieces by PSU Members Shania Morris, Justin Carter & Tatianna Griffin (right). Produced by Justin Carter. …

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Philly Student Union's School Year in Review

2010-06-11
Length: 5m 34s


Philly Student Union had a powerful year. As the school year comes to a close, we created this montage to capture the highlights of the 2009-2010 school year. Thanks to all of the people who helped make this school year so successful and congratulations to all of our graduating members! …

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Statewide Connections: Bringing Harrisburg Students into our Campaigns

2010-05-19
Length: 3m 55s


Members of PSU recently traveled to Harrisburg PA to meet with students from Harrisburg's William Penn High School and engage them in our Campaign for Nonviolent Schools and our Campaign for Equitable School Funding. We led a participatory workshop that explored the root causes of violence in our schools and communities. We also talked about conditions inside our schools, and students from both Philly and Harrisburg agreed that underfunding of schools is a root cause of many of the problems we face. By sharing our experiences, students came to the realization the problems we see in our schools are not isolated to our own districts; that the struggle for a high quality education is a statewide struggle. In this piece, we hear from some Harrisburg students about how they view violence and how the Nonviolence workshop changed their perceptions of this issue. Cherelle Reed conducted the interviews, Justin Carter recorded the narration, and Greg Jordan-Detamore edited this piece. …

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On Blast: Full Show

2010-05-06
Length: 43m 31s


On this month's show:

PSU brings 100 students together for a nonviolent flash mob in Center City (Watch video) Students stand in solidarity with Temple nurses & techs on the picket line Temple University Health System tries to limit college access for union members' kids Homeless people organize for the human right to housing in NYC Plus music and local education news.

This show was hosted by Greg Jordan-Detamore & Shania Morris. Dan Jones engineered.

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"We Have a Moral Obligation to House People"- Picture the Homeless

2010-05-04
Length: 7m 4s


Picture the Homeless is a grassroots organizing group led by homeless people in New York City. From their website: "We are organizing for social justice around issues like housing, police violence, and the shelter-industrial complex. Our name is about challenging images, stigma, media (mis) representation - as well as putting forward an alternative vision of community." We sat down with organizer Rob Robinson to speak with him about Picture the Homeless' Housing Not Warehousing campaign and their struggles with banking giant JP Morgan Chase. This piece was recorded and produced by Dan Jones …

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Temple Nurses Defend their Kids' Futures

2010-04-29
Length: 6m 39s


Members of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) have been striking for several weeks, in order to win a fair contract from Temple University Hospital. One of the main points of contention is that Temple abrubtly took away the tuition reimbursement for nurses' despite the fact that the benefits are part of their current contract. The tuition reimbursement benefit meant that nurses' children could go to Temple University without paying tuition. For many nurses, losing this benefit would be make it very difficult -or even impossible- for their kids to attend college. Gregory Jordan-Detamore spoke with several PASNAP members about how their families are being affected by this issue.

Update: On Wednesday, April 28th, the strike ended with a victory. PASNAP scored major contract concessions on what Temple University Health Services had billed as their "last, best and final offer" and ended their strike. In terms of tuition reimbursement, there was a partial victory. Children and dependents of PASNAP members will receive tuition reimbursements for 6 credits per semester at Temple University.

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Students Stand with Temple Nurses on the Picket Line

2010-04-16
Length: 2m 3s


On April 8th, The Philadelphia Student Union, along with The Unified Taxi Workers Alliance and The Media Mobilizing Project, went to the front lines of the Temple nurses strike to show support and stand with PASNAP, the Temple nurses' union. Justin Carter, a member of PSU and a senior at West Philadelphia HS, spoke to the crowd about the connections between students' struggles & nurses' struggles. He called attention to the problems with the 'gag clause' that Temple is trying to put on nurses, saying, "Just like students have the right to speak out about the conditions in our schools, nurses have the right to speak out about the working conditions in their hospitals." Recorded Greg Jordan-Detamore & produced by Justin Carter. …

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Making Music to Tackle the Drop Out Crisis

2010-03-27
Length: 5m 0s


Have you heard Pushed Out, the 5 track album that Philadelphia Student Union members created? The album tells the story of one student who is dealing with Philadelphia's nearly 50% drop out rate. After finishing the cd, students helped design a curriculum that teachers and others can use along with the cd to talk about the drop out crisis. The curriculum engages young people, helps them identify the root causes of why so many students are dropping out, and talks about student-driven solutions.  This new curriculum is being used in some of Philly's classrooms and community centers, but PSU is still working towards our goal of copying and distributing the CD to over a thousand public high school students. Visit PSU's Movement Music page to listen to the songs or make a donation that will go towards the next album that students will be producing this summer: http://home.phillystudentunion.org/Student-Programs/Soundtrack-Donations-mp3.html

In this piece, Candace Carter and Koby Murphy talk about the process of writing and recording Pushed Out. This piece was recorded by Lawrence Jones Mahoney and produced by Othella Stanback.

