The grassroots organizations included on this website are composed of parents, students, educators, and community members and they have organized around issues of public education and community control of schools, retaining and supporting educators of color, and educational equity for all students. They’ve organized by holding weekly community meetings, engaging officials at school board or city council meetings, signing petitions, educating youth and parents on the issues that affect them, and creating space for informational education and dialogue on social media outlets like Twitter. For many of these organizations, protecting public education or supporting educators of color requires members to consider a myriad of other issues including those of racism and discrimination, general mental health, economic injustice, language barriers to success, and school boards and other forms of local governance that are non-transparent and unaccountable to community members. Their continued work, however, is fueled by small victories that encourage members to keep organizing and fighting. For example, Our Voice Nuestra Voz, a grassroots organization included on this website, recently celebrated the passage of HB509 by the LA Senate that requires school boards to host public meetings with improvement plans for struggling schools. Victories like these have led organizers to feel empowered by the work they do and encouraged to strive for more victories. Though these organizations continue to face disappointment, they feel supported, empowered, and motivated by those who continue to work with them and those who are included in their networks.
Step Up Louisiana– https://stepuplouisiana.org/our-work/education-justice/
Step Up Louisiana is a grassroots community organization that emphasizes both economic and educational justice in Louisiana. In terms of education, they are fighting to keep “the [four]remaining New Orleans schools that are slated to become charters under local control.” They also are fighting for the creation of a parents’ union and they advocate for strong public schools for all students instead of an illusion of school choice.
Rethink is a youth led community organization based in New Orleans that focuses on organizing youth of color around issues that surround them in their community. Their Five Point Program emphasizes education equality, involvement of youth in curriculum design and teacher training, and youth veto power over decisions of “school openings, closings, leadership,, and locations.”
VAYLA is a New Orleans grassroots organization that works to organize the community around multiple issues. Around issues of public education, VAYLA advocates “for participatory governance, community control and the rights of students to access the resources and tools they need to learn.”
Our Voice, Nuestra Voz– https://twitter.com/WeAreOVNV
Our Voice Nuestra Voz is a New Orleans community organization composed of parents who want to “ensure that ALL children have access to great schools.” Specifically, they advocate for more equity, transparency, and accountability of schools that remain under the Orleans Parish School Board.
The Grassroots’ Education Movement is an alliance of grassroots organizationshas groups in Chicago, New York, and Miami and “organizes, and mobilizes educators, parents, students and communities to defend public education.” They oppose movements that push for the privatization of schools and instead advocate for smaller classes, less testing, and equitable funding for all public schools, among other things.
Educolor is a grassroots organization that addresses issues of systemic inequalities like race in public education and works to amplify the voices of communities of color. They push to protect public education for all communities and they hope to “develop long-term strategies and policy to ensure K-12 schools are served by at least representative proportions of educators of color.”
Save Our Schools– http://saveourschoolsmarch.org/
Save Our Schools (SOS) is a national coalition of educators, parents, students, and concerned citizens who commit themselves to grassroots organizing to save public education. Their committed to ending the privatization of public schools and ensuring equitable public education for all students.
The Rhode Island Coalition for Educators of Color is a grassroots network founded by four educators of color. The coalition works to to create a collaborative network for educators and is “committed to empowering individuals to build and bridge connections, disrupt racism, and challenge inequities.”