AFRE ’s focus is to close the achievement gap for under performing African-American students, and promote restorative educational practices to teach healthy responses to past educational neglect. Our mission is to aid in the development and support of specific, proven and meaningful educational models to improve academic achievement. Many underperforming students in Oakland lack the basic healing spaces and equipment to thrive academically.
Your donation will go toward securing a school location that is conducive to healing and focused learning.
• Equity Champions - $20,000 Cost to lease teaching space for 5 months
• Equity Restorers - $5,000 Cost to fully educate a child for one semester.
• Equity Builders - $2500 Cost to fully educate a child for one quarter.
• Equity Warriors - $1000. Can fund teaching supplies for two classrooms for one year.
• Equity Ambassadors - $500. Can fund teaching supplies for an entire classroom for one year.
• Equity Advocate - $250. Can fund one month of afterschool enrichment of a child.
Finding the right school for African-American children can become a second job for many parents. This is a narrative that the AFRE founders experienced and decided to tackle such difficulty by creating this organization.
After trials with different private schools, public schools, and public charter schools, it became painfully obvious to AFRE founders that an excellent education in this country is only a privilege to some.
Private school education depends on the ability to consistently pay for tuition and supplies, which is not realistic for some families. The average private school tuition in Oakland is over $16k per year for elementary school while the average household income for African-American families is $42k. That's almost 40% of income going towards private education. Not all households can afford such a price for arguably higher quality and recoursed education. So what's the next option?
Public schools seemed like a great low-cost option (being that it's free), but are often underfunded, poorly staffed, poorly maintained, and lacking the resources to offer rigorous, enriching course work to all students. That may seem like a great relief to your wallet, but it is a disservice to your child who doesn't have better resources to excel and compete on the same level as their private school counterparts. That's not really ideal so...next option.
Charter schools are also free! They're bound by their specific charter, so one would imagine the resources and quality of teaching would be different and hopefully better. These schools, however, often had uncredentialed teachers, administration who had little to no experience, and the resources were still lacking. Providing quality education and holistic learning environments is a huge part of a school's mission, but being qualified and understanding how to fulfill that mission is restricted. How can you trust a school that doesn't uphold its mission?
Sometimes it was a necessity to home-school their children to ensure that their educational and emotional integrity were intact after facing grievances like: poorly funded public schools in African-American neighborhoods, implicit bias against African-American students and the resulting assumptions about their abilities, teachers ignorant to and hostile toward African-American culture and trauma. One AFRE founder, Dr. Lasha Pierce, was in college, medical school, and later in her residency; “home-school" often meant creating curriculum on the weekends and bringing her children with her to work or school during the week to complete their school work. That's stress that no aspiring doctor should have to bear.
Finding an academic institution to properly educate African-American children can be a tricky, exhausting and frustrating experience for their parents. Something many Americans take for granted, can be a huge mountain to climb for others.
After years of navigating a barren, and at times hostile educational landscape for African-American children, several community members in Oakland joined Dr. Pierce and decided to take things into their own capable, compassionate hands and start a school (SILE: School for Innovation, Leadership, and Efficacy). With an eye on closing the opportunity gap for African-American students, they have successfully formulated an innovative, inclusive curriculum rooted in Restorative Education.
Oakland is the epicenter for activism in the African-American community. It is the birth place of the building blocks of the national Head Start program and home to countless eager learners ready to thrive. We are around to continue this legacy of self determination and excellence. Help AFRE invest in the myriad of students in need of a healing space to thrive and realize their boundless potential.
- Madison Jackson
- Lara Mendel
- Leah Cho
- Tanefer Camara
Organizer and beneficiary
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