teryn rios

Vividly and Vibrantly Proud

In this current moment, LGBTQ students are facing increasingly escalating legal, social, and even physical attacks from extreme political actors. We, as education advocates, must use our voices and platforms to uplift and center the voices and stories of LGBTQ students and young people. In 2022, we sat down with 2022 Stand for Children Oregon Beat the Odds Scholarship winner and then high school senior Teryn to discuss what pride means to them. We want to revisit their story as we continue to work to support the safety and inclusion of every student.

Q: Do you feel like LGBT+ students are celebrated in your school? 

Actually yes!! At my school we had a huge Pride celebration! my school’s GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) put it on, they included the middle schools and even had a LGBT staff/ community member panel to ask questions and interact with beforehand. The celebration was held on the football field, and as you walked under this giant rainbow inflatable archway, you got a name tag to put your name and pronouns on. There was a clothing exchange, local artists showcasing and selling their work, drag queens getting ready and preforming, community resources, food trucks, you name it! It was such an incredible event, and it was all put on by the lovely advisors of our GSA.

Q: What is a message you think parents, teachers, and other adults need to hear from LGBT students?

We want you to listen without judgement, and we don’t want your critique. You may have misconceptions from something you learned in your past, but times are changing, and I please ask you to consider change as good, we are growing human beings, and we just want love and acceptance the same as any other human does. 

Q: What is a message you would share with a young LGBT student who is just coming into their identity?

  1. Keep growing with yourself and your brain, not against it. 
  2. Trust your instinct.
  3. YOU ARE VALID. 
  4. Gender is a spectrum; you can shift and change how you feel within your own identity! 
  5. Remember that you are not alone in this journey & there are so many queer kids on this earth having a journey together. Also not to mention every single badass queer person that has walked before us!
  6. You do not have to come out when you’re not ready! Coming out is a unique experience for everyone, no rush. Your experience and life are at your own pace.  

Whether its fighting for freedom from physical and emotional harm, or ensuring every child feels welcomed and included in the classroom, student safety is the core of our mission at Stand for Children. Stay informed and find ways to get involved with our work supporting student safety in and out of the classroom by joining us, here.

We Need To Be Teaching Asian American and Pacific Islander History:

Image Not Found

In May of 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill requiring the teaching of Asian American and Pacific Islander history in K-12 curriculums in Florida public schools. This came right on the heels of DeSantis barring public schools from participating in a pilot of the College Board’s course on African American Studies.

In response to the Florida Governor’s decisions, many activists were rightly outraged and spoke out in opposition to the educational and social-emotional harm this decision would have on Black students in Florida, not to mention the rippling effects it could have on local and state policies in other parts of the country.

While the pair of policies may appear contradictory to many observers, this would not be the first time unsavory political actors have attempted to pit Asian Americans against other minority groups in the US.

The model minority myth was invented and continues to be perpetuated to block those seeking to end the educational, economic, and social disparities facing marginalized communities and hurts everyone including Asian American students and community members.

Unfortunately, often lost in the intentionally drummed up outrage is space for conversations about the harm being used as political pawns has on Asian American communities, along with the near complete lack of Asian American History or Pacific Islander history being taught in public schools. Just 11 states require K-12 students to learn any AAPI history. Clearly, we have a real need for a thorough and accurate Asian American History and Pacific Islander Education in our schools.

First popularized amid the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, the model minority myth was created to define Asian Americans in opposition to other racial/ethnic minority groups.

Relying on stereotypes and out-of-context data, this myth paints Asian Americans collectively as financially well-off, hardworking, and socially and politically docile. The model minority myth creates a monolithic story of over 26 million Americans with family ties to nearly 50 countries, erasing the vastly different backgrounds, histories, and lived experiences of dozens of different communities.


Like many marginalized communities in the US, most of us could sum up what we learn about Asian Americans into a few pages in our US history textbooks— if we’re lucky. For most American public school students, that might look like a brief discussion of Japanese internment during WWII, the red scare and rise of communist China, a blip about the Vietnam war, and for current students and recent graduates, possibly a lesson on the War on Terror. That is, if they make it that far before the end of year exams.

In these limited conversations, the stories, contributions of, and impacts on Asian Americans are rarely mentioned, if at all. In all these historical moments, Asian Americans are painted as “the foreign other” to be suspicious of, never as fellow Americans. This serves to isolate Asian American students and educators in the classroom and Asian parents and families in the broader community.

