James Hayes is an organizer with the Ohio Student Association.

The Ohio Student Association is a project of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, a 501c(3) organization that advocates for racial, social, and economic justice in Ohio.

How did James’ mother get him into organizing? What did he learn from her?

What was the first thing James did to get involved in politics?

What is the purpose of the Ohio Student Association?

Columbus/Cleveland’s History:

James refers to both “white flight” and “gentrification” as issues that have deeply impacted cities across the world. Read the following articles to gain a deeper understanding of these terms.



White Flight?

Impact on Businesses

History on White Flight

How does “white flight” negatively impact urban communities?

What did African-Americans start to do after World War II?

What is “redlining”?

What is “blockbusting”?

What is the racial makeup of your own neighborhood?

James says, “I organize in a city like Cleveland, which so desperately needs a movement that comes from the people, from the ‘grassroots,’ and is really driving the institutions and the policy makers, putting pressure directly on those who have power to do the right thing, because without that pressure they’re not gonna do anything at all.” In what ways can organizations put “pressure” on politicians? Can you think of a time when people and organizations successfully got politicians to change their policies and laws? (For example, gay marriage).

In one of the articles, TaNehisi Coates is quoted as saying, “Everyone I knew…regarded the police not with admiration and respect but with fear and caution.” How do you personally feel about the police? You may feel similar to Coates, or completely different. You also may feel a mix of different attitudes and perspectives.

Do you think people in different racial or ethnic groups may have a different opinion than your own?

  • Around 45 million borrowers are punished just for pursuing an education. If we prioritized higher education with mo… 22 hours ago