 

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On Blast: Show for March 2010

2010-03-23
Length: 46m 36s

On this show:

PSU's youth artists create an album to tackle the drop-out crisis Kansas City, MO students see half of their city's public schools shut down Highlights from PSU's official launch of the Campaign for Non-violent schools West Philadelphia High students put forward their hopes & concerns for the Rennaissance 'turnaround' of their school

Plus music & other education news.

This month's show was hosted by Shaina Richards & Jaileah Gibson. Matt Johnson & Justin Carter were the engineers.

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A Student Responds to West Philly High being a Possible Rennaissance School

2010-03-06
Length: 2m 50s


The Philadelphia School District recently announced that West Philadelphia High School is eligible to become a Renaissance school. This means that, if West is selected as a Renaissance school, West could be subject to 'turnaround' reforms and possibly outside managers.  Since West already has a plan for whole school transformation, one that students and community members have spent years working towards (and that has already had big positive effects on the school climate), many people are concerned about what the Renaissance process could mean for the school. In this piece, Shaina Richards (center in photo) interviewed West student Justin Carter (left in photo) about his reaction to the situation. Shaina Richards produced this piece.

Read more about community responses to West becoming eligible to be a Renaissance School: http://www.thenotebook.org/blog/102263/west-phildelphia-community-responds-renaissance-label

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On Blast: Show for February 2010

2010-03-06
Length: 53m 30s


On this Show, we hear highlights from PSU's 600 person MLK Day march to end all forms of violence in schools. We'll also learn about Grow Your Own, a model for helping community members become teachers and teach in their neighborhood schools. Also, we hear stories about homeless organizing in Philly in the 1990's, when organizers built a tent city right next to the Liberty Bell. Last, we feature the speech that officially launched PSU's campaign to address violence in schools and end the school-to-prison pipeline. Plus, lots of music and other education news. This show was hosted by Azeem Hill & Justin Carter. It was engineered by Dan Jones & Azeem Hill. …

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"I am talking about student-created solutions to violence in our schools"

2010-02-19
Length: 5m 11s


On Wednesday, February 17, Philadelphia Student Union member DeVante Wilson spoke before the School Reform Commission. He announced the launch of PSU's campaign to address the root causes of violence, and to end violence in our schools and communities. His speech was well received by the members of the School Reform Commission, and Dr. Ackerman stated that she wanted to meet with students to discuss these issues further and learn more about the campaign. This is a successful next step to what began on MLK Day, when 600+ people from all walks of life took the first step towards creating a just and peaceful school system. Here is the testimony that DeVante presented to School Reform Commission. This piece was produced by Shania Morris. …

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The Struggles of the Homeless in Philadelphia (1995-96)

2010-02-02
Length: 10m 6s


In January of 2010, the Poverty Initiatve, a group based in New York that aims to reignite Dr. Martin Luther King's Poor People's Campaign, visited Philadelphia for an immersion tour. The tour highlighted the history of the struggles of poor people in this city. Willie Baptist and Liz Theoharis shared stories about the struggle of the homeless in 1995 and 1996, which included a "tent city" and the takeover of an abandoned church.

This piece was produced by Gregory Jordan-Detamore.

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"I Stand Against Injustice"

2010-02-02
Length: 6m 6s


Markeeta Hudgens, a senior at Overbrook High School and a committed PSU member, closed the recent MLK Day action with a speech about the work that lies ahead for students and communities in creating a safe & just school system. During the speech, she asked the audience to take a pledge to reject violence, search for the root causes of violence in their communities and take a stand against injustice. This speech was recorded by Dylan Washington & produced by Matt Johnson. …

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A Call to End All Forms of Violence

2010-02-02
Length: 5m 26s


On MLK Day, Philadelphia Student Union member Azeem Hill spoke about ending all forms of violence in our school system, both interpersonal and systemic. He spoke to a crowd of about 600 students, parents, clergy, elected officials and community leaders before leading them in a march down Broad Street. This is the audio of Azeem's speech. It was recorded by Jaileah Gibson & produced by Matt Johnson. …

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Grow Your Own: A Community-Based Model of Teacher Development

2010-01-30
Length: 6m 57s


A new model of teacher development is emerging that could help 'hard to staff' neighborhood schools build and retain a base of effective teachers by recruiting young adults in the neighborhood to choose a career in teaching.  This model is called 'Grow Your Own' and it is happening in Chicago, thanks to the organizing work of students and communities. Dan Jones interviewed Rod Wilson of Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) in Chicago, about how 'Grow Your Own' is changing the way teachers and communities interact.