Discussions of the histories of Pacific Islanders in the US are even rarer. Few students in the US learn anything about the histories of the state of Hawai’i, US territories of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa, and millions of Americans with ancestry from the islands of the Pacific. These gaps in our textbooks end up disappearing the voices and contributions of Pacific Islander communities in the US.

The way we currently teach AAPI histories (when we do) leads to real world harm. When Asian American and Pacific Islander students see their community members exclusively painted as a threat when mentioned, and otherwise disappeared from the rest of their textbooks, that causes serious mental and emotional harm. And it has major impacts on these students’ social and educational outcomes.

Paired with the pressure of unattainable standards perpetuated by the model minority myth, Asian students report experiencing adverse mental health conditions, including alarmingly high reports of thoughts of or attempted self-harm. Pacific Islander communities similarly experience erasure of their histories from textbooks along with high rates of young people reporting mental health issues.

This also manifests into violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from people who have spent their whole lives being taught to distrust their peers and neighbors.

Image Not Found

When we teach an inaccurate and incomplete American history and refuse to be honest about the ways that shapes the present, all students are harmed as they are robbed of a quality education and the opportunity to learn about the contribution of Asian American communities. And Asian American and Pacific Islander students take the brunt of this harm— mentally, socially, and academically.


1. Resist the Bait.

Politicians have long used Asian Americans and Pacific Islander as a wedge between communities of color looking to advance goals of equity and freedom. We must avoid allowing ourselves to be distracted by these attempts to separate those of us pushing for change, and instead form relationships and find spaces of shared struggle and solidarity with everyone in the fight for educational equity for all students.

2. Get Educated.

It is critical to educate ourselves and the people in our lives on the impacts Asian Americans have had on this country, issues facing Asian American and Pacific Islander students and communities today, and the need to join in the fight for safe, equitable education for every child.

3. Push for Change.

We have to continue to push for more opportunities for teaching Asian American and Pacific Islander history both in specialized classed but also as mandatory parts of a comprehensive US history and civics education.


National Library Week is here, and the time to rally behind our libraries is now. As extreme politicians seek to attack education and defund libraries through harmful policies, our support during this week is more critical than ever.

That’s why we joined our partners at We Believe, PEN America, and EveryLibrary to sign the joint open Love Letter to the librarians who support our schools and communities. And now, it’s your turn!

1. Sign the Library Love Letter. Join Stand and our partners from We Believe, PEN America, EveryLibrary, and other organizations in showing your support to libraries and their staff as hubs of knowledge and community by signing onto this Library Love Letter!

2. Sign up for a library card. Sign up for a card to get access to a multitude of books, movies, and other resources all while supporting continued funding for your local library. 

3. Get Connected. Explore We Believe, PEN America, and EveryLibrary’s National Library Week Action Guide for a range of activities at various levels of engagement, from sharing virtual stickers to urging Congress to protect the freedom to read.


One of the most effective ways we can all support libraries and library staff this National Book Week is by signing up for a library card and visiting our local library branches! 

Need some suggestions on your next read? We asked our staff members what books they’re reading. Here are 5 reads they can’t stop raving about:

“Children Can’t Learn on an Empty Stomach”

How Organizing in the Black Community Secured Food For Millions of American Students

On January 20, 1969, eleven school children sat down for breakfast in the St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Oakland, California, free of charge. The children ate eggs, grits, fruit, and milk donated by local grocery stores, planned by nutritionists, and prepared by community volunteers. This was the start of one of the most impactful grassroots social welfare programs in national history, organized and operated by the Black Panther Party, a Black power political organization operating at the height of the 20th century Black Liberation Movement.

The BPP’s Free Breakfast Program was a collaborative effort of community members coming together to address a need in their community— namely, children’s lack of consistent access to nutritious food. By the end of the first week, that group of eleven children had ballooned into over 130. And by New Years Day of 1970, the BPP had served breakfast to over 20,000 school children across the country. At its peak, the Free Breakfast Program was responsible for providing breakfast to thousands of children every day across 45 different cities, regardless of their race.

The program immediately showed positive results. “The school principal came down and told us how different the children were,” recalls Ruth Beckford, a volunteer with the Free Breakfast Program. “They weren’t falling asleep in class, they weren’t crying with stomach cramps.”

