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CFJ Youth Leaders Secure Major Wins in Long Beach & Fresno Unified

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We’re so excited to share even more incredible wins from our youth organizers! Our student leaders won major initiatives and secured millions in funding for new policies in Fresno and Long Beach Unified.

Fresno Expanding Ethnic Studies & Paying Students for Expertise and Labor

That’s right! This summer and fall, Fresno Unified will expand the scope of ethnic studies in the district by using a racial justice lense across their courses and curriculum. The new policy is a major step towards dismantling the white-washing of our history and school curriculum by expanding ethnic studies beyond the history class. Now, students can grade classes like math, science — even art — to ensure the course curriculum includes studying people of color and the diverse cultures of individuals in those fields. 

“The students of FUSD deserve to see themselves reflected in the curriculum, and they deserve to see that representation go deeper than one or two courses. I myself recently have been deprived of the opportunity to take the Chicano studies or African American studies courses offered at Edison High because A-G requirements prioritize U.S history over them, which might I add, is historically known to be eurocentric.” — Alana de la Cerda, CFJ youth leader at Edison High School in Fresno. 

Using a double equity approach, Fresno Unified will also pay student leaders to gather and record this feedback from their peers and community. Students calling out whitewashing, teachers celebrating the brilliance of our communities & youth getting paid for their labor?! We call that a trifecta!!

Long Beach Prioritizing Student Health & Black Excellence

CFJ youth leaders have also been busy in Long Beach! Our student base has won their campaign for LBUSD to prioritize student health and resources for Black students in their budget this spring. The district is committing $1.6 million to establish wellness centers at every high school campus going forward. Even better, those funds won’t disappear into infrastructure but are instead bookmarked specifically for hiring full-time staff and mental health professionals.

CFJ youth also fought alongside LBUSD parents, the Children’s Defense Fund-CA, Public Advocates, Long Beach Education Connection and LB Black Lives Matter for the district to prioritize student health and resources for Black students. Together we secured the bag and are so excited to share that LBUSD has committed $750,000 to develop a Black Student Achievement Initiative. This is a huge multi-organizational win and something Black youth and allies have asked for specifically so please join us in celebrating their decisive victory! 🎉🎉🎉

“If we prioritize these funds to ensure LBUSD has a racially just curriculum, that teachers are trained on Racial Justice, and that students have access to culturally relevant support such as Black achievement programs, we can ensure students and their families do feel a sense of belonging.” — Megan Lane, CFY youth leader at Poly High School in Long Beach

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