DSC Coordinating Committee

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The Coordinating Committee is made up of DSC member groups from across the country that meet monthly to provide oversight and support for the campaign and to ensure that DSC works towards the priorities set by our membership. 

- 2016 DSC Coordinating Committee
- Former DSC Interim Core Group Members
- DSC Anchor Organization

The current Coordinating Committee formed in January 2015 after our winter Coordinating Committee election selection process to recruit additional DSC member groups to join the Coordinating Committee. In 2012, there were also several members who stepped off of the Interim Core Group, but who continue to be involved in the campaign. We want to thank them for their many years of work to support and help grow the DSC! The current Coordinating Committee members are:

DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving) - Fahd Ahmed is the acting Executive Director of DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving)Fahd came to the United States as an undocumented immigrant from Pakistan in 1991. He has been a grassroots organizer on the issues of racial profiling, immigrant justice, police accountability, and national security over the last 13 years. Fahd attended Vanderbilt University as an undergraduate, and went to the CUNY School of Law. Fahd has been involved with DRUM in various capacities since 2000, when he had family members facing deportation, and entrapment as part of the War on Drugs. Within DRUM, Fahd co-led the work with Muslim, Arab, and South Asian immigrant detainees before, and immediately after 9/11, by coordinating the detainee visitation program. Over the last 3 years, as the Legal and Policy Director at DRUM, Fahd ran the End Racial Profiling Campaign and brought together the coalitions working on Muslim surveillance, and stop and frisk, to work together to pass the landmark Community Safety Act. He is also a member of the Steering Committee for the National Campaign on Surveillance and Use of Informants, which is housed out of DRUM. 

Youth Justice Coalition - Kim McGill is with Youth Justice Coalition (YJC), which is working to build a youth-led movement to challenge race, gender and class inequality in the Los Angeles County juvenile injustice system. Kim previously lived and worked in the South Bronx. There she was one of 13 founding members of Youth Force, a youth-led project that established the South Bronx Community Justice Center. Its initiatives included supporting youth in juvenile detention to fight for better conditions; Teens and Tenants (TNT), youth-led tenant organizing to rehabilitate and protect low-income housing; Street University, which connects youth involved in street level drug trafficking to jobs, education, housing and other resources; and Politrix, which enables youth to affect the design and implementation of public policy, city and state budgets, as well as to register and educate youth voters.  In 1998 Kim was a community fellow with the Open Society Institute and in 1999 received a Union Square Award from the The Fund for the City of New York. Tanisha Denard of YJC is also a co-chair of the coordinating committee.

Citizens for a Better Greenville - Joyce Parker is Executive Director of Citizens for a Better Greenville of Greenville, MS.  She is a licensed social worker and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.  Joyce has over five years of experience in law enforcement, including as a Juvenile Officer, as well as many years of experience as an educator in various settings, including as a school attendance officer, counselor, substitute teacher, school bus driver, and program developer for a drug education program.  She is a board member of Southern Echo, Delta Consortium for a Positive Change, WDSV 91.9 Community Radio Station, Pushback Network, Southern Partners Fund, and Camp Looking Glass.   

NESRI (National Economic and Social Rights Initiative) - Liz Sullivan is the Human Right to Education Program Director at the NESRI (National Economic and Social Rights Initiative) , the current Anchor Organization for the Dignity in Schools Campaign. Liz works in partnership with youth, parents, educators and advocates to promote policy change in public schools to guarantee students’ rights to dignity and a quality education.  She has worked with local community-based groups to carry out participatory research projects to on human rights violations in New York City, Los Angeles and Louisiana public schools, and developed trainings with parents, youth and organizers about how to incorporate human rights standards and strategies into advocacy campaigns.  She has worked as a consultant with Human Rights Education Associates and as Project Coordinator at the Center for Economic and Social Rights. She holds a BA from Brown University and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Teachers Unite- Sally Lee is the founding Executive Director of Teachers Unite who taught elementary school in New York City that then drove her to start Teachers Unite. As an early member of NYCoRE (New York Collective of Radical Educators), she felt there was a need for an institution that would support the leadership development of the newest generation of teacher activists, and augment the voice of educators looking to make real change in society. Teachers Unite has grown to be truly membership-led, and our members inspire and challenge her every day to strengthen the organization. 

Racial Justice NOW!- Zakiya Sankara-Jabar is a founding member of Racial Justice NOW! (RJN), a community based organization made up of educators, parents, clergy, and grassroots activists dedicated to fighting institutional and systemic racism. Zakiya has become an outspoken activist and tireless advocate for Black children after experiencing school pushout when her then 3 years old son was threatened with expulsion from preschool. After researching to file a civil rights complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, Zakiya realized that she and her son were not unique and that this was a national issue related to Black children and Black boys in particular. Before being forced into full time advocacy work, Zakiya worked for the State of Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities for 10 years as a Human Resource Professional. Zakiya received her higher education through independent readings and research. Zakiya also attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio a small, liberal arts college where she studied organizational leadership. 

