The DC Child Justice Coalition formed in December 2021 as a network of family-centered, community-based organizations committed to principles of cooperation and mutual aid. We recognize that political education is an essential tool to surviving the complex political systems that tend to ignore the acute needs of economically Black and Brown disabled families. We also recognize the complex relationship between self-advocacy and caregiving, and the ways the systems of care can improve to affirming these intersecting identities. To this end, we formed the DC Child Justice Coalition to provide multi-generational family-centered political education training opportunities.

There is diversity in Blackness, and oftentimes when a group of Black and Brown self-advocates and family caregivers get together, it becomes apparent that they come from different walks of life and come to the same conclusion that the education system is failing their children and youth with disabilities.. There is a need to unpack racial disparities within systems of care and offer space to develop individual and collective action strategies.

Current Member Organizations of the DC Child Justice:

SMARTIE Goals for the Winter/Spring 2022 Caregiver Political Education Bootcamp:

  • To build a cadre of primarily Black and Brown self-advocates and family caregiver advocates that engaged in deep study-in-action about the carceral systems governing theirs and their loved ones lives via a 7-week political education virtual training program (Boot camp);
  • The first cohort of trainees for the Bootcamp will start in 2022 from February 25th to April 8th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm with a 2hr weekly program: the first hour is session #1(internal meetings) and the second hour for session #2, which are publicly accessible weekly webinar series with guest speakers and panels; and
  • The training curriculum consists of 7-sessions covering the following subjects (which are evaluated weekly by participants): (1) Understanding the school-to-prison pipeline; (2) The school based mental health program and the south capitol street memorial act; (3) Special Education 101; (4) The DC Child Welfare System; (5) The Basics of Medicaid Managed Care; (6) Decarceral model 1: the multi-tiered system of support; and (7) Decarceral model 2: the universal design for learning.
  • Each cohort member receives a $300 cash stipend and a NeuroMama Advocacy Box, which includes a copy of our Special Education 101 Manual.

Applications are now closed for Cohort 1