Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Justice Matters Receives $500K Grant for Racial Justice

Justice Matters, has received a $500,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to fund their work over the next two years in building a national racial justice movement to transform education for students of color.

This funding will enable Justice Matters to define and set the movement-level building blocks for developing and advancing a racial justice agenda to transform public school education locally in Richmond, CA through parent-led organizing; in Oakland, CA, by supporting teacher training in developing parent leadership and engagement capacities; and, nationally through cutting edge policy analysis and a network of racial and social justice schools serving communities of color.

“It is great news that the Kellogg Foundation is committed to our work during this critical time for education policy in the U.S. We believe that the key to racially just schools begins with engaging parents and communities of color as active participants in school decision-making, offering their cultural knowledge and experience as an integrated part of their children’s education, “says Olivia E. Araiza, Executive Director of Justice Matters.

With a parent leadership academy, teacher trainings, campaigns and community arts programs, Justice Matters works locally to develop a people of color-led perspective to bring about systemic change and impact the learning experiences of students and families. This grassroots local organizing works hand-in-hand to develop the voice and analysis for racial justice policy on the national level.

Justice Matters works nationally to develop a network of schools committed to racial and social justice, and promote a visionary values-driven racial justice agenda related to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and its impacts on communities of color. With commentary, analysis and interviews on education policy, Justice Matters provides a unique and cutting-edge voice in the national debate.

With this grant, Justice Matters will focus on two major projects:
Next Generation Leadership:
o Partner with local East Bay organizations to develop leadership programs, support mechanisms and teacher effectiveness tools for teachers in the classroom around parent leadership.
o Outreach and present case studies, tools and outcomes at community organizing and education conferences.
o Provide policy analysis and commentary through opinion pieces, publications and online, to help shape future policy. Participate in convenings, interviews and speaking engagements to further advocate for transformation of schools for communities of color.
Real Schools Now Campaign:
o Identify key issues and create an active campaign for policy change in the West Contra Costa Unified School District of California.
o Recruit a membership base, create community workshops, parent leadership, trainings and arts workshops.

About Justice Matters: Based in Oakland CA, Richmond, CA and Washington D.C., Justice Matters is a national people of color-led racial justice education policy movement building organization. Justice Matters’ research, policy agendas and organizing efforts are rooted in the values and vision communities of color hold for our children. For more information, visit http://www.justicematters.org

About the Foundation: The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success asindividuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa. For further information on the foundation, please visit http://www.wkkf.org