This open letter was sent to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, on August 13th, 2011.
Dear Prime Minister,
I write as someone whose contribution for more than four decades to the struggle for quality schooling and education for all and for racial equality and social justice is a matter of public record. I write as a former youth and community worker, community development officer and director of education and leisure services whose work has been predominantly in urban settings. I am a social analyst and professor of education. I am interim chair of Parents and Students Empowerment, an offshoot of the Communities Empowerment Network which for the last twelve years has been providing advice, guidance and advocacy in respect of the one thousand (1,000) school exclusion cases on average we deal with each year.
It is with profound sadness that I write to you.
Sadness at the lives lost and families traumatised as the civil unrest spread across London and elsewhere in the country.
Sadness at the number of young people who are now being taken through the courts, most of whom will doubtlessly end up with criminal convictions, if not prison sentences, thereby compounding the social exclusion that had already engulfed many of them. Read the rest of this entry →