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Students Lead Non-Violent Resistance, Honor MLK's Legacy

2010-01-23
Length: 1m 51s


On Monday, Philadelphia Student Union celebrated Martin Luther King's vision with a spirited rally outside the School District, a 600-person march down Broad Street, and a powerful service at Arch Street Methodist Church. Led by the young leaders of PSU, the event called for peace, justice and an end to all forms of violence. It was co-sponsored by 19 other organizations and attended by students, parents, teachers, and community members from every section of the city--as well as State Representative Vanessa Brown, Democratic candidate for Governor Joe Hoeffel, candidate for State Representative Will Mega, and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. The audio of this event was recorded by students Jaileah Gibson & Dylan Washington. This short piece was produced by PSU alum Matt Johnson. …

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Ending School Violence in All of Its Forms

2010-01-09
Length: 1m 30s


This Martin Luther King Day (January 18th) at 3pm, at 440 North Broad St. (School District headquarters), Student Union is calling on the community to provide witness and take action to stop school violence in all of its forms- whether it be the interpersonal violence between two students or the institutional violence that happens when schools are de-humanizing and under-resourcing young people. We know that Dr. King was using non-violence to combat a system that was itself violent, and plan on taking up that legacy. Please come and support young people demanding justice and peace in their schools. …

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On Blast: Show for December 2009

2010-01-07
Length: 49m 2s


On this Show, we hear interviews with students at South Philly High about the violence they faced at school and their organized response to it. We'll also learn about the groundbreaking of the new West Philadelphia High School, and the work that students have done to reach this milestone. PSU members also bring us a report-back from the School District's Renaissance School feedback sessions, and what we can expect from the Renaissance schools plan in 2010. Also, we hear a piece about how the media covers violence at neighborhood and magnet schools differently, which often reinforces stereotypes. Plus, we'll have music and other education news. Zakia Royster & Dylan Washington hosted this show, and Matt Johnson was the engineer. …

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Students & Community Achieve Milestone at West Philadelphia High School

2010-01-07
Length: 3m 2s


As 2009 came to a close, West Philadelphia High School students saw a new beginning; the groundbreaking on a new building for West Philadelphia High School. This was a big milestone for PSU members at West who have been working to change not just building, but to improve the education and the school culture. The process started in 2003 when Superintendent Paul Vallas announced that there would be a new building. Since then, students have spearheaded a community process that has included over 200 people (community members, faith based organizations, parents, local representatives, and politicians.) This piece was produced by Azeem Hill, a student at West Philadelphia High School Auto Academy. …

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South Philly High School Students Speak Out

2009-12-19
Length: 5m 46s


Philadelphia Student Union sat down with Asian students from South Philadelphia High School (SPHS) who were attacked inside their school and subsequently organized a student boycott when the School District failed to appropriately respond. In this piece, two South Philly High students describe the attacks that hospitalized several of their friends, and their feeling that adults in the school district have let them down. A few days after these interviews took place, the boycott ended and students returned to SPHS. But students --both SPHS students & PSU members-- are continuing to work toward holding the district accountable and solving the root problems of this violence. This piece was produced by Dan Jones. …

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Unanswered Questions about Renaissance Schools Plan

2009-12-19
Length: 2m 13s


On November 19th, Philadelphia Student Union and Youth United for Change brought out a group of students to take part in a feedback session about the renaissance schools process, held by the School District. The renaissance schools are part of the School District's plan, Imagine 2014. Under this plan, several under-performing schools will be placed under new management; these schools will be called 'Renaissance Schools' and they could be handed over to outside managers, such as Charter Management and Education Management Organizations. The District has put out some information about what these "turn-around schools" will look like, but a lot of questions remain. Here are some of the questions that PSU students wanted answers to... This piece was produced by Cherelle Reed & Javier Morris. …

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"It's Not an Afterschool Program -- It's My Life!"

2009-12-04
Length: 5m 0s


Student leaders speak about how Philadelphia Student Union has affected their lives and their futures, in this piece by Dylan Washington, Jaileah Gibson & Kimora Lamotte. Zakia Royster, Lawrence Jones Mahoney & Khalif Dobson talk about how they became part of this youth-led organization and how their identity as organizers and their sense of purpose has been shaped through their work with PSU.


If you are a high school student in Philadelphia who wants to get involved, come to our citywide meetings every Saturday 1-4pm at 4205 Chestnut St.  Or go to our website to find out more.

