Associate Features Editor
Tuesday, April 23 from 10 A.M. until 2:00 P.M., an Education Justice Rally will beheld in front of the McNairy Library. The rally will be an outdoor event with the purpose of advocating for equal opportunity in education.
Speakers and state representatives who signed up to attend include Democratic Whip Representative Jordan A. Harris, Executive Director of Education Voters of PA Susan Spicka, 96 th Legislative District Representative Mike Sturla, President of the Association of PA State College and University Faculties Ken Smith, Ms. Sherri Castillo, and Mr. Nathaniel Warren.
The Education Justice Rally will also include outdoor performances and poster-making tables. “It should be both educational and fun. I am hoping it will be transformative for a lot of students,” said Nathaniel Warren.
Warren will be advocating for the PA Promise. “The PA Promise would allow four years of free education for people who make under $110,000 per year,” said Warren.
Warren is helping to organize the event by inviting various student groups to attend. He will be speaking on behalf of the PA Student Power Network at the rally.
“The PA Student Power Network is an organizing group that addresses a lot of student concerns. I have been involved with them for a little over a year now, and they are a wonderful organization,” said Warren. Causes that the network advocates for include a $15 minimum wage for students working on campus, Title IX reform, preventing hate groups from being organized on campus and free and accessible college.
“We are all probably going to have a lot of debt for the rest of our lives and no one wants this for us or for future generations, so we should be involved to stop this,” said Warren.
Pennsylvania is among the highest-ranking states in student debt. According to research published by Forbes Magazine, Pennsylvania is ranked the second-highest in student debt (just below New Hampshire.)
The Education Justice Rally will be an opportunity for students to voice their concerns about student debt. There will be students, faculty and political figures in attendance who share common goals. Those in attendance will have the chance to listen to speakers, learn more about proposed legislature, and be a part of potential changes in the education system.
“I think this will be a good way for people to come out and see that we care. You don’t just have to toil through. There are some spots of hope in there,” said Warren.
Other issues that will be brought up at the Education Justice Rally include, funding for special education, gender issues and racial bias in funding K-12.