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Organizing for Education Justice

Creating a World That Honors Every Child’s Potential

The Center for Popular Democracy's (CPD) Education Justice Campaigns team works with our affiliates, partners, and allies across the country to build grassroots power, win progressive campaigns and help to build a strong and sustainable movement for education and racial justice. 

Our work advances a vision for our society where access to education is understood as a public good and provided as a fundamental right. Our aim is to achieve a vibrant, community-centered, academically challenging, and culturally relevant public education system based on democratic principles...

The Center for Popular Democracy's (CPD) Education Justice Campaigns team works with our affiliates, partners, and allies across the country to build grassroots power, win progressive campaigns and help to build a strong and sustainable movement for education and racial justice. 

Our work advances a vision for our society where access to education is understood as a public good and provided as a fundamental right. Our aim is to achieve a vibrant, community-centered, academically challenging, and culturally relevant public education system based on democratic principles, transparency, and public accountability. Our students and teachers deserve schools that are safe, supportive, and inclusive teaching and learning environments. Together, we are working to create an educational landscape where all children and youth have equitable opportunities to grow and the freedom to thrive. 

Our policy priorities include the following: 

  • Adequate and equitable investment in transformative public schools: One of our primary goals is to improve the quality of, and equity in public education by expanding the sustainable community schools model as the most transformative vision for the public schools of the future. Realizing this vision requires adequate and equitable school funding, including progressive revenue generation (e.g. closing corporate tax loopholes and making billionaires and private sector actors pay their fair share) at the local, state, and federal level. Our work focuses on resisting the continued divestment from public schools while proactively promoting a visionary narrative around what a transformed public education system should look like. 

  • Ending the privatization of education: We are committed to challenging the rampant privatization of education by working to curb and roll back the expansion of charter schools and voucher programs; highlighting and undermining the corporate capture of the education agenda (including the role of billionaire and private sector actors); resisting deregulation; defending against attacks on teacher’s unions; and protecting against the systematic undermining of community participation and democratic governance in schools and school districts. 

  • Ending the school-to-prison-and-deportation pipeline: The school-to-prison-and-deportation pipeline, along with other forms of systematic criminalization of Black and brown youth in schools, is intricately connected to broader systems of mass incarceration and over-policing, and is one of the most egregious manifestations of racial discrimination in our schooling system. Our work aims to secure divestment from the criminalization of youth of color and for investment in resources that provide for safe, supportive, and inclusive school environments.

Across the country, CPD affiliates are at the forefront of community-based organizing and campaigns that help drive these issues and secure progressive wins. CPD supports their local organizing and campaign-building efforts with technical and strategic policy, research, communications expertise, capacity-building, and leadership development training, and by building alignment with other affiliates and partners to help build powerful regional and national campaigns that advance education and racial justice. 

Additionally, CPD and our affiliate organizations work to connect issues of education justice to electoral races around the country, including school board, municipal, and state-wide elections. 

Campaign Blog

Youth Leaders Release Mandate for Presidential Candidates

For more than three decades, Black and Latinx young people, parents, educators, and communities have organized to dismantle the school-to-prison-and-...

Youth Leaders Win Big in Milwaukee, Stopping Metal Detectors Contract in Public High Schools

Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT), a youth of color-led organization in Milwaukee, Wisconsin just won another big battle in the fight to...

YOUTH LEADERSHIP: Youth Lead A School-to-Prison Pipeline Panel at Local Progress Convening

Young people from Latinos Unidos Siempre (LUS), Youth Power Collective/OnePA, Make the Road Nevada (MRNV), and Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT)...

YOUTH LEADERSHIP: Youth Speak Out At The People's Convention

Young people were represented during all of the major moments throughout the convention including during the opening plenary, throughout the federal...

YOUTH LEADERSHIP: Open Mic Showcases Participants' Talent & Our Community at the People's Convention

Youth had the opportunity to showcase their many talents in dance, rap, poetry, singing and other engaging performances. This was a completely youth...

YOUTH LEADERSHIP: Youth Power Workshop Brings Together 200 Young People

As an end to the People's Convention youth track, the convention launched its very first youth workshop. This event not only gathered around 200...

YOUTH LEADERSHIP: Building Youth Power at the People's Convention

From July 25-27, More than 250 young people from 20 different states representing 26 organizations from across CPD’s network gathered to build...

YOUTH LEADERSHIP: Taking It To The Streets At The People's Convention

On the second day of the conference the 1,500 attendees of the People’s Convention took to the streets of Detroit to speak out against cruel...

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News

When Fairfax County Public Schools appointed Clint Mitchell as the new principal at Mount Vernon...

10/11/2019 | Fairfax County Times

Last year, L.I.T. and the Center For Popular Democracy released a report that showed Milwaukee’s...

06/16/2019 | CNN

About 50 young people, mostly students of color, who are activists with the community-based...

04/30/2019 | Wisconsin Public Radio

A 2015 report by the Center for Popular Democracy estimated that federal, state, and local...

02/8/2019 | Jacobin

Throughout law school I worked with the Suspension Representation Project (SRP) as an advocate...

01/8/2019 | LexBlog

12.18.2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact...

12/18/2018

Dmitri Holtzman, director of education justice campaigns for the Center for Popular Democracy,...

12/18/2018 | Associated Press

Dmitri Holtzman, director of education justice campaigns for the Center for Popular Democracy,...

12/18/2018

Dmitri Holtzman, director of education justice campaigns for the Center for Popular Democracy,...

12/18/2018 | Atlanta Journal-Constitution