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On Blast: Show for November 2009

2009-11-16
Length: 51m 0s


On this show we hear a feature about how Philadelphia Student Union has affected the lives of members. We also hear a piece that asks whether Advanced Placement classes are dividing students and distributing schools' resources inequitably. Then we look at the ways music shapes people, with a Song Breakdown of 'One More Drink' and a story about conscious hip hop. Plus, there's music and other news from Philly's schools.


Dan Jones wrote the news stories this month. Keturah Bailey, Azeem Hill and Greg Jordan-Detamore hosted the show.

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Do AP Classes Separate Students?

2009-11-13
Length: 4m 8s


From several students point of view education is stil not equal. Othella stanback(freshman) and Shaniyra Curry-Scott(senior) from University high school were  interviewed on what they think of their classes. Many logical and emotional points were made and discussed .This piece was produced by KETURAH BAILEY  with help from Zakia Royster.

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On Blast Promo

2009-11-06
Length: 45s


Tune in to On Blast every Wednesday from 6-7pm on WPEB 88.1FM in West Philadelphia!

A year and a half after our launch, On Blast is still going strong as the only youth-produced radio show in Philly that's focused on making positive changes in our public schools. Learn more about Philadelphia Student Union's youth-led campaigns at our website: www.phillystudentunion.org. Thanks for listening and subscribing!

This promo was created by Dylan Washington & Greg Jordan-Detamore.

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On Blast: Show for October 2009

2009-10-09
Length: 54m 35s


On this month's show we hear a report from students' confrontation of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Rev. Al Sharpton; an interview with long-time organizer Willie Baptist; a conversation with Heidi Ramirez of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission. We'll also hear a story about the history of coal miners' organizing and how it relates to students' struggle -- which was recorded while we were in West Virgina for a Leadership School. Plus, music and other news. This show was hosted by Keturah Bailey & Dylan Washington, and produced by Dan Jones. …

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Who are they listening to?

2009-10-09
Length: 4m 31s


Azeem Hill's piece on "The Listening and Learning Tour" led by Arnie Duncan, Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrinch that kicked off in Philly. This happened on Tuesday, September 29th. The community and the students were concerned and wanted to talk about what national education reform should look like. The only time we got to talk to Arnie Duncan and Al Sharpton was when they were separated from the community by a gate. This piece tells the story. …

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Organizing Across Race Lines: From Ridgeville to Ridge's Mansion!

2009-10-03
Length: 8m 49s


Willie Baptist, a leader in the movement to end poverty, shares some of his experiences working with the Kensington Welfare Rights Union in Philadelphia. Much of the work that the KWRU did relied on its being a cross-racial movement, and Mr. Baptist explains how deep racial divisions are overcome when the focus is put on people's common struggles. This piece was produced by Dan Jones. …

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Wes Harris explains the troubled past of the West Virginia Coal Mines

2009-10-03
Length: 5m 51s


This past summer students from the Philadelphia Student Union and other organizing groups went to West Virginia and participated in many workshops and took many trips. One trip in particular included a visit to Matewan, West Virginia which was a site for previous coal mining strikes. There, a man named Wes Harris explained the situation in which many coal miners of the time experienced, and in which some are still experiencing today. He also explained the need for unionizing, and the power it can bring. This piece was edited by Matt Johnson & produced by Kimora Lamonte. …

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Interview with Heidi Ramirez

2009-09-18
Length: 8m 25s


During BAYM (Building a Youth Movement), PSU's summer program, we had media training time where students were in several different media groups. Among other things, the groups interviewed different people, including Heidi Ramirez, a member of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission who recently announced her resignation. We talked about subjects such as teacher quality and the school district's strategic plan. This is a short version that includes only some of the interview. For the rest, listen to the long version, soon to be published on this podcast. This piece was produced by Gregory Jordan-Detamore. …

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OnBlast: Show for August, 2009

2009-08-30
Length: 48m 35s


This show has several segments, plus news headlines and music. One segment is from the B'more Fair in Baltimore, a march for the rights of workers in the Inner Harbor, organized by the United Workers Association. Another story is about the community struggle to keep William Penn High School from being closed. There is also a piece about how we are taught in school versus how we learn best. Finally, there is a segment (which includes Khalif Dobson's testimony from a School Reform Commission meeting) about the struggle to stop our schools from being privatized. This show was hosted by Azeem, Amber, Simone, Matt, Cherelle, Candace & Dan. …

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How We Learn Best vs. How We Are Taught In School

2009-07-12
Length: 7m 56s


In this piece, several PSU members were interviewed about how they learn best, and about how that is different from how they are taught in school. Their answers are very insightful, and clearly show why so many students dislike school and do not find it to be very educational. This piece also offers clues as to how we can improve things. This piece was produced by Gregory Jordan-Detamore. …

