Closing the Opportunity Gap
Quality education is a requirement for upward mobility, and public schools can and should work for everyone. Students of color and low-income communities should have access to the same in-school and extracurricular opportunities as their wealthier peers.
But educational inequity is systematically stopping students from achieving their full potential. When we fight for underserved public schools, we fight for diversity and equitable access to opportunity.
- Nationally, White students are 1.8 times as likely as Black students to be in an Advanced Placement class.
- Nationally, Black students are 3.9 times more likely to be suspended than their white peers. Hispanic students are 1.3 times more likely to be suspended.
- People of color make up more than 50% of public school students, but fewer than 20 percent of teachers. That lack of teacher diversity leads to lower high school graduation and college entry rates among students of color.
Centering Student Voices
Student voices have been absent from the dialogue, debates, and decision-making around education equity, and in many cases, have been silenced or ignored.
We need to further invest in young people as the changemakers of today and system changers of tomorrow. They deserve decision-making authority along with school board officials, funders, and administrators to shape education and the school environment in which they exist.
Across the nation, youth activism has emerged as the essential ingredient for social change. As young people take their seat at the table, they elevate their identity, cultural background, and power to speak up for marginalized communities that have been silenced for too long.
It's our turn to be heard.
It's our turn for our voices to be valued.
It’s our turn to unite, build, and bridge for the next generation.
"Centuries and decades later I stand before you urging [you] to address the direct results of generational trauma that the education system has implicated in hundreds and thousands of students of color as our roots and identities have largely been neglected all across the nation."
“My hope for [our] schools is that they will one day be a place where any student; no matter their background or zip code, will be able to go to receive a quality education that will not only prepare them for life after high school, but will make them competitive for whatever path they choose to pursue.”
Together, we’ve launched and won issue and electoral campaigns, galvanizing a collective voice of young people to advance comprehensive solutions for long-term change.
Hover to see examples of our impact.
2022 Annual Impact Report
As students rose up boldly and unapologetically to demand education justice in the wake of COVID-19, we followed their lead. We engaged in a unique year of (re)visioning—and doubling down on our model. We asked ourselves hard questions, and we saw some real progress.
2021 Annual Impact Report
In 2021 we fearlessly, shamelessly, and boldly stood up and fought for what is right: education justice. We launched a national campaign to have our youth-authored Student Agenda recognized by the Department of Education, resulting in student engagement that would ultimately influence hundreds of millions of dollars in funds from the American Rescue Plan.
COVID-19 Student Impact Report
We conducted a survey of young people in April 2020 to understand how COVID-19 is impacting them and their educational experiences.
The LA Student Standard: A Collective Resistance
Schools are no exception to the long-standing impact of institutional racism in our country. White supremacy is in our textbooks, discipline practices, funding formulas, lower expectations, etc. Now is the time for LA Unified to lead the way in creating equitable and just school systems.