And the BPP didn’t end their social welfare programming at breakfast, expanding to providing dozens of other programs at no cost to the community. In response to anti-Black policies that left Black, low-income, and urban communities to fend for themselves, BPP ran grassroots programs like their free health clinics, ambulance services, senior support services, and even free pest control for urban housing often left in dilapidated conditions by local governments.

While the popularity of the program quickly skyrocketed, everyone wasn’t quite so happy about children getting free food. The radical liberation group had long been a thorn in the side of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, which saw the Free Breakfast Program as a threat that built trust between Black and urban communities and local Black Panther Party chapters. The FBI director feared this community building would lead to a further expansion of BPP’s ideas. But despite open, and often violent hostility from federal and local officers, the program continued to grow as thousands of children showed up to eat breakfast before school each day.

This popularity put pressure on politicians to create their own program to feed children before school. In 1975, the federal government implemented a permanent School Breakfast Program. Today, the SBP feeds over 14.5 million children before school. The implementation of a federal school breakfast program was a direct result of the community organizing of the Black Panther Party and serves as proof that local actions can have massive ripples. The work we do with our neighbors today has the ability to impact generations to come.


What Black History moments have Impacted your community? Let us know by sharing your black history stories!

drawing of martin luther king jr giving a speech
drawing of martin luther king jr giving a speech

We All Have A Role In The Movement

This MLK Day, remember that each of us has the power to make a difference!

I’ve always been passionate about making the world a better place. I knew at an early age that I wanted to spend my life helping others. Important figures, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired me to stand up for what I believe in and speak truth to power.

But their legacies also cast a long shadow. As I grew up, I began to feel less and less sure of my ability to effect change. I thought it would be impossible to make a real difference if I didn’t have the charisma, the fearlessness, the ability to build a movement of my own.

That fear kept me frozen. I felt like nothing I did was enough. If the impact wasn’t massive, I thought, why do it at all?

A mentor of mine eventually sat me down and told me, “Jamayka, your hands are not big enough to hold the whole world. Focus on what you can change right now, right here, today.”

Like most teenagers, I rolled my eyes at that advice, and continued to let my fear of failure prevent me from seeing the real impact everyday people, like my mentor, were having on the people in our community— one hot meal, or ride to a townhall, or enlightening conversation at a time.

It wasn’t until I had the chance to really learn about the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the hundreds of thousands of regular people that changed the world, that my mentor’s advice made sense to me. Dr. King’s words and actions were inspiring and impactful, but the movement we identify him with existed long before he was born and continues to this day.

We don’t have to head a march of 100,000 people in order to be leaders in our own communities and make changes that make the lives of those around us a little safer, easier, fairer.

This MLK Day, let us all remember that each one of us is a critical part of the movement to create a just and equitable education system for every child. We all have a role to play, and each of us, when we come together with our community members, can make a real difference.

What actions will you take this MLK Day in support of students, educators, and schools? Let us know by taking our MLK Day Pledge to Act.

Need some ideas for how you can get involved? Here are a few ways you can take action today!


Follow Us On Social!

Become an Education Champ in 2024!

5 Ways You Can Make A Difference For Students Today

If there’s one lesson from last year, it’s that good things happen when we come together. As we step into the new year, let’s continue leveraging the power of community. Regardless of your advocacy role, here are 5 ways you can make a difference for students this year:

1. Amid ongoing book bans, consider taking action outside of the classroom. Visit your local library with your student to help expose your student to more diverse stories and improve their literacy. Signing up for a library card can go a long way in supporting your library system. Look to our library friend @mychal3ts for recommendations and inspiration.

2. Harness the power of community! Collaborate with local organizations, educators, and parents to create a supportive network for students. By working together, we can address challenges, foster inclusivity, and create a nurturing environment for learning. Join our Education Champions Facebook group to find like-minded education advocates and resources.

3. Commit to actively supporting & advocating for students. Whether it’s providing mentorship or amplifying student voices, let’s ensure they feel seen & supported. Check out Rose from Concrete, an organization working to support students in their community.

4. Think globally, act locally. Advocate for policies that prioritize student well-being and education at the community level. Together, we can build a supportive environment that fosters growth, learning, and success for EVERY student. Get involved here.