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Community Wins Demand for Reinvestment in Wiliam Penn High School

2009-07-09
Length: 2m 16s


Months ago, when the school district first announced that it would be closing William Penn HS, almost no one doubted that that would be the case. However, thanks to the quick and effective organizing of the community around William Penn, the school is going to remain open and there is a new plan to turn it into a cutting edge career and technical school. The building, located on Broad and Master Sts., is on prime real estate for developers, and there was a lot of pressure to close it so it could be put up for sale. However, the strong and organized messages put forth by the Committee to Revitalize William Penn made it clear that the district could not get away with ignoring the school's problems for decades and then saying that is was too much to fix. Congratulations to everyone involved in the campaign to reinvest in William Penn High School! This piece was narrated by Candace Carter and recorded by Dan Jones for On Blast Radio with the Philly Student Union. …

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Private Manager Contracts Renewed Over Community Protest

2009-07-07
Length: 4m 51s


On June 17th, the School Reform Commission voted 3-1 to renew the contracts with all of the private managers running schools in the district. This vote came over loud protest from community groups including the Philadelphia Student Union, who pointed out that there is no proof that the management organizations (EMOs) have been working, and that in fact, many studies point to the opposite. There has been a lot of pressure from the state legislature to renew the contracts, many of which were already operating on a one year probation renewal. Commissioner Heidi Ramirez was the only dissenting voice against renewal: She also noted that the proof of the effectiveness of EMOs just isn't there. EMOs have failed thousands of students for 7 years now. At what point do we demand accountability from them and from their supporters in Harrisburg? …

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The B'MORE FAIR!

2009-06-07
Length: 6m 56s


In late April, the Baltimore based human rights organizing group United Workers Association held a major human rights march and protest to announce the worst of the worst of the employers in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The Inner Harbor is a major tourist hot spot, with a lot of restaurants and shops. However, despite the apparent affluence of the Harbor, the workers there are treated with a total lack of respect for their humanity. The United Workers Association, fresh off of their recent victory at the Camden Yards baseball field, is leading the charge in organizing these workers to demand their basic human rights. Student Union was a part of a Philadelphia delegation of over 65 people that helped to support and cover the event. …

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Dear District & Teacher's Union, Please make teacher equity a top priority

2009-05-31
Length: 2m 34s


On May 24th, PSU rallied in front of the School District, then traveled to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) and rallied there too. We had the same message for them both: Teacher Quality & Equity Need to be the Top Priority in the Teachers' Contracts! Here are some of the specific things we want to see in the contract: 1. Incentive grants to attract experienced teachers to hard-to-staff schools. 2. Full site selection. 3. Performance standards and evaluations for teachers, developed in collaboration with teachers. 4. Teacher-driven professional development. This piece was produced by Eric Yates. …

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Song Breakdown: One More Drink

2009-05-22
Length: 9m 21s


In this installment of our Song Breakdown, Zakia Royster & Candace Carter analyze the real messages in the song, "One More Drink" by Ludacris featuring T-Pain. Candace & Zakia break down Ludacris' lyrics and end up talking about men, women, alcohol, drinking and driving, sex, and self-esteem. …

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On Blast: Show for May, 2009

2009-05-11
Length: 43m 58s


On this month's show, we hear testimonies about Imagine 2014 from students at the School Reform Commission, a discussion about militarization of schools, and a song breakdown of 'One More Drink.' Plus, there's music and other news. Hosted by Eric Yates & Greg Jordan-Detamore, and produced by Matt Johnson. …

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Camouflage: How the Military Uses Undercover Tactics to Recruit Young People

2009-05-11
Length: 6m 52s


In this piece, students talk about the ways that the military targets poor and working class youth, including some subtle ways that the military tries to infiltrate schools, fashion, and even youth culture. This piece was produced by Dan Jones and Simone Waller. …

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On Blast: Show for March, 2009

2009-03-24
Length: 46m 30s


On this month's show we hear audio highlights from PSU's action about Imagine 2014, a report about community groups in Chicago resisting school closures, an interview with West student about news that her academy (Creative & Performing Arts) will be shutting down, a collection of youth voices about military recruitment, and a rap written and performed by two PSU members. Plus, we'll have music and other news. This show was hosted by Cherelle Reed & Mason Tyer. …

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"It Keeps Kids Coming to School": CAPA Academy at West Philly High

2009-03-22
Length: 2m 35s


Sadae Canty (right) is a student at West Philadelphia High School and is part of the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Academy. Last Thursday, March 19, West's principal announced that the CAPA Academy would be closed down after only it's second year, in favor of creating a new 9th Grade Academy. In this piece, Sadae talks about the importance of having a Creative and Performing Arts curriculum, and what it would mean for students if West loses this Academy. …

