Building a base of active leaders is core to CFJ’s ABC (Alliances, Base, Campaigns) strategy, to achieve just public schools that put students on the path to success. We believe an active base of knowledgeable and skilled members is not only critical to winning campaigns and strengthening alliances, it is also essential to ensuring there is a robust pipeline of leaders for the educational and racial justice movement of today, and in the future.
Our base includes high school students, college students, parents, and community members. We build our base by outreaching in schools with the most need, engaging them in organizing activities, and providing year-round leadership development. Through a combination of hands-on organizing and leadership development, CFJ’s base is able to understand the policies and practices that create inequity in our schools, develop their own solutions for change, and make those solutions a reality.
For our work with high school students we use a laddered approach to ensure there are opportunities for growth and development as leaders and organizers. Students typically begin as a member of a CFJ school chapter, and then move on to take more responsibility as a chapter leader (e.g. chapter president), core leader, statewide strategy team member (intern), board member, or a Justice Fellow (part-time staff position). CFJ has chapters in 13 high schools across our four regions of Oakland, San Jose, Fresno and Long Beach.