Years in the making, the AQE’s team dream trip is finally coming through, and it’s just around the corner.
November 30th through December 11, 2022
The fight for education justice never ends. Each year brings new challenges, new opportunities, and new work to be done, and we need to make sure that our team is prepared for the battles ahead. 2021 and 2022, as many of you know, these have been particularly eventful years, and AQE has stepped up again and again to ensure New York students get the education they deserve. In the last two years alone, this has meant, among other victories, winning a $4 billion increase in state aid for public schools, securing $1.8 billion in new funds for child care in the 2022-2023 state budget, and training dozens of new parent leaders through our capacity-building courses.
Now, this Black-led, BIPOC-majority, all-female team needs time to pause and breathe.
This trip will provide us with the space we need to rest, reflect, and reconnect with one another. While we’re conscious of the fact that this will allow us to return to our work re-energized for the coming year, we are also looking forward to resting for the sake of resting. It can be difficult to remember that rest is neither a luxury nor a privilege — it is an act of humanity. It is a reminder, as the poet Tricia Hersey writes, that “our bodies are still our own.”
Taken one step further, in a white supremacist, capitalist system, rest itself is an act of resistance. As an organization dedicated to ending the systemic racism and economic oppression inflicted on the Black, brown, low-income, and immigrant students of New York, it is critical that we resist those same systems in our own lives. In our work to provide students with the social and emotional support they deserve, we must provide ourselves with the same.
A 10-day wellness-centered, restorative trip for the AQE team, anchored in the history, heritage, and culture of Ghana. Our itinerary, led by Black owned-travel agency Melanin Travel Magic and Freelance Nana, will take us through Accra and Kumasi, visiting historic sites in Cape Coast and Mole National Park along the way.
As a secondary goal of this trip, we will also be visiting private and public schools in Ghana. These visits, coordinated with local teachers, will give us the chance to trade knowledge and experience with our counterparts in education, both imparting and coming away with tactics in the international fight for education justice. We will also have the opportunity to engage in direct service: we will be donating school supplies to the schools we visit. In an effort to support the local economy these supplies will be purchased in Accra and presented directly to the teachers and students when we arrive.
What can you do to help?
While a portion of our trip is already funded, we need your help to make up the last $10,000. If you are interested in supporting Black rest and making sure that the AQE team is at its best come 2023, please consider making a contribution to our travel costs.
If you’d like to contribute to the school supplies we will be purchasing for the schools, we’ve set up a separate donation link here. These donations will be used exclusively for the purchase supplies that the school community identifies as the most needed by their students.