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Students Stand Up Against Imagine 2014 Plan, Propose Real Solutions

2009-03-10
Length: 6m 15s


The last week of February, students from each of PSU's chapters held an action to respond to the District's plan, Imagine 2014. This plan is directly based off Renaissance 2010, the Chicago plan for closing and taking over low-performing schools. We know that closing schools or having them taken over by Charter Management Organizations or EMOs (private companies) is not the answer for fixing our schools. So at this action we presented a different vision for empowering students and communities to really transform our schools. This audio for this piece was recorded by Amendu Evans (SEIU 32BJ) and Kistine Carolan (Media Mobilizing Project). The piece was produced by Candace Carter, PSU. …

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"No We Won't Go": Performance at PSU's Action

2009-03-10
Length: 2m 0s


As part of PSU's recent action about equity, Eric Yates & Koby Murphy performed a piece they wrote. They are both part of a group of PSU students who are creating a PSU album. The album is set to drop this summer. It will feature student artists rapping, singing and doing spoken word about the issues that PSU organizes around. …

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"Change Can't Come to You, It Has to Come From You"

2009-03-08
Length: 3m 13s


Allies from across Philadelphia came out to support PSU's action on February 25th and share their concerns about Imagine 2014. Helen Gym, a leader of Asian Americans United and Parents United for Public Education, spoke about how we can build an equitable public school system that serves all of Philadelphia's students. …

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I Have a Dream...That Communities & Students Will Have Our Voices Heard

2009-03-08
Length: 2m 18s


On February 25, PSU held an action in response to the District's new strategic plan, called Imagine 2014. During the action, students reflected on equity in the Philadelphia public schools 55 years after Brown vs. Board of Education, and presented a vision for community empowerment that will lead to whole school transformation. Sadae Canty, a junior at West Philadelphia High School, presented a poem about her dream for equality in schools. …

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On Blast: Show for January, 2009

2009-01-19
Length: 50m 0s


On this month's show, we'll hear a report about the grassroots struggle to keep Philly's neighborhood libraries open, a piece about how young people around the world are using sites like Facebook as a way to organize people, and highlights from the Media Mobilzing Project's recent Community Building Dinner. Plus, we have music and other news. This show was engineered by Simone Waller. …

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Celebration & Struggle: Media Mobilzing Project's Community Building Dinner

2009-01-12
Length: 3m 21s


As 2008 came to a close, Media Mobilizing Project welcomed organizing groups from across Philly to the 3rd annual MMP Community Building Dinner. This dinner was a chance for Philly Student Union to share our 2008 victories and talk to allies about their struggles and successes. In this piece, Dan Jones talks to attendees (see MMP's Wall of Leaders, on right), including keynote speaker Gerardo Reyes from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. …

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Save Our Libraries

2009-01-11
Length: 5m 55s


In December there was an action to protest the closing down of Philadelphia's libraries in front of City hall. Student Union members, Sylvia and Shaniece, attended and asked protesters why they were there. Since then, Mayor Nutter has been sued to keep the libraries open, and we won. The lawsuit kept him from closing our libraries, but he's still cutting the hours they are open. This piece was edited by Amber~Marie Felton. …

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Little Weapon: The Military Comes to our Schools

2009-01-11
Length: 7m 55s


Every year, the armed forces spend millions of dollars on targeted recruitment of "high performing, low income" students. More and more, the military is building a presence in public schools. From running JROTC programs to gathering mass contact lists, the armed forces are employing tactics to recruit more students straight out of high school. This piece explores the ways that the military targets certain students.This piece was produced by Dan Jones & Shaniece Mobley.

To download an opt-out form to stop yourself from being contacted by military recruiters, paste this link into your browser:

http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/a/accountability/documents/military_opt_out_form_english-2009.pdf

For more info about opting-out (and links to download opt-out forms in several other languages) visit the School District's page at http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/a/accountability/forms/

To have your contact info will be withheld from military recruiters, mail completed opt-out forms directly to this address:

Joint Advertising, Marketing Research & Studies(JAMRS) ATTN: Opt-Out 4040 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite #200 Arlington, Virginia 22203-1613 …

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Facebook Activism

2009-01-04
Length: 3m 24s


Facebook isn't only used for status updates but also for networking. Learn how one man used the infamous Facebook to make a local problem be supported worldwide. Prouduced by Divante H. …

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On Blast: Show for December, 2008

