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About MEJC



The Michigan Education Justice Coalition is a statewide network committed to advocating for equitable public education policies and funding to create safe and healthy learning environments. We envision a Michigan where public schools get the support they need, strengthening communities and making them better places to live for all of us.

Please contact us if your organization is interested in joining the coalition.  

Our Vision


Healthy and Healing Community
Schools Platform

The Michigan Education Justice Coalition (MEJC) envisions a Michigan where every student has access to a quality education. We are working in partnership with communities across the state to hold our leaders accountable to create healthy and healing schools. 

Michigan Education Justice Coalition’s Healthy & Healing Community Schools policy platform, informed by community listening sessions held across the state, reflects the path forward for creating an education system that supports our children, families, and communities.

Our public education system must be fully funded through a transparent system that provides resources based on student need:

Investments in our public schools are investments in Michigan’s future. Our public education system must be fully funded through a transparent system that provides resources based on student need:

  1. Increase public school funding by a minimum of $4 billion to ensure schools can provide essential resources like nutritious meals, mental health support, culturally-affirming curriculum, and career and college preparation. 

  2. End the use of “count days” to determine school funding; instead, employ a weighted formula that distributes funding based on the unique needs of each school’s students.

  3. Increase school-worker pay to keep great educators and personnel in our schools and end our teacher shortage.

Our public education system must prioritize and invest in practical psychological safety and well-being strategies:

School climate is critical to students’ well-being and success in and outside the classroom, but far too many students today are struggling with the stress of academic and personal life. Our public education system must prioritize and invest in practical psychological safety and well-being strategies:


  1. Increase funding for emotional health services by hiring social workers, trauma counselors, and school psychologists for students and staff. 

  2. Mandate ongoing professional development for educators in transformative justice, which uses interpersonal and community-based solutions to reduce harm in schools.

  3. Replace exclusionary practices like suspension and expulsion with peer-led practices that bring students together to resolve conflict by asking questions and airing grievances.

  4. Invest in programs that allow educators to foster relationships with parents and families, creating a secure and inclusive environment that promotes community and student belonging.

We must reform standardized testing and implement a curriculum that recognizes systems of racism, oppression, and trauma in the past and present and prepares children to create a better future:

Michigan’s outdated and historically racist education system is hurting our students. We must eliminate standardized testing and implement a curriculum that recognizes systems of racism, oppression, and trauma in the past and present and prepares children to create a better future. 

  1. Create diverse curricula that are student- and community-centered, counter systemic racism, and encourage and respect students’ unique cultures.

  2. Allow teachers the autonomy and flexibility to adapt curriculum to fit local context.

  3. Mandate ongoing professional development for all school staff on confronting and dismantling systemic racism in education and unintentional biases.

Students must drive the future of Michigan's education system:

Solutions to improving public education will only be sustainable and impactful if they’re grounded in the perspectives of those most central to Michigan’s schools. Students must drive the future of Michigan’s education system. 

  1. Allow students to be democratically elected to serve on local school boards and the Michigan State Board of Education, with voting rights.

  2. Grant students greater ability to self-govern, whether that’s abolishing dress codes or allowing youth-led decision making for school policies. 

  3. Provide students with a say in how their education system functions, including academic curriculum, strategies to address studen’s psychological safety, and how funds are spent within their districts.

Public school priorities must reflect the values and needs of the students, educators, and community members they serve:

Healthy Michigan public schools create stronger and more vibrant communities. Public school priorities must reflect the values and needs of the students, educators, and community members they serve: 

  1. Create structures for communities to participate in budgeting, ensuring that families, educators, and students have a voice in school budgets.

  2. Divest from systems that cause our school communities harm, such as school policing. These detrimental systems exacerbate the school-to-prison pipeline and disproportionately affect students of color and students with disabilities.

  3. Invest in systems that support the well-being and safety of our school climate, such as mental health services that encourage psychological safety, resources to plan for careers and higher learning, smaller class sizes, and extracurriculars.



Teia's (she/her) background is in community organizing and youth work, and she is interested in connecting education justice to other issues and movements. She is passionate about making connections between personal and collective healing journeys, decolonization, and liberation.

Kath (she/her) has been advocating for public education at the local and state level for many years. As a mom of four, she is dedicated to improving the mental and physical health and safety of all students. Kath’s passion project is to implement health school start times to align with CDC guidelines, putting an end to chronic sleep deprivation and setting students up for success. Kath's background is in video production and she loves to travel. In addition to many years of volunteering, she previously worked as a Regional Organizer with Red Wine and Blue.

