Education Reform Expert Talks Social Justice in Education

As an undergraduate at Morehouse College, Dr. Martin Luther King said,  “At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.”

The American Education system has a long way to go to achieve Dr. King’s vision for education. From 1989 to 2013, the United States spent six times more on jails than on higher education. States are now building more prisons than schools. How do Black children escape the school-to-prison pipeline? How is remote learning and education amid a global pandemic affecting America’s children and what can be done to ensure equity in education?

This year, to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King, the Chicago Defender wanted to know what Dr. King’s vision looks like today. We reached out to community leaders, activists, advocates, and experts in law, politics, healthcare, and education to ask the question. “What does Social Justice Look Like Now?” Today we speak to Michael Phillips about what social justice looks like within the American Education System.

Michael Phillips is an education reform expert, pastor, and Chief Engagement Officer for the T.D. Jackes Foundation. In his new book, “Wrong Lanes have Right Turns,” Michael Phillips details through his own experience the modern crisis of education and mass incarceration.

In an exclusive interview with the Chicago Defender, Michael Phillips discusses the power of educators in providing advocacy, resources, knowledge, and opportunities that can have a transformational effect on the lives of children.


“Wrong Lanes Have Right Turns” is available on and at all book retailers nationwide for preorder. The book officially releases on Jan. 25, 2022.


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