Grassroots Organizations

Grassroots Organizations in Chicago, Illinois

Communities UnitedCommunities United is a grassroots organization in Chicago, Illinois, which works to empower the surrounding community by fostering local leadership and encouraging intergroup dialogue. Communities United organizes for improving the quality of public education, particularly for low-income students, with an emphasis on increasing high school graduation rates, college readiness, and college enrollment rates.


Logan Square Neighborhood AssociationLogan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) is a community-based organization, located in Chicago, Illinois, which advocates for diversity, leadership development, and community engagement in working towards social justice. LSNA organizes around causes such as lowering high school dropout rates, fostering youth leadership, and encouraging parent engagement in school communities.


Teachers for Social JusticeLocated in Chicago, Illinois, Teachers for Social Justice (TSJ) is a group comprised of educators advocating for social justice in the classroom. TSJ organizes for school and classroom communities that respect and celebrate the cultural, racial, and personal identities of all students. TSJ is committed to creating curriculum and school-based projects and engaging in activist work to give teachers a voice. TSJ has recently announced its 2018 Inquiry to Action Groups (ItAgs), composed of educators, activists, and others, studying topics including: countering islamophobia in classrooms and the role of white educators and activists.


Blocks Together: Blocks Together (BT) is a member-based community-organizing group based in Chicago’s West Side. Started in 1995, BT organizes around social justice issues relating to education, housing, economic justice, and the criminalization of youth. BT’s membership base consists of all individuals involved in the school/access community services in West Humboldt Park. Most recently, BT worked with groups and legislators across the city to pass Public Act 96-0803 which reformed Chicago Public Schools School action and Capital planning process.


Grassroots Organizations across the U.S.

Parent Action Committee: Parent Action Committee (PAC) is a group of parents and community members from multiple different racial backgrounds working to improve educational inequality for all students in the New York City public school system, mainly based in School District 9 in the Bronx. PAC also works to educate parents on their rights in the New York City Public School system.


Southern Echo Inc.Southern Echo Inc. works to develop leadership in African-American communities to combat the racism-entrenched public education system (and history) of the Mississippi Delta. Southern Echo’s work focuses on providing youth of color enriching educational experiences so they may be empowered through their accumulated knowledge and their actions. The group’s most recent work has focused on full equity funding for public education in Mississippi.


Padres and Jovenes Unidos: Padres & Jóvenes Unidos (PJU) is a community organization based in Denver, Colorado, led by people of color advocating for educational equity, racial justice, immigrant rights, and equal higher education opportunities for all, regardless of race, socioeconomic, or immigration status. Specifically, PJU works towards ending the school-to-prison pipeline, positive school climates, immigration rights, and better preparation for college and higher education opportunities.


Youth United for Change: Youth United for Change (YUC) is a youth-led community organization based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Composed of minority youth who organize to ensure high quality education for all of Philadelphia’s youth, YUC organizes students in chapters within their high schools in order to raise awareness about school inequities pertinent to each respective school community. Specifically, YUC works to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, along with demand greater public investment in neighborhood schools.


[Links to all images can be found under References]