The Coleman Update • February 9, 2016  

A weekly update on issues, policies and actions affecting children, youth and families in San Francisco.



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Making the case for Ethnic Studies as a requirement in all schools.

(Excerpted from an op-ed written by Coleman's Director of Policy Kevine Boggess and published in Equal Voice Magazine today 2/9)

In 2010, a coalition of students, parents, teachers, and community advocates organized to win a pilot Ethnic Studies course in five San Francisco high schools. After implementation of the pilot, we continued to work together to evolve the curriculum and plan for its future expansion throughout district.

Approximately 90 percent of SFUSD pupils are students of color and yet the curriculum remains overwhelmingly Eurocentric, leading many young people to disengage from their academic experience. In 2014, Sandra Fewer, a San Francisco Board of Education Commissioner and former parent organizer for Coleman Advocates for Children & Youth, authored a landmark resolution to expand the curriculum. In December of that year, the policy was passed, providing access to Ethnic Studies classes for every San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) high school student.

Extensive research, including a report from the National Education Association, demonstrates that Ethnic Studies, a curriculum that does reflect the experiences of students of color, has a positive impact on student academic engagement, achievement, and empowerment. Click here to read the full article.


Tonight Tuesday 2/9: Authors of When We Fight We Win in conversation with Coleman E.D. Neva Walker and others.

What: Greg Jobin-Leeds and AgitArte's Deymirie Hernández and José Jorge Díaz will discuss their new book When We Fight, We Win! in conversation with artist and CultureStrike executive editor Favianna Rodriguez, Coleman Advocates E.D. Neva Walker, and visual artist/ co-founder Julio Salgado. A signing will follow.

When: Tuesday February 9th 7:30pm


Longtime social activist Greg Jobin-Leeds joins forces with AgitArte, a collective of artists and organizers, to capture the stories, philosophy, tactics, and art of today’s leading social change movements. When We Fight, We Win! weaves together interviews with today’s most successful activists and artists from across the country and beyond—including Patrisse Cullors-Brignac, Bill McKibben, Clayton Thomas-Muller, Karen Lewis, Favianna Rodriguez, Rea Carey, and Gaby Pacheco, among others—with narrative recountings of strategies and campaigns alongside full-color photos. It includes a foreword by Rinku Sen and an afterword by Antonia Darder.  Click here to learn more about the book


Applications for SOUL West Coast National Youth Organizing Training Institute due 2/12

What: 2016 National Youth Organizing Training Institute

When: March 30, 31 & April 1

Where: Oakland, CA

Co-sponsored by: Arab Resource & Organizing Center, Chinese Progressive Association Youth MOJO, Coleman Advocates, Innercity Struggle & Seeding Change

Click here to apply online (both individuals and organizations). Applications Due February 12th.  

The INSTITUTE 2016, offered on both East & West Coasts, is an introductory organizing training for young organizers, young member leaders, and youth organizers from across the country. Space in the INSTITUTE is limited, so please apply asap!

For more information, assistance, or to discuss your application with us, please call (510)451-5466 x217 or email SOUL at


Saturday 2/13: #Black Minds Matter Community Conversation about the experiences of Black students and families in SF Public Schools.  

When: Sat, February 13, 2pm – 4pm

Where: Cobb Elementary, 2725 California St, SF

Sponsored by: SF Families Union

Is your school up to speed? Are contributions of Black families valued? Are Black children treated fairly? Is Black culture visible in the classroom and curriculum? Are Black voices heard and included in decisions? Come share and explore strategies for improving the experience of Black families in our SF public schools. Childcare and snacks provided.

Click here to RSVP. Questions? Email or call 415-234-3045.


