Community groups urge Knox County Schools to revamp strategic plan

October 1, 2018. Knox News.

Eight community organizations are calling on the Knox County Board of Education to retool its strategic plan with specific goals ranging from reducing class sizes to enhancing the diversity of the district’s workforce.

In a 16-page letter the coalition of organizations sent to board members on Sept. 20, it spells out 10 priorities for the district to adopt in its next three-year strategic plan.

Justice Knox: Churches press officials on affordable housing, school suspensions

May 1, 2018. Knox News

In pressing public officials to take action on social problems in Knox County, Justice Knox doesn’t shy away from tension — it embraces it.

“Collectively, we raise our voice and call for our public officials to hear their constituents,” Justice Knox Co-president Rev. Meredith Loftis told the hundreds of people who packed into Central United Methodist Church on Monday evening.

“This will cause tension, but let’s be clear, it is tension borne of hearts that care.”

Justice Knox Follows Micah’s Directive To Be Community Organizer

November 22, 2017. Patch.com

KNOXVILLE, TN — They call themselves Justice Knox. They live by Micah’s words: “Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly.” They are the parishioners of 20 Knoxville churches–black and white, rich and poor–who have come together to speak directly to local government officials about how they believe problems in the community should be addressed.

The issues they speak about are selected by asking each other to identify the most important problems and then doing in-depth research as to what solutions should be recommended. Working on an academic year calendar, last April they asked law enforcement to look at how they dealt with the mentally ill and the school system to commit to how it dealt with students who had behavioral problems.

Knox County education leaders tackle race, gender and suicide in wide ranging meeting

May 4, 2017. WBIR.

Teen suicide, racial disparities and transgender bathrooms — all these topics were taken up Wednesday night by Knox County education leaders at the school board meeting.

Superintendent Bob Thomas addressed the deaths this year of three Farragut High students at the beginning of the meeting.

Justice Knox changes the nature of the game

May 3, 2017. Knoxville News Sentinel.

Civic engagement in Knoxville on April 24 wasn’t boring or tedious. It was exciting and unusual – as if one went to a chess tournament and chess boxing broke out. Many area church congregations and non-profit groups came together under the banner of Justice Knox.

The group had done research and strategic planning – and it showed to the capacity crowd filling the pews of Central United Methodist Church. Justice Knox, motivated by moral imperatives of justice and compassion, narrowed its focus to two specific changes.