The Education Squad of Black Lives Matter 5280 (BLM 5280) aims to support students, parents, and educators of color in Denver and Aurora area schools. The Education Squad addresses pressing issues that result in disparities in the school system, including school discipline issues, school-to-prison pipeline factors, educational inequities, and inadequate cultural training. The Education Squad is presently composed of mostly K-12 educators who teach in Denver Public Schools and Aurora Public Schools. BLM 5280 and its Education Squad are continually educating its members to provide better relationships with the community. Members attend local, regional, and national conferences to become knowledgeable about social justice efforts, grassroots organization, and direct-action approaches to bring back to the Denver and Aurora communities.
BLM 5280 Freedom School:
In July 2018, the Education Squad developed and hosted its first summer Freedom School. Historically, Freedom Schools were developed and led by Black Americans in the South as an alternative to traditional separate but unequal schools and encouraged Black youth to become change agents within their communities during the Civil Rights Movement. The BLM 5280 Freedom School mission is to teach k-5 students to become racially literate and civically-minded by centering Black knowledge, people, and principles to dismantle oppressive systems and liberate themselves to transform the world. Curriculum and lessons are focused on social-emotional learning, coping skills, community wellness, self-care, Black love, and Black liberation. The Freedom School’s purpose is to provide humanizing, self-affirming, queer-positive educational opportunities for Black children.