During a DSC CA Statewide Convening in 2017, members discussed the impact of rapid community displacement on Black organizing and the increased criminalization inflicted on students in places Black folx were moving to. In response, DSC CA organizations and Black organizers committed to participating in a working table to address the need to understand Black migration and Black organizing better, vital pieces in our police-free school movement. This space is DSC CA Black Love and Liberation.
We are a statewide alliance that is not only anchored by grassroots organizations accountable to Black parents and youth, but also defined by a north star rooted in Black liberation. At the heart of our gatherings, our stories are intertwined and woven as a tapestry of Black experiences, our words painting a vivid mural of Black migration, the persistent challenges of anti-Blackness, and strategies to fight back.
The Spirit of Sankofa
For the National Week of Action and in the spirit of Sankofa (looking back to build forward), we proudly proclaim “Ujima!” and practice Black love as our collective work and responsibility. In Black Love, we fight to end the ongoing battle against injustices in schools manifested as the presence of law enforcement, the insidious grip of racism and white supremacy, the devastating impact of school pushout- suspensions and expulsions, and harmful punitive disciplinary practices that erode the mental well-being of students and act as a barrier to their academic success.
In pursuit of justice, Black Love & Liberation staunchly calls for an immediate end to the cruelty, injustice, and systematic anti-Blackness students are enduring within schools. This resolute demand encompasses the vital necessity of creating police-free schools, a critical measure aimed at safeguarding the well-being of Black students and nurturing welcoming, productive, and safe learning environments. Imagine the profound transformation in Black education and Black life when schools become hubs of opportunity and equity for Black families, anchored firmly within the principles of educational justice—a resounding affirmation of Black lives.
Imagine this transformation encompassing a range of critical initiatives, restorative justice practices, immersive Black History (aka ethnic studies), intentional parent and community involvement, adequate and comprehensive mental health services, and an unwavering commitment to recruiting Black educators who have a deep understanding of and empathy for the unique experiences of Black students.
Additionally, this transformation is grounded in the embrace of culturally relevant education that centers on the needs and aspirations of Black students. Through these multifaceted commitments, we endeavor to dismantle the oppressive structures that have long hindered the progress of Black students and strive for a future where education truly uplifts and celebrates Black lives.
Black Love and Liberation Solidarity Work
Here is how Black Love & Liberation members express Black love in their local communities.
Black Love and Liberation (BPSB)
Black Parallel School Board is on a mission to secure the highest quality of education for Black children. In Black Love, we unite parents and the community in a collective effort to improve the academic outcomes and school climate for Black scholars. We were successful in removing police in schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District and are influencing school safety decisions with our reimagine school safety plan. In 2023, the Sacramento Unified School District settled with the Black Parallel School Board to improve special education and discipline systems. The Black Parallel School Board is currently in a lawsuit against the state of California to improve special education and end punitive discipline practices statewide.
Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth
Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth has spent the past 48 years fighting for our Black students and their families. In partnership with our allies, we launched a successful “Solutions NOT Suspensions” campaign with the San Francisco Unified School District, and we fought to close the San Francisco juvenile hall facility with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Coleman has never wavered in the fight to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and ensure that our Black students receive the love, liberation, and high-quality education they desperately deserve.
Black Organizing Project (BOP)
Since 2011, after the murder of Raheim Brown, the Black Organizing Project (BOP) diligently worked to eliminate the Oakland Unified School District school police department and, in 2020, accomplished this remarkable feat. This win increases learning opportunities for Black students most targeted by punitive school discipline practices. BOP created a Reimagine School Safety Plan that uses restorative justice approaches to safety and is currently working alongside OUSD on implementation.
Founded on the belief that every parent and caregiver is valuable and capable of leading their fights for change, CADRE works with parents in LAUSD to activate parent power. The outcomes are the Black Student Achievement Plan (BSAP) and classroom monitoring that is changing the negative trajectory for Black students to positive academic experiences in schools.