The Ohio Student Association is a statewide youth network that organizes, advocates, and trains young people across the state of Ohio to build and wield local and statewide power to fight for educational justice. We began in January 2012 as an organization focused on increasing access to higher education, and increasing the student voice in university decisions. As we have grown, we have developed a holistic approach to fighting educational injustice. We recognize that who gets to college is often determined by race , class and other factors out of the control of the individual. Now we focus on both higher education and K-12 education, as well as related community issues.
- The purpose of the Ohio Student Association is to reorganize our communities in our collective self-interest. Our work is driven by our values rather than a single issue.
- We are fighting for educational justice, because we believe that every child in Ohio has the right to a quality education from Kindergarten through college.
- We prioritize working with economically and politically marginalized students; particularly students of color. We believe that those whose lives are deeply affected by injustice must be at the center of the struggle for justice.
- We work with groups and individuals across the state building, connecting and strengthening networks of people power. The OSA is not a member organization.
- We believe that fundamentally, our work is about transforming ourselves, each other and our communities so that we have power to determine our collective future. We believe that it is time for young people to lead, and we are deeply committed to nurturing and developing indigenous leadership in communities across Ohio.
We exist because the majority of young people in Ohio are not organized in line with our interests. We don't have access to equitable, affordable education from kindergarten to college. Many black and brown youth are criminalized and subjected to the school-to-prison pipeline, and hundreds of thousands more young people from all backgrounds are forced to accumulate suffocating student debt in our high-tuition, low-aid state. We see our future being taken from us, and instead of asking someone else to solve our problems, we're taking matters into our own hands and organizing for power so that our values are reflected in Ohio.