Congress Urged to Enact Antiracist Education Policies

Group of multi-ethnic little kids raising their hands in happiness in a classroom

In light of recent demands for racial justice, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP, UnidosUS, and the National Women’s Law Center along with hundreds of other civil rights and education organizations, have written to Congress to again urge decision makers to enact antiracist education policies. Such steps are needed to support the educational success of historically marginalized students, including Black students and other students of color, Native students, students with disabilities, LGBTQ students, religious minorities, sexual assault survivors, and immigrant students, in PK-12 and higher education spaces.

The letter included the civil and human rights community’s policy recommendations for achieving justice and equal opportunity in education, noted below:

Civil Rights Principles for Safe, Healthy, and Inclusive School Climates, signed by 295 organizations, calls for Congress and PK-12 institutions to:

  • Ensure rights of students
  • Encourage schools to implement comprehensive and supportive discipline practices
  • Address childhood trauma
  • Enhance protections against harassment and discrimination in school
  • Ensure accountability through accurate and comprehensive data collection
  • Invest in school infrastructures that support positive school climates
  • Eliminate school-based law enforcement
  • Eliminate threats to students’ health and safety

In collaboration with members of the Higher Ed Civil Rights Coalition, The Civil Rights Principles for Higher Education, endorsed by 56 organizations,identifies fundamental elements of a higher education system that advances equity and protects students’ civil rights. The principles urge decision makers to push for:

  • Civil rights enforcement
  • Access
  • Persistence and completion
  • Affordability
  • Data
  • Accountability
  • Exclusion of for-profits
  • Protection for student loan borrowers
  • Safe campus climate
  • Investment in HBCUs and MSIs

“As we see support grow for transformative change to dismantle White supremacy, the coalition’s principles are key to ensuring positive educational experiences for Black students and other students who are too often marginalized both in the school setting as well as in the world. We hope that these principles and policy recommendations will offer policy leaders a path to supporting and protecting marginalized students and ensuring they have the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive,” said the letter, which is available here.


  1. Education, Social Education and Behavioral Education is the educators mission; yet our classrooms are overcrowded with 35 to 45 students to one teacher. My students, my children your children deserve SO much better than that!
    Perhaps for some children this works, but the mission above cannot be reached when we are working with the extreme variety of young people we have the honor of working with today; ELD, Special Ed., Gifted, highly gifted—we need much smaller learning environments that are NOT AGE BASED, but skill and accomplishment based. If you can graduate at 16, why is that an issue? if it takes 4, 3, years, what difference does that make? We have an opportunity right now to create schools that expand the horizons of traditional education and move it into heathy centers of community education.
    The model of “interesting education” requires educator/researchers working on real life problems that we engage students to resolve “community issues/problem” and engage our kids to believe their voices count in the world.
    We need a nation wher most people are bilingual—this is the world we live in and Americans are have fallen behind! We are not building “citizens” we are turning off kids with “traditional education models” only.
    Give youngsters a community or global problems to solve and the support/skills to do that, and we will all be amazed at what the world can become. I know trusting and building our kids-up working to resolve real time community problems, they will learn critical thinking, civility, group work, idea generating, become “much younger solution focused thinkers.
    Our students have technology at their fingertips, yet their personal power has become have become so small; yet, these very tools can be a window to the best multicultural awareness building, art, language learning.
    What if we asked student to work together internationally to eek out solutions to our environmental issues—global warming! I know the skepticism is out there, but I know my students passion and internal fire is now undirected—yet they yearn to DO SOMETHING USEFUL NOW.
    Did you know that it was a child who came up with the idea to turn Amsterdam into a biking city!!! One child, with a parent who supported his “passion” and desire to serve his community: economic, pollution, and health solutions from one small person with grand ideas.
    Folks, we are “protecting” our kids from EVERYTHING, and their potential is drowned out by a traditional education environment that dulls the passion and makes them small!
    Such a waste of amazing innate talent. We just refuse to let them fly, and keep them dependent on a education model that cannot grow an individual into a global contributing citizen.
    When 46% of our population cannot analyze fact from fiction—we need to change our education delivery model & move nationally into the 21st century! TEACHERS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM, but the system/model of delivery is BROKEN!

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