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Taking Action School Clubs--Student Organizing

Our Taking Action student clubs at 5 LA County high schools are the movement building force behind our policy victories. Their weekly on-campus meetings are led by our organizers along with students who we have trained as organizers in our Summer Youth Organizing Academy. Taking Action students organize postcard drives in the cafeteria at lunch, they speak at teachers union rallies against attacks on public education, and they organize workshops and film nights about homophobia, gender violence and Black and Brown Unity.

To join a living, breathing social movement based in your school and community

On many campuses, Taking Action is the only student club that offers a way for students to join a living breathing social movement that is fighting to change the demoralizing pre-prison conditions they see all around them. We consistently attract club leaders, student artists and writers, and students at the top of their class—these are young people burning to lead real change. We are also a beacon for students who are ashamed or outraged at having been targeted by police. They want a place where they can talk about their experiences, be heard, and do something.

Quick facts

  • Taking Action Clubs are at 5 campuses: Cleveland, Roosevelt, Manual Arts, Crenshaw High and the newest at Augustus Hawkins.
  • Each Taking Action school is a hotspot for criminalization that targets Black and Brown communities
  • Each Taking Action takes on a unique set of issues tailored to the campus
  • Led by a core of SYOA trained students
  • All the Taking Action Clubs come together once a month for a countywide membership meeting
  • Cleveland HS is the oldest club
  • Crenshaw HS is the newest club

Why is Taking Action important to you as a student, parent, teacher?

About a year ago my history teacher introduced me to a club called Taking Action. I started attending the meetings and got a chance to meet a brilliant organizer. Then I went through the Summer Youth Organizing Academy where I learned how to be a better organizer and leader. It was a six-week program dedicated to educating students through political seminars, expanding and improving our experiences as organizers as well as allowing us to express ourselves through art, dance, and poetry. I found new astonishing capabilities in myself that I would’ve never explored if I didn’t been for this amazing organization. Recently, I have gone with delegations to meet with city council members to discuss our demands. Now, I find myself leading Taking Action meetings along with other students and engaging new members. I am proud to say I learned of my passion for justice in education as member of this organization. ~ Andrea Chaidez, student

I didn’t realize how much I learned at Taking Action until I got to college. I joined student activist clubs and saw that I already knew so much more than the average person. I already knew that organizing is so much more than passing out flyers. It’s about exchanging knowledge with community members, knowing and fighting to win one’s transformative demands, not forgetting that the “personal is political” and giving voice to the stories of people of color, youth, womyn, working class and queer folks. ~ Preyanka Gulati, Taking Action Alumni Class of 2009

About a year and a half ago, our family was in extreme hardship with debt and my son was being attacked at school. As the head of my household I prayed for direction, a sign, something. Then one day I met an organizer in a green shirt at King and Vermont collecting signatures to stop the school to prison pipeline. Since then the CRC has welcomed our mixed Salvadorean and Black family and made us feel like we have a real community. And it means so much to me that my children get to witness me and our community fighting back and rebuilding our community. ~ Canela, mother of Michael (14) and Mia Davis (6)

Taking Action is the reason some students come to school at all. If they seem apathetic at first, it's because they're seeing their parents losing their jobs, neighbors losing their homes, more police than guidance counselors at school—so they see no reason to hope or to engage. At Taking Action they realize they do have a voice and can take real action against a system that makes them feel powerless. As their consciousness transforms, they become critical thinkers who are more vocal and engaged inside and outside the classroom. ~
Mr. Terranova
University High School,
Community Rights Campaign Steering Committee

I have been able to find my own voice in a school system where so many students feel powerless. It is easy to get lost in the fight, but Taking Action has been a rock for me and constantly reminds me that I am not alone in the work I do. These are my educators, mentors, fighters, friends, and family in the struggle. ~ Shalin Craig, student 

Want to bring a Taking Action organizer to your school?  Contact us.