Fighting School Privatization in Working-Class Philadelphia Neighborhoods

June 3, 2015

Media Mobilizing Project (MMP), a Philadelphia-based organization, produces media aimed at disrupting stereotypes and structures that cause and reinforce divisions between disparate communities. MMP exists to amplify the stories of people living in Philly neighborhoods where the results of political posturing can produce devastating outcomes.

Voqal Fund offered financial support to help MMP produce the video series “Revival From the Roots: A Tour of Philly’s Neighborhood Schools.” The videos provide a powerful glimpse at the daily efforts and struggles faced by local leaders in Philadelphia public schools. Persistent underfunding and service cuts, along with continued school closings and contract disputes, are generating prolonged and undue burdens on poor and working-class neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

One bright spot in the battle for public schools came with the recent victory at Steel Elementary School. Parents and school staff withstood a yearlong campaign to turn Steel into a private charter school. They overcame the false narrative that Steel is one of the worst public schools in Philadelphia and secured a win at the ballot box, ensuring Steel remains public and controlled by the school district rather than turning it over to a private company.

MMP keeps fighting for Philadelphia public schools by continuing to tell the untold stories through its compelling video series.