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law- Brenda Shum is the director of the Educational Opportunities Project at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law where she oversees litigation designed to guarantee that all students receive a quality education in public schools and institutions of higher learning, and to eliminate discriminatory practices in school discipline, school funding and special education. She graduated with honors from Lewis and Clark College and received her JD from the University of Washington School of Law. Brenda has volunteered extensively to address poverty and disability issues and has served on the Board of Directors for Bradley Angle House, a domestic violence organization in Portland, Oregon, and Real Options for City Youth (ROCK), a youth empowerment organization in San Francisco. 
Gwinnett SToPP- Marlyn Tillman is a member of the Gwinnett Parent Coalition to Dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline (Gwinnett SToPP) that formed to lead a parent-driven, community-centered partnership approach to dismantling the school to prison pipeline in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Marlyn is a parent, community activist, and a certified University of Georgia Fanning Institute Community Leadership Program curriculum facilitator. Marlyn provides expertise on data research, information technology, and organization management. She currently serves on the Gwinnett County Human Relations Commission, Gwinnett County Public Schools GEMS Committee (which reviews the curriculum), and is an alumnae of the Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute. She is a past recipient of the ACLU of Georgia’s Georgia Civil Liberties Award for community activism. Marlyn advocates at the state and national level to impact education policies as it pertains to the School to Prison Pipeline (STPP).
Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children- Gina Womack is the Executive Director and co-founder of Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), a statewide membership-based organization dedicated to creating a better life for all of Louisiana's youth, especially those who are involved, or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. Since its inception, FFLIC has worked with allies to pass the Juvenile Justice Reform ACT of 2003 which forced Louisiana to close the notorious Tallulah Youth Prison and reduced the number of children locked in cages from over 2000 to less than 400 today and move to a system based on treatment that keeps families at the center of their children’s treatment. Ms. Womack has worked on children issues for at least 17 years, has trained hundreds of parents to be advocates for their children and develop their leadership skills. Her efforts have been featured in both national and local print media, radio, and reports. She has appeared on many panels speaking on issues around Juvenile Justice, the School to Prison Pipeline, and the need for real family and community involvement.
Parent Education Organizing Council- Linda Reid has been working with Paterson Education Fund (PEF) of Paterson, New Jersey as program manager since 2007. PEF's mission is to stimulate community action for change so that the Paterson Public Schools ensure that all Paterson children achieve high standards. Prior to joining PEF as staff, Linda was a parent volunteer with the organization since 1999. Through her work with PEF and her later involvement with Paterson Education Organizing Committee (PEOC), Linda has sharpened her facilitating and organizing skills and is currently the organizer of PEOC. PEOC is a strong parent organization with many successes including getting Hazel Marshall and school 16 back on the state’s facilities priority list. Most recently, she worked as a part of a community collaborative to advocate for Breakfast After the Bell which is now being implemented district wide. Ms. Reid currently serves as Board Member of the Paterson Task Force For Community Action, Passaic County Food Policy Council, Healthy Schools Now, Anti-Poverty Network and many committees within the school district. Ms. Reid’s passion is and has always been advocating for children. Linda was always an advocate for her own children and became engaged in community organizing about 26 years ago when her grandchild needed help in Head start.
Community Education Project of New Orleans- Ruth Idaluka 
Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth- Kevine Boggess
Minnesota Education Partnership- Marika Pfefferkorn 

DSC Anchor Organization

The National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) is the current Anchor Organization for the DSC.  Since Spring 2010, when DSC received its first grant, NESRI has managed DSC funding and supervised DSC national staff.  Liz Sullivan represents the Anchor Organization on the Core Group and participates in DSC Working Groups and activities. NESRI is also a Steering Committee member of the local DSC-New York chapter. 

NESRI’s organizational mission is to work in partnership with communities to build a broad movement in the United States for economic & social rights, including health, housing, education and work with dignity. The Human Right to Education Program at NESRI works in partnership with youth, parents, educators and advocates to ensure that our public school systems create learning environments that protect human dignity and support the full academic, social and emotional development of every young person. NESRI works with community partners to conduct research and participatory documentation, policy analysis, advocacy and training to change school policies and practices that push young people out of school and promote positive approaches to school climate and discipline that guarantee students’ human right to education.


The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) is the current Federal Partner of the Dignity in Schools Campaign that helps in developing federal policy recommendations and national action strategies for promoting positive alternatives to zero-tolerance discipline, such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, restorative practices, conflict resolution and mediation programs. LDF was founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice. LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality. From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has always been transformative: to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.