Stay tuned for more updates about our program areas: grantmaking, technical assistance & capacity-building, Community of Practice, federal strategies, narrative power-building, and member programming.
We provide multi-year general operating support grants to 64 grassroots organizing groups in 21 states, Puerto Rico, Ontario, Canada, and Washington, D.C. The majority of grants range in size from $100,000-$400,000. We also mobilize rapid response support.
Technical Assistance & Capacity-Building
Our Build efforts are grounded in ensuring support for building connections among CJSF partners and other power-building organizations. It also includes sustaining/increasing investments in partners’ organizational strengthening needs and convening partners for strategy and tactics-building conversations. Examples of technical assistance and capacity-building efforts include federal power mapping & SWOT analysis sessions with partners, a social movement ecosystem training led by Deepa Iyer of the Building Movement Project, and healing, wellness, and grief support for partners.
Community of Practice
In 2021 and beyond, we are preparing to connect the dots of our previous efforts to much needed work around culturally-sustaining pedagogy to move beyond intellectual policing. Incited by the 45th presidential administration’s Executive Order establishing a “1776 Commission” promoting patriotic education, governors and school districts across the country are enacting laws to ban teaching about structural and systemic racism. We know that because educators and organizers across the country continue to remain steadfast in their commitment to truth-telling, the blatant attacks are a direct response to the power of collective resistance to a whitewashed curriculum and to policing in all its forms. Our next Community of Practice will explore culturally-sustaining pedagogy through a series of learning exchanges, site visits, and learning sessions that center organizer expertise.
In our role as a dot connector, CJSF seeks to bring the work of organizers into the federal space. This year, we have worked with our partners to write a transition memo to the Biden-Harris Administration on school climate based on our shared vision of holistically safe schools. We also collaborated with partners to submit a comment letter in support of the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed American History & Civics Ed Grant Priorities. To share our intersectional and liberatory approaches to holistic safety, we convened partners to host a listening session for the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education. In the coming year, CJSF will re-launch federal brownbag sessions to engage with congressional and agency staff to learn about our partner’s work. It is a chance to bring our partners' work to the forefront and continue to push for education policies and practices and federal investments grounded in organizers' demands.
In 2021, Communities for Just Schools Fund (CJSF) hired their first staff member dedicated to communications and storytelling — the Director of Storytelling. This is part of a much larger strategy to increase CJSF’s presence in the world and to build narrative power alongside organizers in the education justice movement. We recognize that the stories we tell and how we tell them contribute to beliefs and values, which ultimately transcend into influencing action. Stories impact media, research, policy, and public discourse. This is why storytelling and narrative power-building is critical to our work. Our narrative power-building efforts include producing public scholarship (e.g. webinars, reports, articles, earned media), hosting narrative power-building sessions for and with partners, conducting research, supporting partners in their storytelling efforts, and more.
CJSF brings our members together for updates, strategy, and to learn directly from partners. This includes convening and participating in strategy sessions with members, strategizing together about how to participate in and connect the dots to other opportunities members are curating, increasing opportunities for members’ collective learning and messaging, as well as for networking with movement partners and others.