The Roses in Concrete Community School will be a K-8 school in East Oakland founded on the belief that schools should emphasize knowledge of self, character, and intellectual growth to prepare students to fundamentally impact the global society while learning to live, learn, work and thrive in their own communities. Our principal goal is to develop youth committed to lives characterized by self-discipline, integrity, love and hope in the pursuit of justice and equity for all communities.
The name of the Roses in Concrete Community School was inspired by the book of poetry based on the writings of Tupac Shakur released in 1999, The Rose That Grew from Concrete. This vivid image captures the need to celebrate the tenacity and will of the rose that against-all-odds, finds a way to grow in the inhospitable and toxic environment of the concrete.
Why should you care?
Our country is at risk of losing an entire generation of young people in urban centers who feel trapped in “the concrete”—a vicious cycle of poverty, violence, hopelessness and despair. Rather than continually investing in models that try to save the “deserving few” who can escape from these communities, we need solutions that can help the vast majority overcome these toxic conditions to become the responsible and productive adults that will eliminate those conditions. By creating a sustainable community, centered around a school that gives students and families love, security, nourishment, care, and education, we can create a model of success and revitalization that reverses decades of disinvestment.
Our short-term goal is to start a K-8 school-center in Oakland that embodies the principles and practices described above. The school will function as the center within the neighborhoods surrounding it and provide wrap-around services in education, health, housing, and job training. The long-term goal is to create a model for urban education that prioritizes the needs of youth and families as the pathway to building healthy and sustainable communities across the U.S. and around the world.
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