Wednesday, September 15, 2021 -
1:00pm to 3:00pm
Moving Forward on Social Justice: Fixing the School to Prison Pipeline Final Session

The City’s Office of Equity and Human Rights is hosting the final session of a three-part series on the school-to-prison pipeline from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 15, 2021.

Part Three brings together lessons learned from the first two sessions in order to explore remedies to the issues raised in those previous discussions. Those solutions include the need for improved training for decision-makers, enhanced data collection, and monitoring decision-making.

Calls for social justice are not just about addressing the death of George Floyd. Nationwide, there is a call for tangible and transformative societal change. Some change is occurring already: there is more bias training and greater funding for mental health resources in law enforcement; and employers are reaching out to communities of color and working harder to recognize the challenges they face. While that change is welcome, a fundamental reason for the ongoing calls for meaningful change lies in the school-to-prison pipeline.

Although there are sections of this pipeline that cannot be solved by any one person or community, there is an underlying factor in this cycle that has been ignored and can help us shut this pipeline down. That hidden, harmful factor is the effect of implicit bias on everyday decisions that for people of color begins in elementary school. Decisions in K-12 education to discipline, suspend, or expel impact future decisions to arrest and detain, decisions to charge and prosecute, and later decisions to rely upon a criminal record to refuse employment.

Today's calls for social justice may have been galvanized by the tragic death of George Floyd and others like him, but the need for systemic social justice affects everyone. Change is needed at many levels, but none more potentially impactful than the school-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately effects people of color. We can do more to identify the harm cause by this pipeline and every city, county and state can become more proactive in reducing that harm. These topics will be addressed by social justice advocate and implicit bias specialist, Thomas Newkirk. Learn more about Thomas Newkirk's work at his website.

You can register to attend via this Zoom link. It is recommended those who wish to participate in the third session view the introductory session held on Aug. 4, 2021. That presentation can be viewed here.

To stay up-to-date on the time and location for the future trainings, subscribe to receive news releases from the Office of Equity & Human Rights at

If you need disability-related accommodations to participate in this program, please contact Equity Director Stefanie Bowers at 319-356-5022 or Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.


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