More than 3,000,000 students receive an out-of-school suspension annually.
More than 3,000,000 students receive an out-of-school suspension annually.

Strippel Forum: How can we end the school-to-prison pipeline?

Miami and Oxford communities host the Strippel Forum on Justice and Human Rights Feb. 25-26

by Susan Meikle, news and communications


Judith Browne Dianis

Civil rights attorney Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of Advancement Project, will present "Eradicating the School-to-Prison Pipeline" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Shriver Center Heritage Room.

She also will lead a forum on "Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Call to Action" 4-6 p.m. Feb. 26. 

Her talk is part of the Robert E. Strippel Memorial Continuing Dialogue on Justice and Human Rights in partnership with the Center for American and World Cultures, which is free and open to all. 

Dianis is a pioneer in the movement to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline in school districts.  Advancement Project — a multiracial civil rights organization — has worked to build and support a growing national movement on this issue.

stp-no-capShe has authored groundbreaking reports on the issue including “Opportunities Suspended” and “Derailed:  The Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track,” detailing the unnecessary criminalization of students by their schools.

Working closely with grassroots organizations, Advancement Project’s work has significantly decreased student suspensions and arrests in Colorado (suspensions reduced by 10 percent and expulsions by 25 percent after the first year), Baltimore (out of school suspensions dropped 26 percent the first year) and Florida. 

Dianis’ commitment to racial equity in public schools carries over to her positions on the board of FairTest, and she is a founding convener of the Forum for Education and Democracy.  

In recognition of her work on these issues, Dianis was recently named a Black Male Achievement Social Innovator by the Leadership & Sustainability Institute.

Among other work with Advancement Project, she litigated against the disenfranchisement of African-American voters during the 2000 presidential election in Florida. Later she filed one of the first lawsuits to enforce the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the “Motor Voter” law, litigating on behalf of African-American Floridians after the election.

In 2004, Dianis sued to stop the Republican National Committee from engaging in potential voter suppression tactics in Ohio. 

What Can We Do To Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline? A Call to Action Forum

track-logo3:30 p.m. reception; 4-6 p.m. forum, Shriver Center Dolibois rooms A/B

After brief presentations by the panelists, participants will move to roundtables to discuss their “calls to action.” 


  • Deloris Rome Hudson (Miami ’71), School-to-Prison Pipeline, Ohio Education Association.
  • Johnnie Jackson, doctoral student, educational leadership. 
  • Lamar Johnson, assistant professor of teacher education and director, Young K.I.N.G.S. (Keen, Intelligent, and Noble Gentlemen Striving for Excellence) mentoring program, a partnership with Hamilton High School.
  • Betsy Lavinder, math teacher, Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility, Massillon.
  • Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, parent advocate/organizer and director, Racial Justice NOW.

"The school-to-prison pipeline is a divestment in loving our children in urban spaces and places," Jackson said. "It has affected millions of children, parents, communities and schools. For me, as a teacher educator and black male, this topic of urban kids being pushed out, kicked out, and dropping out of school is important during the time of #BlackLivesMatter."

The Robert E. Strippel Memorial Continuing Dialogue on Social Justice and Human Rights is an annual event devoted to the discussion and debate of local, regional, national and global human rights issues and concerns. It is a joint Miami University and Oxford community event supported by numerous Miami and Oxford organizations.  

Community sponsors include Oxford's Holy Trinity Church, Hopedale Universalist Unitarian Church, NAACP-Oxford Branch, Oxford Citizens for Peace and Justice, the Oxford League of Women Voters, and the YWCA Hamilton. Scroll past the infographic for the full list of Miami sponsors. 


Sponsored by the Robert E. Strippel Memorial Continuing Dialogue on Justice and Human Rights in partnership with the Center for American and World Cultures and with support from the American studies program; the black world studies program; the Center for Community Engagement in Over-the-Rhine; the College of Education, Health, and Society partnership office; the departments of architecture and interior design, educational leadership, family studies and social work, finance, geography, sociology and gerontology, teacher education; Miami’s Pre-Law Chapter of the National Black Law Students Association; the office of institutional diversity; the Urban Teaching Cohort program; and the Western Program.