Grassroots Organization List

Organizations in DC:

Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc.

Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc works to empower parents in the DC school system, with particular emphasis on advocacy for special needs students. AJE offers trainings and educational programs for parents, youth, and community members in a variety of topics. Lately, they have placed particular emphasis on addressing school pushout— which has a disproportionate impact on students with special needs— by educating parents on their rights in disciplinary situations and empowering them to take action with school administrators.

Restorative DC

Restorative DC is a sub-organization within SchoolTalk DC, focused on training and implementation of restorative justice practices in DC schools, both public and charter. Restorative DC engages teachers, administrators, parents, and students in their efforts to change school culture and avoid disciplinary practices that result in dropouts or involvement with the criminal justice system. They are rooted in the DC community and work with other community organizations to address the STPP more broadly.

River East Emerging Leaders (REEL)

REEL is an organization of residents of DC’s Wards 7 & 8 that aims to strengthen community in the area east of the Anacostia River. They work to combat and draw attention to the issues that affect Anacostia communities, of which education and the STPP are critical.


I SAW! DC is a youth-led collaborative organization focused on creative projects aimed at helping DC youth overcome the challenges they face. Their work takes the form of movies, presentations, and exhibits, drawing attention to issues like the STPP and broader problems in facing youth in the education system and beyond.

Organizations Nationwide:

Dignity in Schools

Dignity in Schools is a national coalition of grassroots organizations working to combat the STPP. While they are a national organization with significant organizational hierarchy, their transparency and evident support for the actions of their local member organizations makes them compellingly grassroots. Their national platform allows them to advocate for federal policy change around school pushout and the STPP.

The Advancement Project

The Advancement Project is a national civil rights organization that works in partnership with communities of color on a variety of issue areas. They offer youth trainings and work to support the efforts of local organizations tackling civil rights issues. The STPP is one of their primary areas of focus.

Gwinnett SToPP

Gwinnett SToPP is a parent-led organization working to combat the STPP in Gwinnett County, GA, outside of Atlanta. They engage in community-centered efforts to educate the public and change local policy, particularly around the presence of school resource officers in Gwinnett schools. (Lexxi LaChance graciously referred me to this organization during our peer review.)

Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT)

LIT is a community organization led by youth of color around Milwaukee, WI. The work to develop youth leadership and increase public awareness of issues facing urban youth. Their work on the STPP has focused on changes to school codes and the implementation of restorative justice practices. (Lexxi LaChance graciously referred me to this organization during our peer review.)