5. Stay Connected! Follow us on social media and join our email list to receive updates, resources, and action opportunities all 2024!

What are some ways you are planning to be an advocate for students in 2024? What are some tips you would give to others who want to make a difference for students? Let us know in the comments below!

RETHINKING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MILITARY AND OUR SCHOOLS

The story of an Air Force veteran, the impact of military recruitment in public schools, and imagining alternate paths for class mobility.

Image Not Found

As a Mexican American growing up in a white, working-class community in northern California, Air Force veteran, Christina experienced a familiar, painful brand of everyday racism. From her peers checking to see if she had beans with every meal, to the comments about how her parents crossed the river to get here.

Looking back at high school, Christina notes the deep impact that the ingrained structural racism of the K-12 system had on her.  She was thrilled to make the cutoff grade for an Honors English class until she found out the following fall that she’d been removed from the class, while at least one peer shared with her how his parents demanded he be included in the course, even though he had not made the grade cutoff.  She was left behind, demoralized and losing her motivation to work hard in school.

“I ended up failing the first semester and having to do night school in order to graduate on time. It was a reality check for me about my actual place in the world.”

While Christina had always seen education as her pathway out of poverty, intending to go to a four-year college, instead she found herself enrolled in community college feeling that she had no way to pick herself up and move forward.

“Those couple of years post-high school I was stalled, not making the progress I wanted to make because I was ambitious and just didn’t have a way to get myself anywhere, which is ultimately how I ended up enlisted in the military.”

Christina’s story is a common one among veterans. For many, the military has served as a pathway towards education and financial stability that would not have been otherwise possible in the communities they come from. Joining the military can provide young people from unstable backgrounds a catalyst toward a solid upward path of increasing financial sustainability.

Over the last 20 years, Americans across the country have seen their wages stagnate, as prices for necessities like food, housing, and utilities continue to rise. The one group of Americans (outside of the top 1%) who have been exempt from this stagnation are military families.  This makes the military seem particularly appealing to young people from resource deprived neighborhoods growing up in uncertain times.

Since the era of all-volunteer forces began at the end of the Vietnam war, recruitment has become increasingly important to maintaining the 1.4 million person active duty force. Beginning in 2001, any school that receives federal funding is required under the No Child Left Behind Act to provide the Pentagon data on all students in 11th and 12th grades, as well as grant recruiters access to their campus. That data includes their names, phone numbers, email addresses, ethnicities, and other identifying information.

Parents do have a right to opt out of the data-sharing, but busy parents in working class communities often don’t know it’s happening, let alone how to opt out. That disproportionately effects rural students, low-income students, and students of color. While the benefits of military service helped Christina achieve her higher education dreams and a solid middle-class lifestyle, there is no denying that military service is a risky gamble.

Image Not Found

“In the more affluent communities, they know that their kids aren’t going to need that [class mobility] and they don’t want to put their kids’ lives in danger. There’s an understanding of what the military is and what it does.

Whereas in poorer communities, it’s seen as a leg up. It’s free education. It’s a career opportunity. It’s job training, it’s serving your country, it’s honorable. It’s a completely different perception of what the military is and what it can do for you. And it’s a worthwhile tradeoff for somebody coming from a poor community.”

What is most troubling about this is that if moving our society towards an equitable and peaceful future is the goal, that goal necessitates other ways of moving people out of poverty besides military enlistment or student debt.

We know from looking at the relatively recent past that this is possible. Other US departments, outside of the Department of Defense have had a similar class-mobility effect. One notable example is the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) created as a part of the New Deal in response to the Great Depression.

Under the Department of the Interior and Agriculture, more than three million men were employed to fight forest fires, plant trees, clear and maintain access roads, re-seed grazing lands and implement soil-erosion controls. Despite only being one such jobs programs in the New Deal, it employed more people than the entire US active-duty military, pulling them out of devastating levels of poverty.

Image Not Found

We know it is possible to lift marginalized communities out of poverty without sending 17-year-olds to war. If we want to build a world where every student, no matter their background, can make decisions without fearing for their financial security, we have to start to dream bigger.

“The military was a gamble that paid off for me and I’m grateful for where I am. But people need to recognize systemically why this gamble even exists.”

Christina believes all students should have safe, healthy pathways to higher education and out of poverty, and her work at Stand is helping develop those pathways.  “I hope that today’s graduates feel like they have a choice.”


