Northeastern Illinois University Assistant Professor of Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies Ann Aviles de Bradley has released a book about what individuals can do in an effort to address and reduce housing instability and homelessness among school-age youth.
“From Charity to Equity: Race, Homelessness and Urban Schools” is published by Teachers College Press.
“The goal of the book is to provide educators and others working with youth in these situations a deeper understanding of their experiences, as well as tools to address and advocate for resources that support their academic and social needs,” Aviles de Bradley said. “Everyone has the right to an education, regardless of their housing status. It is our responsibility as educators to create conditions of access and equity for all students.”
The McKinney-Vento Act (1987) was created to ensure that schools provide services that support students in unstable housing situations, but effective implementation of important provisions continues to be elusive. In addition, adults charged with McKinney-Vento implementation in schools voice frustration with overload and lack of support or consistent resources.
Through interviews with youth experiencing homelessness, Aviles de Bradley introduces readers to their remarkable resilience under fire and their determination to thrive despite the systemic inequities they encounter daily.
The book also explores how poor people of color experience and interface with social institutions, namely schools, and uncovers important connections between homelessness and racism using a Critical Race Theory framework. Readers are challenged to see McKinney-Vento implementation not as charity, but as an issue of legislated social justice and to work toward educational equity for students experiencing homelessness.