You don’t have to be an expert on education to know that far too many K-12 students in the United States lack access to quality public schools, competent, committed teachers and other key tools for academic success. Many of these young people—the majority of whom are people of color and/or from low-income households—find themselves ill-prepared once they enter college…if they’re able to get there in the first place. How can someone break the cycle of poverty if poverty prevents them from accessing the resources required to so?
Fortunately, there are institutions and organizations across the country that are working to closing those gaps and making higher education an attainable goal for those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take their studies beyond high school.
Are you an educator or parent in need of resources to support your efforts? Looking to support an organization doing the work of educating the nation’s youth? Here are a few that you should check out:
The Campaign for Black Male Achievement is a national membership network that supports, trains and develops both organizations and leaders who are dedicated to improving the lives of Black men and boys. Launched in 2008 by the Open Society Foundation, CBMA essentially created a new field before becoming its own independent non-profit organization seven years later. In the words of their CEO Shawn Dove, “There is no cavalry coming to save the day. We are the agents of the change we want to see. We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for.” For more information, visit their official website.
Girls are often pushed to the margins in conversations about the criminalization of students of color. Yet, many of them face incredible challenges at home, in their communities and in the classroom that find them unable to obtain the education they deserve—and, at times, subject to devastating disciplinary actions. New York-based Girls for Gender Equity was founded in 2003 to address this by conducting research, building coalition with key partners and working directly with youth to organize and advocate for themselves, with a focus on eradicating the sexual violence that often makes it impossible for girls to get the education they deserve. Check out GGENYC.org to learn more.
Moms Rising began with a handful of concerned mothers wanting to see change in their communities and eventually grew into a network of over a million members across the nation. The organization holds politicians and corporations accountable, brings the words and work of mothers to the national stage via various media platforms and helps connect like-minded women to advocate for a number of critical issues, with early childhood education being chief among them. Read up on this important part of Moms Rising’s platform here.