Dr. Courtney Robinson, founder of the Excellence and Advancement Foundation, made a couple of stops on the UT Austin campus to engage students, faculty and staff in discussions about race and the school-to-prison pipeline system.
Her first stop was at Dr. Leonard Moore’s History of the Black Power Movement class, where she sparked candid discussions about the state of race relations in the United States, prompting questions about systemic racism in public schools and the debilitating effects of zero-tolerance policies.
Later in the afternoon, she stopped over at the Texas Union to give a campus talk titled “Race, Schooling and Incarceration.” After sparking an interactive discussion about race and social justice, she outlined the mission of the Excellence and Advancement Foundation, highlighting the many ways she and her colleagues are empowering students, parents, educators and community members to change the status quo in public schools.
“We don’t have children at risk; we have children in need,” says Robinson, who is an adjunct professor at Huston-Tillotson University. “They’re in need of something and we just need to figure out what that something might be.”
The most critical piece, she said, is mobilizing the entire community to take action.
“I truly believe that when a community starts something and it grows there’s no stopping it,” she added. “We’ve seen communities change the structure of their neighborhoods and their schools. One person can’t do everything but everyone can do something.”
Visit this website to learn how the Excellence and Advancement Foundation is helping schools and communities end the school-to-prison pipeline through innovative interventions.