Letter from the Executive Director

Dear friends,

As I write this, students are about to return to Philadelphia public schools in a few days — a simple fact that was uncertain just a few weeks ago. But those schools aren’t even in the shape they were in last year, let alone anywhere near the shape they should be in. Quality education is critical to attaining justice: We want education — not incarceration, not deportation. We want good, safe schools.

If you’re looking for creative, hopeful responses to the devastating news about our public education system, look no further than the work of our grantees described throughout this newsletter.

Our cover story highlights how grantees such as Asian Americans United use community organizing to address the root causes of injustice and win permanent victories.

The grantee spotlight on page 3 details how student organizers at Philadelphia Student Union are reacting to the privatization of their schools with not only anger but determination. PSU members are reaching out to other students, sharing their frustrations, and joining together to demand their right to quality education.

I think you’ll enjoy our interview with donors Connie and Terry Dellmuth, also on page 3. They were inspired to fundraise for Bread & Roses after participating in the visioning process. Our board co-chairs provide an update on the implementation of the visioning process in their letter on page 2.

Finally, this issue includes our yearly grantee list. Looking over the list, I am humbled and encouraged to know that these groups represent thousands of people working for racial and economic justice in our region every day. Thank you for supporting these groups through your gifts to Bread & Roses.

In solidarity,

Casey Cook
executive director