Schools Not Prisons
It can be said that the true work of the artist is to speak out when others won't or can't.
Thank you, Common for speaking up: for youth, for students, for families, for our sons and brothers.
A couple of months ago, Common was invited to the Eastern Coachella Valley (#TheRealCoachella) to talk to students about their efforts in reducing suspensions in schools utiilizing restorative justice practices. If you haven't heard, there has been a 1500% increase in corrections spending since 1981. In California, we spend $62,300 a year per inmate. That could send 211 kids to space camp. Or buy 41 college students their textbooks. This is a great place to start learning more. I also highly recommend 13th on Netflix.
He shared stories, he freestyled, he inspired everyone in the room, but most importantly - he listened. He listened to the ways students are working with administrators. He listened to one young man talk about his family who is behind bars.
It was such an honor to have exclusive access to this event. I got to be in the room before all the press was invited in. There are so many more pictures where this came from. I had a couple of requests to purchase prints from this day, so let me know if you'd like to take a look at the complete gallery and I would be happy to send you a link.