Back-To-School Checklist

Fresh notebooks, pumpkin spice, and action opportunities for education champions! For students and grownups alike this time of year can be a great chance to reset and hit the ground running this fall. Prepare for a successful autumn with our back-to-school checklist!

Image

Get back into the swing of things with some back-to-school reading! Get some inspo from the Rose from Concrete team and their work supporting students in their community!

Break out the markers and paint and submit your student artwork to the Stand Student Voices- a platform for young people to share their creative work in response to the pressing education issues impacting students today!

Image

Find community with people across the country who care about access to public education for all students, and want to take action to make a difference.

Start your morning off right with some uplifting tunes!

Did we miss your favorite song on our playlist? Comment below the song that you listen to to pump you up for a big day!

Image

Peer into your future of advocacy with our monthly Stand*Oscope: Astrological guidance for education advocates.

Image
Image
Image

Stay up-to-date with ways you can get plugged into the work we are doing to support students, educators, and schools!

rfc

MEET ROSE FROM CONCRETE

rfc

A Q&A with our partners at Rose from Concrete, a youth led organization working to support students in their community through mutual aid, direct advocacy, and youth mentorship.

It’s because of community members like you that we are able to join our partners in the fight for an equitable education for students. Connect with us to receive regular updates that empower you to make a meaningful impact on the lives of students and contribute to a more just and equitable education system!


what inspired you to form this organization?

Kayla Williams:

We at Rose from Concrete have grown to understand love as the will to extend yourself for either your own or another person’s growth. Thank you bell hooks. And we’ve got examples of love and what it looks like in action, right? Because we believe that love is action it’s not just words or feelings. And so I say that I love myself, I love my community, I love my people.

And I’m frustrated by the conditions that we are often expected to live in, in complacency. But how could I be complacent? How could I not be, you know, angered, fearful, upset, by, you know, the scarcity, the violence that we’re, you know, expected to live under? So, yeah,

I’m motivated by love to play my role in creating community or co-creating a world that reflects the needs and desires of my community.

Shanniah Wright:

There’s a long list of reasons that I was able to co-found Rose from Concrete. The main one, I think, is because I come from a single parent household. My mom raised both me and my brother by herself, and I had to watch her every day, not even knowing that sometimes think about how she was going to feed us, how she was going to pay rent and just ultimately watching the system in general fail her.

She was able to put me in a position where I can think critically about the issues and problems that go on around me, which allowed me to co-create and co-found Rose from Concrete. But I know that every single day that there are other single mothers, there are other community members or just people in general that the system is consistently failing.

I think that people should not have to choose between happiness and survival. I think that survival should be the bare minimum and that everyone should be able to choose to do what they want to do without the pressures of whether they were going to eat, sleep or breathe weighing down on them.

Osariemen Aiyevbomwan:

What pushed me to start this work is that I come from a big Nigerian-American household, and so for many of my siblings and myself included, being black and marginalized has really disrupted our connections to safety in our homes and in the world at large. And the violence inflicted

Image

on us has corrupted our intimate relationships with ourselves, but also with one another and each other. And because of these struggles, we’ve been alienated from our home, whether it be an unconscious or conscious effort.

And I’m of the mind that we all belong here, that we all have a right to feel safe and free during our time here on this earth. And so,

I want to restore the relationships with ourselves in our environment so that our descendants inherit a more free world.

I believe that we are redeemable and that justice is possible through coordinated action to get us free. And for me, RFC has presented the opportunity to do just that and also feel at home while doing it.

where did the name “rose from concret” come from and how is it reflected in the work you all do?

Shanniah Wright:

Rose from the concrete is a play on word rose as in the verb and the noun, the rose as a flower rose, as in the act of rising. And this is a really cool play on word because we use concrete as talking about the jungle that is New York, the concrete that we walked every single day that we grow up in roses sprouting from it and actually rising from our circumstances.

I love our name just because it allows us to create and nurture and play on those words of growth and growing and something beautiful, which are flowers and concrete being something rough. And as a big Tupac fan Rose that grew from the concrete. I think we embody that and we want other people to see themselves in that beautiful lens as a rose as something to be nurtured and grown. And that can grow in the most unexpected places.

Image

WHAT ARE SOME COMMON CHALLENGES YOUR STUDENTS FACE?

