Willful Defiance: The Movement to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline

ISBN : 9780197611517

Mark R. Warren
344 ページ
156 x 235 mm

The story of how Black and Brown parents, students and members of low-income communities of color organized to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline in their local schools and built a movement that spread across the country. In Willful Defiance, Mark R. Warren documents how Black and Brown parents, students, and low-income communities of color organized to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline in their local schools and built an intersectional movement that spread across the country. Examining organizing processes in Mississippi, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other localities, he shows how relatively small groups of community members built the power to win policy changes to reduce suspensions and expulsions by combining deep local organizing with resources from the national movement. As a result, over the course of twenty years, the movement to combat the school-to-prison pipeline resulted in falling suspension rates across the country and began to make gains in reducing police presence in schools, especially in places where there have been sustained organizing and advocacy efforts. In documenting the struggle organizers waged to build national alliances led by community groups and people most impacted by injustice rather than Washington-based professional advocates, Warren offers a new model for movements that operate simultaneously at local, state and national levels, while primarily oriented to support and spread local organizing. In doing so, he argues for the need to rethink national social justice movements as interconnected local struggles whose victories are lifted and spread, In the end, the book highlights lessons from the school-to-prison pipeline movement for organizers, educators, policymakers and a broader public seeking to transform deep-seated and systemic racism in public schools and the broader society.


Introduction: Confronting the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Journeys to Racial Justice Organizing
Chapter One: The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Criminalization as Racial Domination and Control
Chapter Two: Nationalizing local struggles: Community Organizing and Social Justice Movements
Chapter Three: There is no national without the local: Building a National Movement Grounded
in Local Organizing
Chapter Four: The Prevention of Schoolhouse to Jailhouse: Intergenerational Community Organizing
in Mississippi
Chapter Five: Challenging Criminalization in Los Angeles: Building a Broad and Deep Movement
to End the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Chapter Six: From the Local to the State: Youth-led Organizing in Chicago
Chapter Seven: The Movement Spreads: Organizing in Small Cities, Suburbs and the South
Chapter Eight: The Movement Expands: Police-Free Schools, Black Girls Matter and Restorative Justice
Conclusion: Organizing and Movement-Building for Racial and Educational justice
Appendix: Community Engaged Research Methods


Mark R. Warren is Professor of Public Policy and Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston. A sociologist and community-engaged scholar, he studies and works with community, parent and youth organizing groups seeking to promote equity and justice in education, community development and American democratic life. Warren is the author of five books, including Lift Us Up, Don't Push Us Out! Voices from the Front Lines of the Educational Justice Movement (2018). Warren has co-founded several networks promoting activist scholarship, community organizing and movement-building, including the Peoples Think Tank on educational justice, the Urban Research Based Action Network, and the Special Interest Group on Community and Youth Organizing in the American Educational Research Association. He has won a number of prestigious awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.