GUEST BLOG: 62 Years Later: Georgia Students Deliver Continuation of the '1960 Appeal for Human Rights' in a Demand for Equity, Inclusion and Voter Access
Tuesday, March 8, 9:00 AM: Tomorrow afternoon, Students from high schools and college across Georgia will deliver a letter of student demands to a slate of state legislators and executive officers. These demands will call for fully funded, uncensored education, access to the ballot box, and inclusive leadership that does not target marginalized children. The Southern Student Rights Appeal is a historical continuation of demands written decades ago in the 1960 Appeal for Human Rights in the fight for racial, social, and educational equity.
On March 9th, 1960, The Atlanta Student Movement published An Appeal for Human Rights - a rallying cry for multiracial democracy and the future Black Georgians deserve. Through a mass sit-in in the days following the letter release, students from Morehouse College. Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University achieved serious victories in the Civil Rights Movement for the right to vote and to learn.
On March 9th, 2022, a delegation of Georgia students will depart from Atlanta to Selma, Alabama to uplift their Southern Student Rights Appeal and march alongside generations of civil rights leaders. A second delegation from the NAACP Youth & College, Georgia Youth Justice Coalition, Atlanta Student Movement, and each major USG school will travel to the Georgia General Assembly and share U1ese demands with the offices of their elected legislators.
Georgia students from Dalton to Decatur have skipped class and sat under the gold dome between assignments and work. They have raised their voices for the sake of students' rights. No child should go to a school where funds are stolen by politicians, and where Black history is Georgian to achieve representation. Georgia State student Jordan Madden, 17, said of these bills: "Don't tell me my history is divisive. This very city of Atlanta was built by the hands of my forefathers, where a huge hub named Terminous trafficked slaves like my ancestors in the thousands. Why are we so eager to forget the very history we stand upon?"
High school student Oieshee Akter, 17, said of these bills, "Democracy requires us all to have a vote- without the right to read, learn, and vote, we cannot claim to call America a democracy. How can we ban discussions of systemic racism when that's exactly what we're observing from our politicians behind these bills?
After weeks of speaking out, these students will deliver these demands in the Southern Student Rights Appeal to those lawmakers sponsoring these bills. Press are welcome to meet and take comments from the student delegation during and following the delivery of these letters. The delegation will gather at 1:45pm Eastern time Wednesday, March 9, 2022 across from the South Steps of the capitol building after distributing their dcn1ands letters.
The Georgia Youth Justice Coalition is a community group of students ages 13-20 organizing for a multiracial democracy, inclusive education, and the futures of young Georgians.