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Our Impact

Since 2016 CJSF has moved more than $26 million in general operating support to grassroots organizing for education justice. As of 2022, we have 80 partners in 25 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Washington, DC.

Our Annual Reports
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2022 Annual Report
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2021 Annual Report
Impact Evaluation
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In late 2022, we finished a year long impact evaluation, conducted by COMM|VEDA consulting. Click here to read the full report, Living on A Learning Edge: CJSF’s Impact on Education Justice


According to those surveyed and interviewed, CJSF’s impact has been far-reaching. The report says:

Partners, members, and network allies alike noted that CJSF holds deep content expertise in education justice, operates from a place of moral conviction, and invests deeply in building trusting relationships. Data from our evaluation show that CJSF has influenced the field of education justice in the following ways: 

As a grantmaker, CJSF’s value proposition is that grassroots organizing is among the most impactful, yet the least supported, strategies for achieving social and educational justice. To this end, CJSF has played a critical role in raising awareness among donors about injustices in schooling, the role of grassroots organizing in building, winning, and sustaining a new, affirmative vision for education, and the importance of funding such efforts. In addition to catalyzing shifts in funding, CJSF seeks to model equitable philanthropic practice and what it looks like to be in community and partnership with grassroots organizations. 


CJSF has created a variety of opportunities to promote collective learning and action, building a community of practice through conferences, learning exchanges, podcast episodes, webinars, original reports, and regular e-newsletters. These efforts are designed to highlight partners’ expertise, create space for connection and synergy across groups, and equip partners with information and tools to inform their organizing praxis and campaigns for holistically safe schools. 


In addition to engaging with its members and partners “internally,” CJSF plays an important public-facing role as an advocate for education justice, elevating partner campaigns and perspectives within the media, as well as in discussions on federal policy. In this role, CJSF has helped connect local and national work and bring greater attention to issues of education justice. 


CJSF prioritizes sustained funding and support, with a commitment to providing multi-year general operating support grants. Importantly, this funding model allows organizing groups to invest in the long-term, foundational work of base-building, leadership development, political education, and power-building beyond shorter-term campaign cycles. 


CJSF’s funding support, as well as the spaces it has created for learning and collective strategizing, have helped partners achieve policy and practice changes, particularly in school discipline and policing in schools and deepen their organization’s political education offerings and access. Many of these campaigns have been going on for years, with varying degrees of success. A number of partners were able to leverage the racial justice uprisings of 2020 and their longstanding organizing gained traction as policymakers and school officials in some places were more receptive to partner demands and calls for police-free schools that were once deemed “too radical.”


Glossary of Terms

The following terms are important to understanding CJSF’s ecosystem and efforts.

Partner categories:

General: Locally-rooted grassroots organizing groups are the majority of our 80-partner network. 

Connectivity: Partners in this category are national movement networks, convenor groups and research partners. The number of partners in this category more than doubled in 2022 due largely to the addition of new educator organizing groups whose work bridges multiple places.

Responsiveness: Support to existing partners or new partners facing unanticipated threats or opportunities. Responsiveness grants sometimes allow us to provide financial support to a new group before we can make a larger, sustained commitment. 

Technical Assistance & Capacity Strengthening: Support for leadership transitions, organizational development/skills building, generative strategy creation, political education, & healing & wellness.

Donor Members: Our donor members are representatives of the foundations whose membership commitments range anywhere from $50,000/year to $1,000,000+/year. Our members come together several times a year for deep learning and discussion. Their efforts to carry learning back into their institutions and the broader field of philanthropy are the literal foundation upon which all of CJSF’s efforts are built. 


Organizing: The processes and practices through which a community intentionally chooses to come together to learn (political education) and to address specific challenges and build momentum (basebuilding) for social transformation. Our partners organize around dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, demanding police-free schools, culturally affirming social-emotional learning and mental health supports, culturally responsive/sustaining curricula and pedagogy, ethnic studies, restorative and transformative justice, reproductive justice, gender justice, parent partnerships, meaningful youth engagement, participatory budgeting, and more. 


Narrative power-building: We appreciate and align with these definitions: “Narratives explain how society should work. Narratives use values to establish norms and compel people to either enforce these norms or to change these norms. They shape and reshape the boundaries of what is possible.” - ReFrame, and “Narrative power is the ability to change the norms and rules our society lives by.” - Rashad Robinson, Color of Change 


Police-Free Schools: “Dismantling school policing infrastructure, culture, and practice; ending school militarization and surveillance; and building a new liberatory education system.” - National Campaign for Police-Free Schools

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