Education Policy

SEEN Culturally Sustaining Schools Collaborative  

The IDRA SEEN Culturally-Sustaining Schools Collaborative is a group of organizations dedicated to culturally-sustaining schooling across the U.S. South. We connect to stay informed, share resources, and get support from advocates across the Southern region.  

We support each other to defend against attacks on culturally-sustaining schooling and to promote a positive vision for what culturally-sustaining schools can be. We focus on the U.S. South because we see persistent and shared challenges that limit access to equitable and excellent schools for all students.  

The collaborative is made up of organizations that focus their work at the local, state, regional and national levels, including:  

  • Education Trust in Tennessee
  • Every Texan
  • Texas Appleseed
  • Hamkae Center (Virginia)
  • Legal Aid Justice Center (Virginia)
  • IDRA
  • SPLC Learning for Justice
  • Parents for Public Schools (based in Mississippi)
  • Race Forward H.E.A.L. Together
  • North Carolina Justice Center
  • NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools

Our collaborative focuses on issues related to school funding, school discipline and ending school policing, ethnic studies, truthful teaching, immigrant and emergent multilingual student education, and supporting local communities to change education policy and practice.  

Critically, the collaborative helps IDRA disseminate the model policies under development through our model policy shop and further refine and strengthen those policies, based on feedback from collaborative partners and their networks.  

IDRA staff leading the collaborative and the model policy shop work together closely to execute this multi-directional strategy and ensure each initiative complements and advances members’ strategic goals.

Additionally, the SEEN Culturally-Sustaining Schools Collaborative helps IDRA to learn with and support other individuals and organizations with similar missions and advocacy experiences, including those in the existing advocacy networks IDRA has developed, like our Southern Education Equity Network and our Education CAFEs. We plan to convene these organizations and individuals to discuss shared policy, advocacy, and community engagement challenges, strategies, and triumphs, with a particular focus on providing mutual policy and advocacy support during concurrent state legislative sessions.

As the collaborative leader, IDRA develops training sessions, convenes regular meetings, and provides other technical support to organizational partners.  

For more information, contact Terrence Wilson, J.D., IDRA Regional Policy and Community Engagement Director, terrence.wilson@idra.org.

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