2008-12-09
Length: 1h 0m 34s


On this month's show, we'll talk about ways that the military is recruiting students by getting inside high schools in lo-income neighborhoods, and how you can opt-out of the recruitment process. We'll also present PSU's platform for teacher equity and explain the 6 steps that the district needs to take to ensure qualified teachers for all students. Also, there's poetry from some PSU members, plus music and other news. This show was engineered by Matt Johnson. …

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Teacher Quality Platform

2008-12-07
Length: 4m 9s


"Teacher quality is the biggest equity issue in the district." This platform is what we, the community, want for our teachers. By helping out the teachers we are helping ourselves, the students and the community. These are recommendations that will help get qualified teachers evenly distributed all across the city. This was produced by Simone Waller. …

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Musical Influence: How Hip Hop Affects Students

2008-12-03
Length: 4m 5s


What effect does hip hop have one the lives of young people, especially their lives as students? Does music distract students or help them make it through the school year? Mason Tyer & Candace Carter wanted to find out, so they got PSU members talking about a favorite subject: music. Photo by © Jacques-Jean Tiziou / www.jjtiziou.net …

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Talking About Organizing: An Interview with SFA & CIW

2008-12-03
Length: 6m 3s


In September, students from Philadelphia Student Union went to Immokalee Florida for a conference put on by the Student Farmworker Alliance (SFA). Eric Yates conducted this interview with John Michael Torres, an activist and steering committee member of the SFA, which is part of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers(CIW). During the conference, PSU members learned about the CIW's campaign for a better contract with Subway. On December 2, Subway gave in to the workers' demands and CIW announced a major victory in this campaign! …

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School Uniforms: For Team Spirit or Social Control?

2008-11-14
Length: 6m 20s


Almost every student in Philadelphia has to wear uniforms. But what is the real purpose? And are uniforms helpful or hurtful to students? Produced by Sylvia Wright and Eric Yates. …

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On Blast: Show for November, 2008

2008-11-07
Length: 56m 5s


On this month's show we'll hear a roundtable discussion about the military's new methods of recruiting young people, an interview with hip-hop artist and activist Omecka, a story about how immigrant parents are fighting for more traslators in Philly public schools, and a report back from PSU's recent Student Summit. Plus, there's music and other news! …

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Without a Trace: Searching for Students in Teachers' Contract Negotiations

2008-10-20
Length: 6m 17s


With less than a month left until the teacher contracts expire, PSU held an action in front of Masterman (the 'best' school in the city) to say that the negotiations must include students' needs and fix the inequitable distribution of qualified teachers across schools. We believe that one solution to this problem is the use of teacher incentive grants, which would help keep qualified teachers at 'hard-to-staff' schools. Audio from this action was recorded by Amber Felton and Andrew Perez, and produced by Greg Jordan Detamore. …

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"We Come Here to Learn, Not to Get Beat": Students Respond to the Sayre 'Riot'

2008-10-09
Length: 3m 56s


On September 17th, there was an incident at Sayre high school in which 50 police officers brutalized Sayre students. Twenty-two students were arrested as a result of this and one student was hospitalized for several days, yet none of the police officers were reprimanded. The press reported that this "riot" was caused by unruly young people. But Sayre students believe that the real root causes include a poor learning environment, isolation of students, lack of community, students' day to day frustration of being in an underfunded school, negative perceptions of neighborhood school students and a tense relationship between students and school police. On October 9th, Philadelphia Student Union held a press conference in front of Sayre to bring the truth about this so-called "riot" to light. This piece was produced by Dan Jones and Matt Johnson. …

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Weighted Student Funding: What would it mean for Philly?

2008-10-08
Length: 4m 0s


Arlene Ackerman, the new Superintendent of the Philadelphia School District, has said that she may push to implement a method of funding schools called Weighted Student Funding (WSF). To find out what WSF really is and what it would mean for Philly students, Khalif Dobson researched how it has worked in other cities and then produced this radio piece. …

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Victories & Next Steps: School Funding Campaign Update

2008-10-08
Length: 4m 26s


This past year, Philadelphia Student Union's campaign to get equitable school funding had a major victory. PSU helped secure a $274 million increase in PA's education budget, including $51 million in new money for Philadelphia schools. PSU's organizing and lobbying efforts also helped put a new funding formula in place; a formula that is based on what students in each district actually need. Dan Jones spoke to Vince Gordon, School Board Director for Upper Darby, about what the new funding has meant for his district and what we need to do to make sure we get the future increases our schools need. …

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On Blast: Show for October, 2008

2008-10-08
Length: 50m 44s


On this month's show: Audio from our recent action about the distribution of qualified teachers, an update about PSU's school funding campaign, an interview with a student organizer from the Student Farmworker Alliance, and a piece about Weighted Student Funding, which is a new way of funding schools that might be coming to Philly. Plus news and music! …

