The latest from the Schott Foundation and our allies.
Today we learned that Karen Lewis — educator, organizer, and pathbreaking labor leader — has passed away. She leaves us with a legacy of unwavering commitment to children, public education, and racial justice.
The Schott Foundation is proud to add our name, alongside our longtime partners and allies, to this open letter to Dr. Miguel Cardona, President Biden's pick for Secretary of Education. It's time to follow up on candidate Biden's promise on standardized tests: cancel the spring 2021 testing mandate.
Join us for #PhilanthropySoWhite to hear from three white philanthropy leaders about their progress, pain points and what's next in their journeys to create anti-racist organizations and giving practices.
Bishop Dr. William Barber’s homily at the Inaugural Prayer Service this morning was a powerful call to “break the chains of injustice,” to move America toward a Third Reconstruction. He proclaimed love is our salvation — love that must be proven in action. We rejoice in his inspiring words. And in his fierce movement-building leadership, grounded in love, of Repairers of the Breach and the Poor People’s Campaign.
Fueling the frontlines of social progress with philanthropic support is central to Schott’s strategy to advance racial justice in public education. In a year like no other, Schott’s 2020 grantmaking was more nimble, diverse, and participatory than ever before. Almost $2 million in philanthropic support went to the education justice movement: to continue our work with longstanding partners, to supply quickly-needed resources to mutual aid groups in the wake of COVID-19, and to seize the movement moment to help advocates win police-free schools. In addition to our direct grantmaking support, Schott staff supported our community partners in obtaining an additional $380,000 in support from other foundations.
2020 was a year of quarantines and lockdowns, historic elections and popular rebellions. But amid the difficulties, communities and advocates achieved some real wins. Here are eight policy victories from last year that we at Schott are carrying with us as inspiration for the struggles ahead.
The violent attack on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021 was a stark reminder of America’s historic tensions and struggles. The storming of the Capitol came amid a Pro-Trump protest, by a predominantly white and male group of domestic terrorists. Their white privilege assured they could go beyond the police barriers of perimeter and enter the Capitol Building. In the end, many people were injured and five killed, including a Capitol police officer.
Congratulations on your nomination to be U.S. education secretary, Miguel Cardona. You are poised to take this position at a critical point in American history. As you know well, for generations we have lived through a system of separate and unequal education. COVID-19 has greatly exacerbated the learning loss disparities experienced by children of color. Now, with Congress failing to deliver to schools, educators, students and parents the much needed learning and PPE resources, and states cutting their 2021 budgets, things are primed to get a lot worse.
As the year ends, we are looking back at the many challenges and the fierce organizing — and equally fierce love — that our partners brought to meet them.
The story of America is the power of common people coming together around a vision of opportunity, democracy, and a better way of life for generations to come. However, from our earliest beginnings, that vision was executed with instruments of brutal and legalized oppression, heavily fueled by racial bias, which for centuries has metastasized through every system of American life: healthcare, education, employment, policing, faith, technology, and infrastructure.