Greater Baltimore Urban League is committed to eliminating racial disparities in employment, healthcare, fair housing, the justice system and education. We advocate to ensure the educational experiences of Black and Brown students are Equitable, healthy, fair, engaging, culturally affirming, and free from policies and practices rooted in systemic racism. Our mission is to ensure there is an increased level of funding and focus on the development and retention of Black and Brown educators in the Maryland School System. We will hold the system and its stakeholders accountable in eradicating the barriers that alter the educational capacity of those in areas of poverty. GBUL partners with multiple alliances in the advocacy of education for Black and Brown students. Our mission is to remove barriers to achievement for Black and Brown students through our commitment to dismantle systemic racism in education and to create a life-affirming narrative that positively supports the existence of our children resulting in improved educational outcomes that provide students with access to viable options for life and career choices. We mirror our allies vision and mission to Educational Equity, Early Childhood Education, College and Career Readiness Pathways, Governance, Evaluation and Accountability, Full Funding, Equitable distribution of resources, Highly Qualified and Diverse Teacher and Leaders, emphasized focus on development, supports and retention of Black and Brown educators, and Stakeholder Engagement. GBUL is intentional in forming Strategic partnerships and alliances, intentional participation in groups/coalitions, clearly defining our goals/agenda within each alliance, and high level consistent advocacy for our communities during Legislative Sessions.
OUR MEMBERSHIP WITHIN EQUITABLE EDUCATION ADVOCACY:
GBUL is active in local and national advocacy coalitions and was a Co-founder in partnership with CASA to establish “The Maryland Alliance for Racial Equity in Education- MAREE.”
stands in 2021, as one of the leading alliances for equitable education for Maryland students. Maryland Alliance for Racial Equity in Education (MAREE) is an alliance of education advocacy, civil rights, and community-based organizations that are committed to eliminating racial disparities in Maryland’s education system. Coalition members include 1977-II Action Group, Attendance Works, Strong Schools Maryland, Family League of Baltimore, World Class Graduates, ACLU of Maryland, Alliance for Maryland Parents, Teachers and Students, immigrant advocacy organization CASA, Greater Baltimore Urban League, and The Education Trust.
OUR POLICY DRIVERS
1. Positive School Climate and Culture We will advocate for policies that are inclusive of parents and students, holistic, culturally competent, and life affirming for Black and Brown children. 2. Improved Data and Student Outcomes We will champion a new narrative that requires data transparency and that shows improved outcomes balanced within an asset-based framework 3. Funding and Resource Equity We will hold the system accountable around funding and resource equity and work to prevent a permanent widening of the achievement gap exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 4. Increased Access to Supports and Opportunities We will demand access for Black and Brown children to resources that affirm their identity, that offer a culturally rich curriculum along with opportunities that provide quality preparation for higher education and other career choices.
COALITION FOR THE BLUEPRINT FOR MARYLAND'S FUTURE
The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future became law on February 12, 2021, after a historic passage in the 2020 legislative session, inexplicable veto, and successful veto override effort. This coalition was at the center of that legislative advocacy effort; from the Kirwan Commission’s meetings to statewide informational forums to the House Speaker and Senate President’s offices to the historic Blueprint rally and an unprecedented four-committee marathon hearing, the Coalition for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (the Blueprint Coalition) is committed to the vision of world-class schools for every student in the state. Mission: The Coalition for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future exists to ensure the equitable, transparent, and faithful implementation and funding of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.
Its goals: Goals: 1. Ensure full state funding of the Blueprint for Maryland's Future. 2. Advocate for transparency in Blueprint implementation and reporting. 3.Share timely Blueprint implementation updates at the state and local levels. 4.Expand Coalition membership to include more direct implementers and stakeholders of the Blueprint.
GBUL has been an active participant in Maryland working group of ESSA Leadership Learning Community (ELLC) since March 2017 attending and participating meaningfully in the national meetings, state meetings, webinars, and check-in calls. We have also nominated additions to the group and communicate the importance of educational leadership. GBUL has worked locally on education policy/advocacy work with active participation in Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC), the Maryland working group of ESSA Leadership Learning Community (ELLC), Education Trust, Maryland Coalition for Equity, and Baltimore’s Promise. Additionally, we have published the State of Black Baltimore (SOBB). The SOBB, similar to the National Urban League’s State of Black America, brings thought leaders to illuminate pressing issues and pose solutions.
GBUL maintains a strong relationship with the Mayor of Baltimore, Brandon Scott, local and state legislators, and county executives. During the peak of COVID-19, GBUL expanded its college and career readiness program, Saturday Leadership Program, into many areas of the Greater Baltimore Region, District of Columbia, Delaware and New Jersey.
POSITIVE SCHOOL CENTER
Created in 2015, the Positive Schools Center (PSC) provides coaching and staff development, community school programming and policy recommendations for Maryland schools. Through building relationships with school teams, the PSC collaborates with schools to shift perspective and transform the places where people teach, learn, and live. Vision: Our schools are environments where students, adults, and community members feel safe and can flourish. School teams have the expertise and training to build strong, dynamic relationships and sustain high student and staff attendance, continually decrease suspension rates and office referrals, and boost academic achievement. Mission: The PSC creates positive, supportive, and mindful learning communities where students and school staff connect, develop, and grow. We partner with schools and districts to address punitive discipline and dysfunctional school climates. The foundation of our work is built on a strong racial justice understanding and equity focus. Together we approach school change through embedding restorative approaches, trauma-responsive strategies, social-emotional learning, and community voice into their routines, policies, and culture.
Their work starts with a strong racial justice and equity focus, then together we approach school change through embedding restorative approaches, trauma-responsive strategies, social-emotional learning, and community voice into schools’ and partner routines, policies and cultures.