At Education Opportunity Network, Jeff Bryant has assembled important updates and lessons for education advocates as we all assess where the 2018 election season leaves us.
There is so much at stake this mid-term election. More than 30 million Americans have cast early ballots so far, which has already surpassed 2014 mid-term election early voting, and more are still coming in. Still, on average only about 40% of eligible voters participate in mid-term elections, and even the best case scenarios do not assume turnout this time around will exceed 50%. Garnering much less attention than House and Senate swing seats and Gubernatorial elections, but still of critical importance, are the ballot measures that are up for votes in each state across the country. Here are some examples of state measures on education equity and social justice that provide yet another reason to get out the vote, and to call on your friends and community members to vote as well. There is too much at stake to sit this election out – the future of our children and their access to healthy living and learning environments where they can succeed depends on us.
This is an exciting week at Schott—it marks the official release of Decolonizing Wealth, the provocative new book by Edgar Villanueva, Schott’s Vice President of Programs and Advocacy. It’s in bookstores nationwide—and is deservedly garnering wide attention, spurring candid assessments and dialogue within philanthropy.
John Jackson, Schott President & CEO urges colleagues to heed the book’s insights. “Through Decolonizing Wealth, Edgar Villanueva reinserts purpose and humanity into a philanthropic industry that has too often been driven by wealth accumulation, grant cycles, portfolios and metrics. Inspired by Indigenous worldview, the book pushes philanthropy back towards its original meaning, “love for humanity.” It is a must read for those new and old in philanthropy as well as those seeking to use their resources to create loving systems.”
Democracy Now! recently looked at the criminalization of Black and brown students that has led to what is known as the school-to-prison pipeline. They spoke with a roundtable of community activists — including members of Schott grantee partners Journey for Justice Alliance and the Dignity in Schools Campaign — engaged in the fight to save schools and push for alternatives to punishment and privatization.
For over two decades the Schott Foundation has been a bridge, connecting philanthropy with community to resource broad based community-led movements for education equity. Part of building and reinforcing that bridge includes challenging structural racism in philanthropy and uplifting solutions rooted in equity through critical and thoughtful dialogue and trust in the power of community voices and community organizing for sustained change.
A new report released by the Alliance for Quality Education reveals that the inexcusable underfunding of New York's public schools hits districts with Black and Latinx students the hardest.
In the 2016 presidential election, only 58% of eligible voters went to the polls, meaning almost half of people that could vote, either were not able to or chose not to. Addressing massive gaps in voter registration and voter turnout is critical to ensuring all economically marginalized voters are represented, and when everyone’s voice is represented at the polls, policies are put in place that actually lead to measurable decreases in income inequality. So, how can we remove voting barriers? And what is the federal government's role in protecting our sacred right to vote?
On behalf of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, I would like to take this moment to congratulate Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum for being selected as the Democratic nominee for governor of the state of Florida. The media called it an upset victory, and certainly the results defied the experts and pundits. But I’ve known Andrew Gillum for close to two decades, as a friend, staunch advocate for an opportunity to learn for all students and ultimately as a colleague as a member of the Schott Foundation Board of Directors. Defying the odds is what Andrew does. Since his first election to the Tallahassee City Commission as a student, its youngest ever member, continuing throughout his career as a public servant, he has brought indefatigable energy, deep thoughtfulness, a compelling vision and courage to every organizing endeavor. Organizing — bringing people together, encouraging them to believe in themselves and what they can achieve together. Florida’s primary voters clearly saw these qualities in Andrew when they propelled him to victory.
I recently had the honor of attending the premiere of Personal Statement, a film by Julie Dressner and co-directed by Edwin Martinez that follows three high school seniors who were trained to support their peers through the college application process — while applying to college themselves. Listening to the film’s protagonists speak about the power of a youth-led model to address inequity in college access, I could not help but think about all of the youth organizers from the Urban Youth Collaborative. Since 2005, UYC has been fighting to develop and get funding for a youth-led college access model as a part of their College Pathways campaign. More than 13 years ago, those youth organizers explained their motivations:
In writing my forthcoming book Decolonizing Wealth, I had the honor and the pleasure of interviewing dozens of leaders from foundations, community organizations, and financial institutions. I asked them to speak candidly about the dynamics of race and power that they encounter in their work with money, and I asked them to share ideas for how we could decolonize wealth. From the hours and hours of audio recordings, and pages and pages of transcriptions, only a few snippets could be included in the book. So I’m happy to share some of the outtakes here.
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