Kayla Williams:

I would say that students face very a multifaceted set of challenges. I think I kind of think of them or characterize them in three ways. First, I think there are material and basic physiological needs, right? We live in a society that allows scarcity to exist in abundance, which means that families deal with things like poverty, housing insecurity, food in access, that sort of thing.

And so children, you know, they belong to families, they are part of families. And they don’t simply shed that when they walk into the school door. So, you know, children, many of them are coming to school with these material needs still existing. And then, of course, they’re dealing with, I think the attack on education that we’re seeing. But that has been going on for, you know, frankly, forever.

Right. Are we ever really learning the truth I think an empowering truth in our schools, that’s up for debate. And then I think there is the socio-emotional, you know, challenges that come with being a young person, feeling powerless in a society that is telling you what you should look like, what you should be like, constantly reminding you how you, you know, pale in comparison to that.

HOW DO YOU REASSURE AND AFFIRM STUDENT IN TIMES OF ANXIETY AND UNCERTAINTY?

Osariemen Aiyevbomwan:

When I was in school feeling the pressure to remain OK, and also remain a good student, but also navigating a school environment that was very frustrating and dismissive of my experiences I leaned on the experiences of those who came before me. So mentorship really carried me through my school experience. And that is why RFC prioritizes peer mentorship and community as a protective factor in the lives of young students. When feeling anxiety it’s something that I do to reassure the youth in my community is letting them know that they have resources and they have people who look like them, who can relate to their experiences and keep them grounded in the power of love and in the power of community. So that is something that has also reassured me.

Image

OUTSIDE OF MENTORSHIP, WHAT OTHER RESOURCES DOES RFC PROVIDE?

Kayla Williams:

I would say that we aim to respond to the three buckets of needs that we identified. So material needs we aim to address through our mutual aid efforts. So aiming to have resources and funds pooled together so that if, you know, emergent needs do arise for youth, that we are able to offer them, you know, tangible support or connect them to someone who can do that.

Because once again, how can you prioritize the academic or the emotional if you know, you have more dire needs in front of you? We also offer, you know, like academic training and curriculum. So tutoring. Shaquille recently started a robotics program, you know, like to give tangible academic skills and support. And then finally we aim at the socio-emotional through our curricula on love and through our mentorship program.

I would definitely recommend that people just start to have conversations. I think, like I said before, one of the most powerful tools

Image

of opposition is to convince folks that they are alone, that you are an individual against capitalism, you are an individual against white supremacy, you are an individual against misogyny. And so you feel like in response to that, I need to, you know, pick myself up by the bootstraps instead of coming together as a collective right, as a team, as a group, you know, as is done, you know, across sectors, right?

Usually creating progress in the direction that we don’t want. People aren’t doing that as individuals. They’re doing that, you know, with the help of decades of systems and policies and groups and people. And, you know, so I think talk to people around you recognize that you’re not alone in your beliefs and your desires, what you want to see in the world. And once you start to realize, wait you want the world to look like this, you want it to look like this too, you do too. Why doesn’t it? Right.

Collectively, we have power, we have voting power, we have spending power, we have political power. So, you know, why doesn’t the world look how we want it to look?

wHAT ARE SOME STARTING pOINTS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO GET INVOLVED?

Osariemen Aiyevbomwan:

Some starting points for parents and for the folks who are looking to be more and more involved in their community would definitely be to start small. I’ll start looking right. We are under the misguided impression that we need to go elsewhere and abroad to find something good. But I would say talk to your neighbor for an extra ten to 15 minutes.

Share your struggles, problem solve together. You don’t know what nuggets of wisdom these conversations may unlock within us just by virtue of our continued existence here in these environments, we all have access to so much knowledge and expert or problem solving skills that deserve to be shared and used to generate community solutions.

So form little groups and little gathering spaces and be intention in fostering those intimate connections. You never know what love and magic comes out of those efforts.

Kayla Williams:

Folks can support funds. Like I said before, we want to be able to respond to immediate needs, physiological needs, basic needs through resources and funds that we pull together so folks can contribute to that. And I think we need support as well as an organization, marketing support, communications, volunteering you know, media, really anything and everything we could really support on.

