2019-2020 End of Year Report

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2019-2020 End of Year Report


This has been a year or growth, refocus and reimagining for UrbEd. As a small, developing nonprofit, UrbEd works to focus on issues that affect students in their everyday lives. This has ranged from emphasizing the importance of student voice on a local and state level, how to keep students healthy and safe at school and finding ways to create tools to support young people. As UrbEd sends off some of its high school students who are now off to college, the nonprofit continues to grow its network looking to engage new students across Philadelphia. UrbEd has participated in national coalitions to work with other youth-driven and education-focused organizations to keep up the momentum for more equitable schools in communities across the country.

Tamir D. Harper

Co-Founder & Executive Director

The pandemic did not stop UrbEd from advocating for students, it pushed the team to think outside the box on how to engage young people and ways to make resources accessible to them during this difficult time. Similarly, in the midst of the Black Lives Matter Movement, UrbEd used its platform to create a brave space for all students as we continue to fight for safer, more diverse and inclusive school communities. We can’t just say his name, we must say hers too. As this year comes to an end, UrbEd is excited to engage, support, and amplify the voices of young people across the city to curate future leaders of this world. We must fight against injustices, advocate for womens rights, stand up for Black lives and get in “good trouble”.

Luke Risher

Co-Founder & Advocacy and Organizing Director

Changing the way we think about education UrbEd Joins Students from Franklin Learning Center at the Protest Against Unsafe Building Conditions Protest. UrbEd team members accompanied FLC students as they walked from the School District of Philadelphia to City Hall to protest the unsafe school conditions. As students gathered at City Hall, they called out to elected officials to address unsafe building conditions that affect their schools and many others across Philadelphia.

UrbEd launched a new series called “Advocacy Guides” to help provide useful information to students involved in advocacy work. The goal of this program is to provide students and young people comprehensive accessible information on different forms of advocacy and empowerment they can put into practice in their own communities. The first guide was “How to Testify at a School Board Meeting”. This was the first of these guides, compiled and designed completely by and for students, focusing on understanding the local school board in the Philadelphia district and how to advocate to them directly as a student. The second installment of UrbEd’s advocacy guides was a directory for students covering ways to continue their education at home, college prep resources, arts and culture, wellness, finances and employment and civic engagement. This guide was put together to provide different outlets for students to stay productive, happy, and healthy while staying at home during the pandemic.

UrbEd organized and hosted a free screening of Just Mercy for Philadelphia high school students across the city. UrbEd hosted a free screening and postscreening panel for over 90 students. The panel allowed students to have an out of classroom educational experience. The post-screening panel included Joanna E. McClinton, PA State Representative; Kendra Brooks, Philadelphia Councilmember; Keir Bradford-Grey, Office of the District Attorney; Community Relations G. Lamar Stewart, Director for the Philadelphia Districts Attorney and Tyler Wims, Director of Student Leadership.

UrbEd Partners with StuVoice at Global Minds Initiative. The Global Minds Initiative conference consisted of a group of young people from high schools across Pittsburgh that are fighting for change within the Pittsburgh area. Global Minds is an organization that was created entirely by high school students. In partnership with StuVoice we were able to go to Pittsburgh to give students tips on how they can empower other students in their area to join them in creating change.

UrbEd joined the Education Justice Collective in the Move Schools Forward national movement. UrbEd is a member of the Ed Justice Collective which supports the Move Schools Forward initiative. Move Schools forward works to ensure that as schools consider reopening in the fall, that we demand a future in the education system that ensures that students are on the front lines when it comes to making decisions about their education. UrbEd helped craft the guiding principles for this movement and has taken part in 30 days of Action, to involve students to be active in their communities.

In response to covid-19 urbed... Hosted a “Let’s Talk College” Panel. UrbEd organized a virtual college panel for Philadelphia students due to COVID-19. The panel convened graduates of the School District of Philadelphia to discuss their college experience and the college process. The panel was recognized and publicized by Working Educators, Philadelphia Counselors and other stakeholders.

Organized student town hall in partnership with Philly Schools. In partnership with the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia school Board, UrbEd organized and co-hosted multiple Instagram townhalls for Philadelphia students and families. Through the town hall series UrbEd was able to engage over 1,000 students.

Awarded five scholarships to Philadelphia high school seniors. UrbEd awarded five (5) $500 scholarships to the city of Philadelphia high school graduates to celebrate them and to send them off to college and trade school with additional resources.

this year urbed has also... Hosted 3 Steppingstone interns Reviewed Student Representative School Board Applications Launched Reimagining School Health and Safety Campaign Led a School to Prison Pipeline presentation with Mural Arts for 30+ students Brought on Additional Board Members

Black Lives Matter. Black Youth Matters. Black Schools Matter. Wear a Mask. Care About Others.

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