Meet the Training Team - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Meet the Training Team

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Advancement Project’s national office

Advancement Project is an innovative civil rights law, policy, and communications “action tank” that advances universal opportunity and a just democracy for those left behind in America. We believe that sustainable progress can be made when multiple tools – law, policy analysis, strategic communications, technology, and research – are coordinated with grassroots movements. Advancement Project is located in Washington, DC, but supports community-led work across the country to end the school-to-prison pipeline.

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Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ)

The Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ) is a national alliance of youth organizing and intergenerational groups working for educational justice.  AEJ aims to bring grassroots groups together to bring about changes in federal education policy, build a national infrastructure for the education justice sector and build the capacity of our organizations and our youth leaders to sustain and grow the progressive movement over the long haul.



Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) is a multigenerational, base-building, membership-led organization of low-wage South Asian and Indo-Caribbean immigrant workers and youth in New York City. DRUM has mobilized and built the leadership of members to lead social and policy change that impacts their own lives – immigrant rights to education reform, civil rights, and workers’ justice – from the local to the global. DRUM’s long-term vision is to build the power of immigrant workers in the U.S in unity with all workers and communities for human rights. We see our movements for justice in the U.S. rooted in working in solidarity with people of the Global South for just global trade, economic, and foreign policies. Its cornerstone is building strong cross-community alliances across the U.S. and the globe to amplify progressive movements with African Americans, Latinos, indigenous communities, Arab and Middle Eastern communities, labor, youth, civil rights, and Global South movements from Egypt, to South Asia, to Latin America.

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Philadelphia Student Union

The Philadelphia Student Union (PSU) exists to build the power of young people to demand a high-quality education in Philadelphia's Public School System. As a youth-led organization, PSU makes positive changes in the short term by learning how to organize to build power. PSU focuses on providing a holistic development experience for young people through utilizing organizing, arts and cultural programs and wellness training. We are committed to support young people's growth while they are members and to prepare them for long-term leadership and engagement in social justice after transitioning from PSU.

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Puente was birthed out of the movement against 287(g) in 2007, which was the first agreement between the police and federal immigration in Arizona. This agreement led to cruel attacks on Puente’s community at the hands of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Puente’s membership and leadership has always been comprised of those most impacted by anti-immigrant policies and laws: currently and formerly undocumented people, those in mixed-status families, and people of color affected by rampant racial profiling. Some of our previous work includes the Alto Arizona campaign, lifting up the human rights crisis in Arizona in the wake of the passage of notorious anti-immigrant law SB1070, and the No Papers, No Fear Ride for Justice (Undocubus).

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Freedom Inc.

Freedom, Inc. engages low- to no-income communities of color in Dane County, WI. It works to end violence against people of color, women, those that non-traditionally gender identify, youth and our elders to promote a healthy lifestyle.  Freedom, Inc. creates healthy communities by campaigning against the root causes of violence, creating our own definitions of identity and resiliency, and empowering all community members as agents of change. Our vision is to inspire and restore power to those most affected by violence through leadership development and focusing on community.  Freedom, Inc.’s efforts are specific with regard to language, gender, generation and culture, to ultimately produce lasting forms of social, political, cultural, and economic change.

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Coleman Advocates

Coleman Advocates believes that all children and families deserve access to high quality education, living wage jobs, family-supporting benefits, affordable housing, and a voice in the decisions that affect us. Since 1975, Coleman Advocates has pioneered programs and policies to expand opportunity for San Francisco’s children, youth and families. Many of these hard-won programs and policies have served as models adopted by communities all over the country. Coleman currently focuses on building more effective, equitable, and supportive public schools in San Francisco and beyond. Coleman Advocates believe the transformation of our educational system requires the involvement of the entire community – not just teachers, school administrators, and politicians. Coleman Advocates’ organizational model has evolved over the years and today combines the development of rigorous policy proposals and implementation plans with deep community engagement and leadership development involving youth and parents. While they work to increase opportunity for all young people in San Francisco, the primary focus is fighting to advance rights, safety and full inclusion of low-income people of color.

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Manuel Criollo

Manuel Criollo is an Activist in Residence at UCLA’s Luskin School. As the former Director of Organizing at the Strategy Center, he challenged policies and practices in the city and the county of Los Angeles that criminalize Black and Latino youth – particularly, the school-to-jail track in Los Angeles Unified School District that has the largest dedicated school police force in the county. For a decade, Manuel was the lead organizer of the Bus Riders Union – the country’s largest grassroots mass transit organization. He has worked on a wide range of local, regional and statewide campaigns, as well as, solidarity work with social movements in Chiapas, Mexico, El Salvador and Venezuela. Prior to his Strategy Center work, Manuel was the Project Director at SALUD Project Clinica Para Las Americas and participated in student organizing at Santa Barbara College against anti-immigrant and anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives in California. His commitment to social justice has led to him being named the “Future Leader of Los Angeles” by LA Opinion and awarded the Soros Justice Fellowship.

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