When parents, youth, community members and educators join together, they can move mountains.
From West Virginia to Oklahoma and a growing list of states across the country, educators are making demands that go far beyond fair wages and benefits: they are advocating for newer textbooks, smaller class sizes and pushing back against the austerity measures and harmful policies that undermine student-centered learning environments. Local communities are locking arms with educators and joining those efforts.
Today there are an estimated 30,000 officers now in schools, up from roughly 100 in the 1970s. Although the stated purpose of these officers is to maintain a sense of safety, a very troubling consequence is greater arrest rates and referrals for minor disruptive behaviors — with especially harsh results for girls of color.
Every day, Native youth and communities demonstrate the ability to thrive and persevere despite historical, structural and institutional inequities. Native youth have shown that they are invested in a better future – not just for Native people, but for all Americans. By working in partnership, funders believe that we will see Native communities make great strides in healing, restoration, and advancement of our greatest resource – our youth.
A groundbreaking study from Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality found adults view black girls as young as 5 years old as less innocent and less in need of protection than white peers, which may contribute to the consistently harsher disciplinary treatment that we see across our schools and in our juvenile justice system.
Authors of the report Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood discussed why we need to explore data and disciplinary discrepancies for Black girls. Learn about “adultification” and this newly recognized form of bias in which adults perceive Black girls more like adults- and less innocent- than their white peers. Challenge harmful perceptions of Black girls that suggest they need less nurturing, protection and support than white girls. Explore what more is needed to address this issue and uplift Black girls across schools, juvenile justice and other public systems.
In the midst of our current challenges and unique political moment, it is necessary to declare a new day in America for our young people. America’s new day must start by acknowledging the fact that providing all children an opportunity to learn requires that we provide them with the supports they need to thrive outside the school, starting at birth.
Throughout American history, the policies and practices that created opportunity gaps from birth have been baked into the ecosystem of local and state systems. It is well documented that many of these policies and practices were rooted in implicit racial bias at best, and explicit racism and hate at worst. Even today, far too many of the the policies and practices that govern how cities manage and resource housing, education, healthcare, transportation, workforce development, criminal justice, and civic engagement reinforce inequity in outcomes for children and families of color compared to their White peers by creating a system of barriers to success across all facets of a child’s living and learning environments from the time of their birth.
Today, our best shot for healing communities of their achievement gap is by addressing the larger living climate opportunity gaps. Likewise, our best chance for supporting healing in communities harmed by practices rooted in hate is through current practices that create loving systems.
Our latest Grassroots Education Series webinar was dedicated to YOU — the very people who are working in coalition with others at every level in your communities to protect, restore and advance opportunities for now and future generations. We heard your resolutions to continue to: fight for social, economic, racial and gender justice; become more engaged; stay more present; make more calls; educate more people; be more patient; build new relationships; focus on your health (and stay hydrated, exfoliated and moisturized all at the same time!).
Today, we have an opportunity as a nation to uplift Native American communities and tackle the gross inequities that persist as a result of our country’s brutal legacy of genocide, theft and racism. Education advocates and philanthropy can play an important role in that effort by reversing its own historical legacy of under investment and moving to boldly support Native led social change.
In this new age of political uncertainty and social unrest, leaders of color will be key to navigating philanthropy's future. The Schott Foundation for Public Education is proud to present the first in a two-part webinar series highlighting 21st Century Inclusive Leadership in Philanthropy. In celebrating Black Philanthropy Month in August, we will honor the contributions of Black professionals in the field and the cultural tradition of generosity that exists in our communities.