The Communities for Just Schools Fund (CJSF)
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On July 25 at Philanthropy New York, the Communities for Just Schools Fund co-sponsored, with our friends, family, and partners at the Schott Foundation and Funders for LGBTQ Issues, a funders' briefing about what philanthropy can do to better protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students from unsafe, unhealthy, and oppressive environments that they too often experience in their schools. One of the presenters at the briefing was  Dr. Stephen T. Russell , who previewed his soon-to-be-released research findings that indicate not only do LGBT youth suffer from harassment and discrimination in school and disproportionate school pushout, LGBT youth of color are particularly susceptible to all of those things, in numbers greater than their population in schools.
Too many LGBTQ students of color go to school under difficult circumstances - misunderstood and thus harassed and bullied by peers and educators alike, suspended and expelled in many instances because they do not conform to society's expectations of what a boy should be or what a girl should do, and still subject to implicit and explicit racial biases that were born generations before they were. In today's toxic and chaotic political climate, the vitriol and hatred spewed at LGBTQ communities permeates school environments too. 
At CJSF, we provide critical resources to groups like the Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network (GSA Network), Freedom Inc., Power U., and many others. Our investment in these groups and in the young people, parents and families, and communities that they represent is based on our belief that it is they who have the answers and that leadership belongs in the hands of the many rather than in the limited purview of a few. In order for young people of color who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender to be embraced within their school's walls, we have to have research like Dr. Russell's, community expertise like the groups I mentioned here, and patience and fortitude ourselves to fight with and for them.

Allison Brown
Executive Director
Communities for Just Schools Fund 
In This Issue
SchoolHouse: Equity in Education
Community Partner Updates
Free Minds, Free People 2017 - CJSF was honored to sponsor this year's Free Minds, Free People (FMFP), a national conference convened by the Education for Liberation Network, that brings together teachers, researchers, young people, parents and community-based activists & educators.  This year's event was held in Baltimore from July 6 - July 9 and CJSF partner Baltimore Algebra Project served as the local host. This year, FMFP launched a Fighting For Our Lives Social Media Campaign to demonstrate how participants are transforming their communities and working toward liberation. 

Fighting for Our Lives online and in-person questions included "How are you fighting for your life and lives in your community?" And "How will you share your fight at #FMFP2017?" Many of CJSF's grantee partners attended: Baltimore Algebra Project, RYSE Center, Urban Youth Collaborative, Teachers Unite, BYOP, Youth on Board (YOB), Providence Student Union, PrYSM, Vamos Juntos, Gwinnett SToPP, Citizens for A Better Greenville, FFLIC, Kids Rethink, Southern Echo, and Teaching For Change. 
Workshops hosted by CJSF partners included:
CJSF Presents: "Data as a Tool" Learning Circle

Immediately after FMFP, 24 of CJSF's grantee partners participated in a two-day Data Learning Circle featuring experts, Dr. Robert Kim and Dr. Tia E. Martinez. Day one offered a demonstration of how data can best be used to augment the impact of youth organizing. Day two offered detailed exposure to the Civil Rights Data Collection website for better access and keen understanding of how the federal government - through the Office for Civil Rights - collects education data, and how it can be used in local and state-level organizing efforts. See this link for a video highlighting CJSF partner time together at FMFP and the data learning circle.
Education Civil Rights (ECR) Alliance 
The Open Society Foundations hosted an Education Civil Rights (ECR) Alliance meeting on Wednesday, July 26. The ECR Alliance is a collection of groups who are working to do the enforcement work of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education in the near term and to provide direct legal and other holistic supports to students and families in the long term. CJSF grantee partners - Gwinnett SToPP, Boston Youth Organizing Project, and the Dignity in Schools Campaign - were integral in providing a "views from the ground" update to inform the process.

The Education Civil Rights Alliance is hiring for a Director. Click here for more information about the position.
Californians for Justice
On July 12, 17 grassroots organizations mobilized in Sacramento to tell a different story about the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) - a story told by the students and parents who are on the front lines of this change.  Joined by Assembly-member Rocky Chavez (D-76) and Superintendent Chris Funk from East Side Union High School District, they called on legislators and the future governor to stand with public schools to fulfill the LCFF's promise of equity and excellence for all California children.
Urban Youth Collaborative
The Urban Youth Collaborative (UYC) has an opportunity for a dynamic organizer to join its team as the Coalition Coordinator. For 13 years, UYC has brought together young people from youth-led organizations across New York City to build campaigns designed to transform our public schools and struggle for racial, gender, economic, and LGBTQ justice, and keep young people at the forefront of movements for human rights. UYC has accomplished tremendous victories over the years including saving Student Metrocards, passing the Student Safety Act, winning Student Success Centers, and securing over $5 million for Restorative Justice in public schools. To learn more about the Coalition Coordinator position, click here
Philadelphia Student Union
The Philadelphia Student Union (PSU) welcomed Julien A. Terrell as their new Executive Director on July 24. Julien began his work with PSU in fall 2016 when he oversaw organizing and facilitation training for staff and members. CJSF is looking forward to working with Julien and PSU as they forge ahead! 
In Philanthropy
CJSF joined the Schott Foundation for Public Education and Funders for LGBTQ Issues on July 25 at Philanthropy New York for an afternoon funder briefing focused on issues uniquely facing LGBTQ youth in schools, with an emphasis on LGBTQ youth of color. Together, we explored gaps and opportunities to improve the school climate for these youth populations in schools and discussed ongoing strategies to continually support the movement. 
Public Welfare Foundation   
On July 10, the Board of Directors of the Public Welfare Foundation announced Candice C. Jones as its next president. Ms. Jones has extensive executive experience in the public and the nonprofit sectors and has long been involved with social justice issues.  Click here to read the full press release .
SchoolHouse: Equity in Education (podcast)
July was a very full month for the SchoolHouse podcast. On July 3, Executive Director Allison R. Brown and Kisha Bird of the Center for Law and Social Policy discussed public policy - specifically what it is and what communities can do to drive it through advocacy. Restorative practices in schools discussed in depth with Jonathan Stith of Alliance for Educational Justice and Robert Spicer of Restorative Strategies, LLC. Together, Stith and Spicer describe how restorative practices are used to address conflict between students and as a way to forge healthy learning environments for young people while simultaneously shaping the hearts and minds of adults in schools. Finally, Allison was joined by long-time civil rights attorney and Director of the Executives Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, Damon Hewitt.  They talk about New York City's application high schools, school discipline, boys and men of color, and reaching moral clarity. 
Book Club Corner
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as "black rage," historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in the Washington Post showing that this was, instead, "white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames," she writes, "everyone had ignored the kindling."

Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House.

Carefully linking these and other historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.