Saturday 2/13: National College Resources Foundation Black College Expo

When: Saturday, Feb. 13th (Black College Expo from 9:00am -5:00pm/Step Show from 3:00pm- 5:00pm)

Where: Oakland, CA. Marriott City Center: 1001 Broadway, Oakland

Find out information about Internships & Careers for College Students. Youth can get accepted on sight to four-year Historically Black Colleges! Application fees will be waived and youth can earn scholarships on the spot. Also, there will be a Step Show featuring Divine 9 Organizations and Bay Area Youth Step Teams. Event open for students, families, community membes, etc. $10 at the door and $8 online at

For more information, contact the Event organizer at 877-427-4100


Saturday 2/13: Bayview Black History Month and Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration

Who: Community Youth Center, Bayview YMCA, and Chinese Community Development Corporation

When: Saturday, February 13th from 11:00am – 2:00pm

Where: Bayview Hunters Point YMAC 1601 Lane Street, San Francisco

Chinese lion dances, African drum dance, performances from youth and food from both cultures to celebrate Lunar New Year and Black History Month. Free for families and friends.


Thursday 2/18: Organizing Meeting re SFUSD Substitute Teacher shortage Crisis

Who: The SFUSD Mobilize Team

When: Thursday February 18th 5pm to 6pm and then the group will join the SFUSD School Board Meeting at 6pm.

Where: Organizing Meeting: Hayes Valley Bakeworks at 555 Gough Street; School Board Meeting: 555 Franklin Street.

SF Public Schools are currently facing a substitute teacher crisis. Frequently, substitute jobs are going unfilled. Schools are left to pick up the pieces. Classrooms are understaffed and overcrowded. There is inadequate staffing and support. Students are wasting time and learning opportunities. This is not only a safety issue, but also an issue of equity. Low-income, higher-needs schools have been disproportionally impacted by this crisis.

A group of educators is organizing the community to demand action and concrete solutions from SFUSD. Click here to read the demands and sign on to the petition.

For more info or to be added to the listserve email


Saturday 2/20: SFUSD School Planning Retreat

When: Saturday, February 20. 8:15am breakfast, 8:45 school planning retreat.

Where: Balboa High School, 1000 Cayuga Avenue, SF (Parking at Denman Middle School behind Balboa HS. Enter from Seneca Ave)

The School Planning Retreat provides the opportunity to work together as a team on your school's Balanced Scorecard (BSC), academic plan and budget for the 2016-17 school year.

Who Should Attend:

Principals, members of School Site Councils or English Learner Advisory Committees, families, and your other school community leaders. Talk to your school's principal about how you can attend and participate in school planning!

  • Hear about SFUSD's strategic priorities, programs and services for 2016-17
  • Help develop your school's priorities and plans for next year
  • Learn about funding and other sources to serve your students

Interpretation, breakfast and snacks will be provided! To reserve childcare call 415-241-6185 for Spanish or English or 415-241-6081 for Cantonese or Mandarin

Click here for more information. 

 In the news:

Police union targets black officer for vocal critique of racism in the department – SF Examiner (Feb 1)

New federal law puts spotlight on English learners – EdSource (Feb 1)

California Bill Would Fund Trauma and Mental Health Services for Students – New America Media/Alternet (Feb 1)

U.N. Experts Seem Horrified By How American Schools Treat Black Children – Huffington Post (Feb 4)

Too many students being diverted from school into the criminal justice system, report says – ABA Journal (Feb 6)

Differences In Suspension May Cause 20 Percent Of Achievement Gap – Learning Lab (Feb 8)

Nuns who help needy face eviction in S.F.’s Tenderloin- SF Gate (Feb 8)

City may pay back businesses sacked by Super Bowl – SF Examiner (Feb 9)

San Francisco Lawyers File Lawsuit on Behalf of Undocumented Children Seeking Asylum – NBC Bay Area (Feb 9)



Coleman's Director of Policy makes the case for Ethnic Studies in all chools

Tonight 2/9: Coleman E.D. speaking as part of Book Tour for "When We Fight We Win" 

SOUL West Coast Youth Organizing Institute Applications Due 2/12

Saturday 2/13: Community Conversation re experiences of Black students and families in SFUSD 

Saturday 2/13: Black College Expo

Saturday 2/13: Bayview Black History Month and Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration

Thursday 2/18: Organizing mtg re SFUSD Sub Shortage

Saturday 2/20: SFUSD School Planning Retreat. 

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Dignity in Schools Campaign Bay Area team at the CA Endowment Statewide School Discipline Action Team in L.A. last week 



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