Want to Change the Education System? Listen to Students Want to Change the Education System? Listen to Students

Want to Change the Education System? Listen to Students

by Hannah Nguyen

February 21, 2014

"If you had the power to change the education system, what would you do?"

In one portion of the conference, following a series of Imagining Learning's Listening Sessions, students will have the unique opportunity to generate artwork that portrays their vision for student voice in education. This artwork will be displayed in an exhibit called "Collective Voice: The Wisdom of Young People on Education" in Washington DC and in a book with the same title, which will all be presented to political, social, education, and cultural leaders at a national educational conference in 2015.

I am truly excited to see what will unfold for the student power movement at the conference. My goal is that by the end of the day, students will no longer feel alone or silenced when it comes to fighting for their education. I know that EmpowerED 2014 is simply the starting point to a larger movement for student power that will continue beyond the conference and an education system that will value student voice.

All high school students in the Los Angeles area are invited to attend the event and can register here. And, if you want to support student voice and organizing, and help cover the travel costs for the high school student organizers who will be speaking at the event, please consider making a donation.

Educational justice will not be achieved by top-down approaches that deliberately silence the voices of those at the bottom. It will not be achieved by policies that exclude, divide, or oppress. It will be achieved by liberating the students who live this everyday reality and elevating their voices in the educational policy process.

We must be led by the perspectives of those we aim to serve. This is how we believe in youth. This is how we give students true choice and liberation. This is how we give them a great education.

Hannah Nguyen is a student at the University of Southern California and the national co-organizer for Students United for Public Education (SUPE). She is the executive director for the EmpowerED: Los Angeles Student Power 2014 conference, which is co-hosted by USC Program BoardAcademic Culture Assembly, and SUPE. Any questions? Email her at hbnguyen@usc.edu.

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Want to Change the Education System? Listen to Students