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2022 Grants Challenge

#SouthLAParentLove: Educational Justice via Black/Brown Solidarity

We march towards a vision of schools that facilitate solidarity and agency of families, with radical compassion and inclusion of our most marginalized parents as solution drivers and changemakers. We envision schools that respect and cultivate the humanity, self-determination, and resilience of Black and Latino families. While our impact is multi-dimensional, our north star, and the ultimate path to achieving our vision is a South LA community with a dismantled school-to-prison pipeline.

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What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Support for Foster and Systems-Impacted Youth

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Nationally, CA’s secondary classrooms are the most overcrowded. Overcrowding is twice as likely than the state average in schools 90-100% Black, Latino, & Native American. Black students are disproportionately suspended in LAUSD schools; the pushout/dropout rate in Concentrated Poverty Neighborhoods in South LA is nearly 60%. 30% of Latinos have 8th grade education; 36% of Black people have a high school diploma. 60% of Latinos/African Americans live 100-200% below federal poverty levels. Income inequality, institutional barriers, and schools’ assumptions about Black/Brown people lead to parents' feelings of helplessness, leaving them disempowered from their child’s educational path. Parents feel schools have race, class, immigration status & language biases that block quality parent/school relationships. Lack of resources leads to parents/caregivers unaware of k-12 education rights. 49% of parents surveyed had no knowledge of LAUSD’s discipline policy; 45% were never offered training

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

CADRE invests in Black and Brown parents, centering them in efforts to effect systemic change in public education by decriminalizing and humanizing South LA schools. We play a critical role in building and sustaining a local, statewide, and national ecosystem that redefines how public schools address structural barriers experienced by Black and Latino/a/x families who seek to pursue their right to learn in healthy, nonviolent environments. CADRE’s multidisciplinary approach and core programming create a transformative, healing experience for South LA parents who remain impacted by the same unequal education system in which they were reared, and the inequitable outcomes they now seek to undo on behalf of their children. We humanize and empower parents, enhancing their leadership and organizing capacity. Building critical solidarity between Black and Brown families who are often pitted against each other in public school settings, we elevate parental understanding of education advocacy, resulting in a group of core parent leaders uniquely positioned to disrupt narratives about “good” and “bad” parenting, advocate for authentic, impactful parent inclusion in decision making, challenge child criminalization, creating accountability for policy changes that systematically dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, improving education for all. CADRE’s work changes not only educational policies, but also the LA school system's practices, culture, climate, and power dynamics.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

By the year 2050, CADRE endeavors to realize a Los Angeles education system that is culturally responsive, and fosters and maintains restorative learning environments where students and parents feel a sense of belonging. Los Angeles’ education system will proudly maintain authentic parent inclusion in decision making beyond token or transactional engagement so all families are engaged in their student’s learning. A positive school climate with restorative discipline policies and implementation recognizes students’ human rights & dignity, providing students safe spaces to learn and grow without violence or criminalization. School administrators build humane school environments, reducing poverty and income inequality for Black, Latinx, & Indigenous families. Pushing out kids through suspension or viewing parents as problems instead of solutions is viewed as inhumane, dated, & ultimately ineffective towards building a just society where all can live, work, play, connect, and thrive.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

SUCCESS DISRUPTING SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE (NOT EXHAUSTIVE) KPI: Parent/School Engagement Evidence (E): Created parent-led community monitoring model of LAUSD’s policy implementation. 85 parents completed observations (27 schools | 252 classrooms) KPI: Out-of-school suspensions E: Reduced in LAUSD by over 90% KPI: Legal Advocacy E: Started 1st legal advocacy training & clinic for South LA parents with children unjustly removed from school via suspensions & involuntary transfers (esp. special ed) KPI: Community Organizing E: Launched 1st campaign to stop school pushout. Collected ~50 stories of suspensions & over 120 surveys of youth who didn’t finish high school (human rights documentation project); 100 community members attended 1st ever “people’s hearing” on school discipline practices & pushout KPI: Policy Change E: Won district-wide school discipline foundation policy based on schoolwide positive behavior support (at the time, 1st of its kind in nation’s 2nd largest district)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 300

Indirect Impact: 1,500,000