And I would say, yeah, it’s a mutual aid organization and so we aim to bring our time, our resources, our efforts, our knowledge together and to collectively drive change with that so you can fit in that wherever you know, feels right to you. But I would also say that you can do things in your own community too closer to you, with your people, your family, your friends, your you know, I think that is a larger vision that we’re working together for that has, I think, space in your city, in your home.

It doesn’t have to be in Brooklyn where we are, though that would be nice. We believe that love is a force that can through it all, despite the concrete, grow roses, create futures that we’re told are impossible ones of life and, you know, nourishment and fruit. So, yeah, we believe that we can do the impossible collectively, and through love at Rose from Concrete.

Image
Image

Your Standoscope: Leo Season

Time to Shine This Leo Season!

After the last few weeks in introspective and emotional Cancer, most of us are ready to finally let loose and join Leo for a moment in the sun. This is the time for each zodiac sign to take a page from proud Leo and stand confidentially in their unique abilities to be leaders in their community.

Leo season encourages us to tap into our creative, expressive, and social side, embracing our sense of community. By using this time to connect with others and raise awareness around public education, you can contribute to creating a more inclusive and supportive educational environment for all students.  

How can you leverage the fiery energy of Leo Season to make an impact in your community? Check out your Standoscope below to find out! 

Want to get monthly Standoscopes to your inbox with opportunities to learn more about educational issues, and ways to get involved? Sign up here to stay informed!


Aries ♈︎
(March 21 – April 19)

The theme of this season for Aries is self-expression! Use that spark of innovation from passionate Leo to get creative and share the story that inspired you to become an education advocate. Tap into the the leadership energy of Leo and use your story to inspire other’s to take up the fight for education equity!


Taurus ♉︎ 
(April 20 – May 20)

This Leo season is shining light on your home life. This is the perfect time to talk with your friends, family and loved ones about the issues that matter most to you! Learn how to have those important conversations with your community using our Story Building Toolkit!


Gemini ♊︎
(May 21 – June 20)

This Leo season has you feeling reinvigorated and ready to be social! Lean into this communicative energy at our monthly Learn From History call! Learn from other education champions about ways you can get involved in making a difference in your school community, and in communities across the country!


Cancer ♋︎
(June 21 – July 22)

You may be a bit tired from your birthday season, but that wont stop fiery Leo from moving forward and bringing you along for the ride! Look forward to a burst of confidence this month, Cancer. Use that confidence to push back against attack on honest and inclusive education by sharing your experience learning about Black history in school!


Leo ♌︎
(July 23 – August 22)

Happy birthday, Leo! Your birthday season may leave you feeling reflective about how you can be the best version of yourself. Take some inspo from mom and education champion, Ida, about how you can make a difference in your community.


Virgo ♍︎
(August 23 – September 22)

Busybody Virgo might be feeling uncharacteristically sleepy this Leo season. Resist the urge to fight this introspective energy. Instead, lean into the cozy with some heartfelt summer reading to inspire you to learn more about the communities around you.


Libra ♎︎
(September 23 – October 22)

You may be thinking about your legacy this Leo season. As you consider what mark you want to leave on this world, look for inspiration form other education advocates about what they are doing to make a positive impact in their communities at our Monthly Learn From History call.


Scorpio ♏︎
(October 23 – November 21)

Bold Leo is pushing you to be uncharacteristically daring in your actions. Don’t be afraid to take the stage and use this energy to inspire others to feel equally confident by sharing your story of why you want to fight for education equity!


Sagittarius ♐︎
(November 22 – December 21)

Adventurous Sagittarius and passionate Leo season are a match made in heaven. Your thirst for knowledge is even greater this month. Quench that thirst and learn more about the long fight for educational equity in Asian American and African American communities.


Capricorn ♑︎
(December 22 – January 19)

Leo season is asking you to step out of your comfort zone, especially as it related to your community members. This energy is encouraging you to be vulnerable and share what matters to you most. Share why learning about Black history matters to you and help push back against attacks on inclusive and honest education.


Aquarius  ♒︎
(January 20 – February 18)

This Leo season emphasizing your house of relationships and encouraging you to have important conversations with the people that matter to you most. Learn how to have those important conversations with your community using our Story Building Toolkit!


Pisces ♓︎
(February 19 – March 20)

Watery Pisces may be feeling fired up this Leo Season. Use that passionate energy to make changes for students around the country at our Monthly Learn From History call!


Connect With Us On Social!