Jitu Brown, National Director of the Journey for Justice Alliance (J4J) is a long-time community organizer born on Chicago’s south side. He is a product of Chicago’s public school system and is a proud parent and husband. Jitu started volunteering for the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), the oldest black-led organizing community-based organization in Chicago in 1991. He eventually joined the staff as Education Organizer in 2006 and organized in the Kenwood Oakland neighborhood for over 20 years bringing parents, students, teachers and community members together to collectively participate in the education system by developing various educational initiatives and battle back against efforts to systematically disinvest in, close and privatize schools in Chicago.
In his role as National Director for J4J, he leads an alliance of grassroots community, youth, and parent-led organizations in over 30 cities across the country demanding community-driven alternatives to the privatization of and dismantling of public schools systems. He has brought great energy and focus to the connection between the attacks on public education and the disempowerment of African American communities all across the country.
He was one of 12 parents, grandparents and community members who put their bodies on the line in a 34-day long hunger strike to save Walter H. Dyett High School in Chicago, the last open enrollment High School in the historic Bronzeville community. As a result of their gallant efforts, Dyett High School is the first closed school in the country that has re-opened as an open-enrollment, neighborhood school. His dynamic organizing in our neighborhoods, cities, and nationally for an equitable and just education system is based on a belief in the potential of all children and the rights of parents, youth, and communities to participate in all aspects of planning and decision-making.
RONSHA A. DICKERSON
Ronsha A. Dickerson, National Organizer for Journey for Justice Alliance, a National Alliance of grassroots community, youth and parent-led organizations in over 30 cities across the country who understands that education is a human right and organizes for community driven alternatives to stop the privatization movement and devaluing of public education.
Dickerson is the co-founder of UCC’s Camden Parents Union, a community group of Camden, NJ parents, caregivers, alumnus, business and community leaders that advocate for equitable education, equal funding and resources and the retention and recruitment of black and brown teachers in Camden, NJ public schools. She is also the lead organizing parent of Camden Students Union, a community group of Camden public school students and alumni that that are working diligently to Save Public Education in Camden, NJ.
Ronsha has dedicated her life to serving the community through developing cultural centered art, education and youth programs. Her goal for any urban city is to empower its residents and strengthen its community.
Ronsha has been married to her high school sweetheart Jamal P. Dickerson for 20 years and through their union is blessed to be the mother of six magical children.
JARIBU PRINCELLA LEE
Jaribu Princella Lee has been a diligent advocate and supporter of youth, families, and communities since her youth. Born and raised on the South side of Chicago, Jaribu learned the importance of service and giving back from her mother and grandmother and her will and desire for fight for justice from her father. Jaribu made a commitment to dedicate her life to social justice and has stayed on that path through community service, leadership development, empowerment, advocacy and community organizing.
Over the years she consistently sought out the brilliance of others in order to release her own. She has served as a board member, volunteer, and leader for the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) for over 20 years. As a child of a retired Chicago Public School Teacher, her commitment to justice, equity, fairness and the right of every child to have access to a world-class public education in their community is not surprising.
In 2013 she joined the KOCO staff and has served in various roles including Senior Organizer, Grow Your Own Teacher (GYO) Coordinator and Education Organizer. In the role of KOCO’s Education Organizer she provided critical support and leadership during the campaign that crescendoed in to a 34-Day Dyett Hunger Strike were 12 brave parents, grandparents, community members and organizers put their bodies on the line to save Bronzeville’s last open-enrollment, public High School, Dyett High School. Today Dyett High School is a thriving open-enrollment, public High School that serves neighborhood students, their parents and the community as a Sustainable Community School. In 2016 she joined the staff of the Journey for Justice Alliance as the Operations Manager.
She is has volunteered on a number of local and national campaigns and in whatever role she plays, her goal is to empower others and strive for excellence. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education from the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign and Master’s of Social Work Degree from Chicago State University.