EJA came out of the former YWCA of the Greater Triangle, which was located in Southeast Raleigh, one of the poorest areas in the capital city predominantly populated by people of color. The group is made of up 90% parents/guardians of color and the majority are low-income.
EJA along with the NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens) and other allies has held and will continue to hold rallies against school suspensions in Raleigh, teach-ins, speak outs, demonstrations and community forums. Recently, we mobilized parents and students to speak at the Wake County Board of Education meeting where they were trying to approve the hiring of 105 unarmed guards in all elementary schools in response to the Sandy Hook massacre. Because of our opposition, they removed the item off the agenda at least for now.
Over the past two years, we have helped to revise the student code of conduct, change the definition of long term suspension, reduce suspensions and expulsions, education students and parents about their rights, staff the Wake Help hotline with volunteer peer supporters, increase the number of seats available at alternative schools, and raise public awareness about the huge STPP problem in Wake County, which continues to have one of the highest pushout rates in the United States