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Meet Jahlani McCrumby-Holloway of Student’s Deserve Grassroots Organization

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jahlani McCrumby-Holloway.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I followed my friends to the chapter meeting at my school because I was vaguely interested in social justice. The more meetings I went to, the more involved I wanted to become. One meeting, a student told us about the larger meetings that take place for all the students and people in students deserve come together to strategize and organize as one unit. When I went to this meeting and saw that it’s what Students Deserve was trying to do was bigger than just a club at my school, I became very involved. When I saw that students were passionately facilitating activities with 40 of us in one room, I found my own passion. There is something about being 15 years old and seeing 14 and 15-year-olds being passionate about things that impact the whole world. In September of 2016, there was a making black lives matter in schools, an event where 900 people attended.and were adamant about learning how to do exactly that. I learned that a lot of people care about making schools, and the world a lot more just and I took the opportunity to be apart of that. I now attend many meetings including LAUSD school board meetings to talk the board members about our campaigns. Over the years, a lot more people have joined Students Deserve through 1 on 1 outreach and also social media.

Has it been a smooth road?
Like every organization we have our challenges, however, what I think makes students deserve work so well is that we all have a common goal; getting schools that students deserve. When you have a grassroots coalition, different organizations are bound to have different opinions on certain topics. There have been times, where I have had to sit on conference calls at 8 in the evening while doing my homework in order to be apart of the conversation that leads to everyone in the organization knowing and understanding our message. There is a wide range of beliefs and values in Students Deserve, yet in the end, there is the idea everyone agrees on and that’s what we need to create and advocate for schools that students deserve. Through that, I believe we can also create a better world.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a grassroots organization and we fight for schools that students deserve. We hold rallies, have monthly meetings to discuss strategies to advance any campaigns that we have, help other schools build a chapter (students deserve on a small scale in individual schools are called chapters), and speak at school board member meetings. We are known for having an organization that is student led. For u,s that means that almost all of the meetings are facilitated by students. Adults, such as teachers and parents, and our staff organizer, help us students prepare for what we are going to say in meeting if we need help. Agendas for meetings are sketched by a teacher and sent out in an email to many of the students in students deserve. Students are welcome and encouraged to make any changes to the agenda and volunteer to facilitate a portion. When we go to school board members to speak, we get rides from our teachers, but we are the ones who do the talking. I think our organization is very unique in this way, that teachers/ adults let us take the reigns and are okay with being there for support rather than leading. In this way, outsiders see that students are fighting and advocating for what we want and not waiting on someone to do it for us.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think Los Angeles is a great city to start a student led organization fighting for change and a better world. For someone just starting out, I would recommend getting in touch with an organization that already exists that shares similar views and values. Establish a connection with their organization and invite people from their organization into your own. That way a foundation is established to build the organization on. on. I think Los Angeles is a threshold for change and if starting an organization here, then you’re in luck.

Contact Info:

  • Website: schoolslastudentsdeserve.com
  • Email: lastudentsdeserve@gmail.com
  • Instagram: la_studentsdeserve
  • Facebook: LAStudentsDeserve
  • Twitter: LA_StudentsDsrv


Image Credit:

Students Deserve

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