What brings us together?
Those of us who care deeply about public education – from teachers to organizers and philanthropists – see the transformational potential of a quality education. While a quality education won’t eliminate deeply entrenched social barriers like racism and poverty, it can begin to begin to unlock some of the doors of opportunity that have previously remained closed for too many children in America.
How are we making a difference?
At Communities for Just Schools Fund, a national donor collaborative, we bring together the resources of philanthropy with the power of grassroots organizing to ensure that all schools welcome students and nurture their full potential. In keeping with our strategic plan, we begin by listening in order to understand what students and families need to succeed. To make a difference, we:
We fund organizations that change schools through community organizing and advocacy. Our grantee partners have a track record as students, families and teachers to push for policies that reduce school suspensions and make schools safe places to learn. These organizations are invested for the long-term – working to ensure that policies are implemented in a way that makes a meaningful difference in the lives of students and in their own communities.
We are dot-connectors. We foster relationships between our grantee partners and philanthropy. We ensure that policymakers hear from the grassroots – and that small local organizations can benefit from the resources and reach of national movement allies.
We build the capacity of our grantee partners by growing their strategic know-how on everything from communications to advocacy. Our commitment to our grantee partners does not end with a check. To build the field, we meet, we listen and we strategize side-by-side with our grantee partners – leaders who are succeeding at strengthening their schools and communities.
We lead efforts, together with our grantee partners, to make school discipline reform and positive school climate a priority for traditional philanthropic organizations, for policymakers and for national allies. We are part of a larger movement to make schools work for students of color by elevating the power of organizing to create long-term sustainable change.