Coleman Advocates believes all children and families deserve access to high quality education, living wage jobs, family-supporting benefits, affordable housing, and having a voice in the decisions that affect them. Coleman Advocates currently focuses on building more effective, equitable, and supportive public schools in San Francisco and beyond. They believe the transformation of educational systems require the involvement of the entire community – not just teachers, school administrators, and politicians.
Since 1975, Coleman Advocates has pioneered programs and policies to expand opportunity for San Francisco’s children, youth and families. Their programs include leadership development of young people and families, member-driven campaigns for policy change and increased resources to benefit communities, voter engagement of historically disenfranchised communities, and strategic coalition and alliance-building to grow their movements. Many of these hard-won programs and policies have served as models adopted by communities all over the country. Their 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, their primary focus is fighting to advance rights, safety, and full inclusion of low-income people of color. Coleman Advocates know that quality education is key to future economic security, individual well-being, and social participation. San Francisco is considered a liberal bastion, but the racial achievement gap and the racial opportunity gap indicate how far they still need to go to achieve true equity.