Allison R. Brown

Executive Director

I am the Executive Director of the Communities for Just Schools Fund (CJSF).


CJSF brings strategic vision and fruitful collaboration to a field that is focused on school discipline reform and creation of healthy school climates. A nationally-focused donor collaborative, we leverage resources in support of community-led organizations that are forcing the elimination of barriers to educational opportunity for historically under-served students and ensuring positive and supportive school climates that affirm and foster the success of all students. Learn more about our work in these public pieces: USA Today (2018), Education Week (2018), Medium (2017), Memphis Music Initiative (2017), Nonprofit Quarterly (2017), Education Week (2016).


Previously, I worked as a program officer at the Open Society Foundations and as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division. At DOJ, I initiated, developed, and led the Civil Rights Division’s efforts to combat the school-to-prison pipeline, which closes off opportunities for academic and lifelong success for far too many students of color. For my work at DOJ, I received the Attorney General’s Meritorious Award, Special Achievement Award, and Special Commendation Award. I also was recognized by the National Bar Association and IMPACT as a member of the 2012 Nation’s Best Advocates: Top 40 Lawyers Under 40.

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I am the founder of Allison Brown Consulting (ABC), a service organization that worked with schools, students, and families to bring about improved academic outcomes through equitable school climates where all students thrive. I have worked as a litigation associate at the law firm of Crowell & Moring LLP in Washington, D.C. After law school, I clerked for Justice Theodore R. Boehm of the Indiana Supreme Court and for Judge David F. Hamilton of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (now of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit). I am a summa cum laude graduate of Howard University and a graduate of Harvard Law School, where I was an articles editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.


I am a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research, the Board for The Beautiful Project, and the National Advisory for EmbraceRace. I am admitted to the United States Supreme Court Bar, the Maryland State Bar, and the Bar of the District of Columbia. I live in Washington, D.C., with my husband and two children.


I still have in me that shy little girl from Indiana who would never let her mother get too far from her. Who grew up in the unspoken richness and traditions of African American community. Whose instincts were her ancestors, her great grands, ordering her steps. Who has seen success because her family told her to, and expecte