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UNITE HERE begins battle with Aramark

2008-09-29
Length: 12m 19s


Aramark provides food service for prisons, schools, and venues across the country. But do they provide health care, adequate pay, and a good environment for their workers? PS: We know from experience, their food is crappy. Produced by Dan Jones and Matt Johnson. …

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On Blast: Show for September, 2008

2008-09-14
Length: 59m 59s


On this month's show: An audio introduction to Philadelphia Student Union, UNITE-HERE's campaign against Aramark, the United Workers mission to end poverty in Baltimore, and a student perspective on Mayor Nutter's plan to cut the Drop-Out rate. Plus news, music & more! …

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Powerful Union of the Poor: United Workers

2008-09-14
Length: 8m 56s


Greg, from the United Workers in Baltimore, speaks about the values and philosophy of this union, which is run by poor people for poor people. He also talks about their campaigns and about gentrification in Baltimore. Produced by Eric Yates & Amber Marie Felton. …

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Art for Social Change: Conversations with Young Artists

2008-09-13
Length: 7m 25s


What's the connection between art & organizing? And how can artists use their talents to create social change? Amber Marie Felton & Simone Waller spoke to musicians, poets, organizers and artists to hear what they had to say. …

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On Blast: Show for August, 2008

2008-09-13
Length: 1h 2m 5s


On this month's show: Interviews with Baltimore Algebra Project & Wide Angle Youth Media, a song breakdown of 'Low,' activist Larry Gibson explains mountain top removal mining, and a look at teacher quality in Philadelphia schools. Plus news, music & more! …

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Wide Angle Media: Young People Making Media

2008-09-13
Length: 4m 31s


While we were in Baltimore, we met other young people making media and using it as a tool for change. Produced by Eric Yates & Matt Johnson. …

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Everyone Deserves Qualified Teachers

2008-09-13
Length: 5m 0s


Why don't all students in Philly have teachers who are experienced and qualified? What makes a teacher qualified? This piece talks to parents and a teacher at a 'hard-to-staff' school to find answers. Produced by Candace Carter. …

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The Truth about Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining

2008-09-13
Length: 7m 24s


Larry Gibson lives on Kayford Mountain in West Virginia. Most of the mountains around him have been destroyed by Mountain Top Removal, a destructive and dangerous type of coal mining. Larry is fighting to save the mountains and the people who live in them. We visited his mountain in June, and recorded him talking about his struggle. Produced by Ruth Kodish Eskind, Eric Yates & Lawrence Jones Mahoney. …

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A New Form of Segregation: Magnet & Neighborhood Schools

2008-09-12
Length: 9m 30s


Magnet and neighborhood schools are different. Magnet schools get more freedom, funding, and resources. And neighborhood schools are usually considered 'hard-to-staff'and dangerous. This piece explores the stereotypes that neighborhood students and magnet students have about each other, and how students are kept apart. Produced by Amber Marie Felton & Ruth Kodish Eskind. …

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Baltimore Algebra Project: Our Ally in the Fight for Equal Education

2008-09-08
Length: 9m 2s


This June, PSU visited Baltimore Algebra Project as part of our Immersion Trip. We learned about the work that Baltimore Algebra Project is doing and saw a lot of similarities to the struggles we face in Philly. This piece was produced by Eric Yates & Matt Johnson. My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-9dabe7e395d317acd93966374efa6604} …

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Media Covers Violence Differently at Neighborhood & Magnet Schools

2008-09-08
Length: 7m 38s


During the '07-'08 school year, violent incidents happened both at West Philly High and Masterman. In this piece, we look at how the media covered these events very differently and how stereotypes about neighborhood school students and magnet school students get perpetuated. Produced by Amber Marie Felton & Ruth Kodish Eskind. …

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"I Don't Want to Be For Sale": Fighting Privatization of Our Schools

2008-09-08
Length: 4m 16s


This story was produced in winter '08, when private companies (EMO's) were running 38 Philly public schools and were trying to get control of more. Now, after months of organizing and outreach by PSU, EMO's lost their control of 6 schools and are on probation for 20 more schools...which means that they will lose their contracts if they don't show major improvements. In this piece, students explore the problems with privatization. Produced by Lawrence Jones Mahoney, Dan Jones, Eric Yates & Matt Johnson …

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On Blast

On Blast is an organizing tool for the Philadelphia Student Union. We know that students have deep analysis about their schools and communities. We know that young people's voices need to be heard before real structural change can take place in our public schools. At On Blast, we choose subject matter that amplifies the voices of those not being heard-- especially young people-- and those who are routinely hurt and misrepresented by the dominant media. We are using media to organize for the human right to a high quality public education for all students.

On Blast


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