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Just and Fair Schools Fund Newsletter: July 2013

Resource type: News

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The Just and Fair Schools Fund (JFSF) supports grassroots organizing initiatives that work to eliminate harsh school discipline policies and practices – and that uphold the right to education for all youth. Our newsletter shares updates on parent-, youth-, and congregation-led victories, partner spotlights, news, and resources to promote positive school climates and discipline.

The JFSF is made possible with the generous support of The Atlantic Philanthropies, Barr Foundation, Cricket Island Foundation, Falk Foundation, Ford Foundation, Gill Foundation, Hyams Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Skillman Foundation, and an anonymous donor. Activities described in this newsletter are not necessarily funded by JFSF or any of its members.

New Video: How Parents Brought Recess Back to Chicago

Watch this new video about parent leaders from JFSF partner Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI) winning recess for all Chicago elementary school students. This short video is part of an ongoing video series profiling youth and parent leaders organizing for safer and healthier school climates throughout the country. To learn more and view other videos from this series, go to


Federal Officials Propose Collecting Data on Bias-Based Bullying
Prompted by a meeting with JFSF partner Gay-Straight Alliance Network and its allies last year, the U.S. Department of Education has proposed collecting and reporting data on bullying incidents based on sexual orientation. The Department is inviting public comments on the proposed requirement through August 20, 2013, which will update national school-related civil rights data collection. Read more>

Partner Spotlights

Florida Youth Continue State Capitol Sit-In
Moved by the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, Power U Center for Social Change and activist allies continue their occupation of the Florida state capitol, calling for an end to racial profiling and the school-to-prison pipeline. Read more>

NC Youth Leaders Call for Dignity and Support
On June 26, youth leaders of North Carolina Coalition for Educational Justice (NCCEJ) held a press conference and led a march to the governor’s office demanding an end to the criminalization of youth, in response to the arrest and jailing of seven students of color for a water-balloon senior prank. Read more>

Chicago Youth Call Out Charter Schools’ Extreme Punishments
After determining that Chicago charter schools have expulsion rates seven times that of their counterpart public schools (see factsheet), youth leaders of Voices of Youth in Chicago Education urged the state charter school commission to intervene and hold charter schools accountable for exclusionary discipline practices. Read more>

NY State Gets a Failing Grade on School Discipline
Alliance for Quality Education released its College and Career Readiness Report Card on New York State’s progress in improving public education – noting the failure to reduce suspension rates and the continuation of ineffective school discipline policies. Read more>

Boston Youth Leader Addresses U.S. Department of Education
Heaven Reda – president of Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) – debriefed federal education officials on BSAC’s We’re the Ones in the Classroom: Ask Us campaign, which aims to empower students in shaping school culture in Boston public schools. See her here (starting at minute 13:00)>

Detroit Community Organizer Recognized for Leadership
Ray Winans – youth organizer at Detroit’s Harriet Tubman Center – was one of fifty Black men honored with the BMe Leadership Award for exemplary work in reshaping their communities. Read more>

Shaping the National Conversation

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 7/17/13 – Through its Forward Promise initiative, JFSF member Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards grants to ten organizations for their efforts in strengthening outcomes for boys and young men of color – with half of the awarded programs addressing harsh school discipline policies and practices. Read more>

Education Week, 7/9/13 – JFSF ally Advancement Project, along with multiple JFSF partners, gathers youth leaders and organizers in Denver, CO, for a series of intense workshops on ending the school pushout pandemic. Read more>

NPR, 6/22/13 – Districts consider eliminating out-of-school suspensions and adding restorative justice approaches in order to keep students in school. Hear more>

Detroit Free Press, 6/21/13 – JFSF members The Skillman Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recap A Gathering of Leaders event in Detroit that convened practitioners, policymakers, and grantmakers to reexamine strategies supporting boys and men of color and their communities. Click on images below to hear JFSF partners Community Asset Development Re-defining Education and Youth United for Change share their experiences from attending. Read more>

The Atlantic, 6/18/13Stop Penalizing Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still at School. Read more>

Resources You Can Use

Video & Infographic: School-to-Prison Pipeline in Action – JFSF ally Advancement Project released a new video and accompanying infographic documenting student experiences with zero tolerance discipline practices. Learn more>

The Suspension Spike, Changing the Discipline Culture in NYC’s Middle Schools – Citing the efforts of multiple JFSF partners and allies, the Office of the NYC Comptroller urged middle schools to adopt restorative practices as an alternative to harsh discipline and stressing the need for support with high expectations and accountability in this report. Read more>

Infographic: Testing and School Pushout – Fair Test illustrates the connection between high-stakes testing and the school-to-prison pipeline. Learn more>


JFSF partner Youth Justice Coalition (Los Angeles, CA) is now accepting applications for LOBOS (Leading Our Brothers/Sisters out of the System) Youth Organizers. Learn more>

JFSF partner Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (Chicago, IL) seeks a Campaign Director and a Safe Schools Consortium Coordinator. Learn more here and here>

Sierra Health Foundation (Sacramento, CA) seeks a Public Affairs and Communications Director. Learn more>

Andrus Family Fund (New York, NY) seeks a Program Officer. Learn more>

Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (Washington, DC) seeks an Advocacy Director. Learn more>

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Civic Media (Cambridge, MA) seeks a Network Coordinator for the Out for Change: Transmedia Organizing Network. Learn more>

Just and Fair Schools Fund is an Atlantic grantee.

Related Resources


Children & Youth, School Discipline Reform

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