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Imani (she/they) graduated summa cum laude from Saginaw Valley State University with a major in Communications & English. Before working with MEJC she studied and taught in Japan. She is passionate about uplifting her community and working with youth. Some of her favorite pastimes include traveling, writing poetry, and music. 


Rachelle Crow-Hercher (she/her), Program Assistant. Rachelle lives in Shelby Twp with her husband, two daughters, and a menagerie of pets. She is a former special educator who lives with autoimmune arthritis and other autoimmune complications. Rachelle’s activism began in healthcare and patient rights. A published researcher in the field of rheumatic disease and reproductive health, she now spends her down time tending to her garden and reading historiographies. 

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Charlie Hirst (they/them) grew up in Philadelphia, PA. Charlie's activism started during high school in the mid-90s, focusing on LGBTQ communities and HIV prevention planning. They moved to Michigan in 2022 from Northern Virginia. During their time in Virginia, they were involved in advocacy and elections in Loudoun County, VA. Much of this work focused on creating safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQIA+ people. They served as President of Equality Loudoun, a PFLAG youth facilitator, and Stewards of Children facilitator to prevent the sexual abuse of children. In 2018, they were honored with the Loudoun Education Association's Friend of Education award. In 2024, they graduated magna cum laude from Eastern Michigan University. Their fields of concentration were communication, media, and political science. They were a TRIO member who completed their degree after a 22-year hiatus. They live in Saline with their husband and two school-aged children. They have served on the Saline Area School's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee since 2022. They enjoy feeding chipmunks, birding, swimming, and volunteering at their local library during their free time. Charlie identifies as queer, nonbinary, disabled, and neurodivergent.


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Kyle Lim, Strategist, Urban Core Collective / Co-chair, MEJC

Kyle (he/him) is deeply passionate about supporting communities of color organizing for social change. He has experience in building organizational coalitions to support grassroots movements against gentrification, police violence and for education justice. He strongly believes in the power of radical imaginations that allow communities and organizations to find solutions to problems outside of dominant ways of thinking and doing. A native Singaporean, Kyle has spent the last fifteen years living in Grand Rapids MI and Oakland CA. 


Our Partners


Detroit, MI
482 Forward includes neighborhood organizations, parents, and youth committed to ensuring that all Detroit children have access to an excellent education, regardless of their race or socioeconomic status. Together, we are building power to make systemic change and win educational justice for our communities. 

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Action Of Greater Lansing

Lansing, MI 
Action of Greater Lansing, a Gamaliel Foundation affiliate, works on local, state and national issues to effectively address the challenging social concerns that our congregations, institutions and communities are faced with. 


AFT Michigan

AFT Michigan promotes public education and healthcare, strengthens worker voice, advances the institutions in which our members work, and builds a progressive movement committed to achieving these goals.

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Ann Arbor School Parents Intent on Racial Equity

Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor School Parents Intent on Racial Equity (AASPIRE) is a multi-racial group of parents, caregivers, community leaders and educators who are committed to advancing racial equity within the Ann Arbor Public Schools.


Detroit Action

Detroit, MI
Detroit Action is a union of Black and Brown, low and no-income, homeless and housing insecure Detroiters fighting for housing and economic justice. 

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Detroit Area Youth United Michigan (DAYUM)

Detroit, MI
Detroit Area Youth Uniting Michigan (DAYUM) fights for accountability from leaders, justice for our communities, and a seat at the table for all marginalized youth.

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Detroit Disability Power

Detroit, MI
Detroit Disability Power is a membership organization that works to build the political power of the disability community. We know that in order to end disparities people with disabilities face, we must organize!

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Detroit Federation of Teachers

Detroit, MI
Detroit Federation of Teachers is a local affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

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Ezekiel Project – Saginaw

Saginaw, MI
The Ezekiel Project is a Community Organizing Collective committed to Saginaw. Our mission is to empower people through organization, relationship building, skill development, information, and belief to transform communities with advocacy and activism.

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Grant Community Cares

Grant, MI

Grant Community Cares is dedicated to building a brighter future for our community by supporting all children and adolescents through advocacy and community outreach. Located in Grant, Michigan.

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Jenison Families RISE

Jenison, MI

Jenison Families RISE is a parent led organization working to build Responsible, Inclusive, Supportive Education in Jenison Public Schools.

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Michigan Advocates to End Seclusion and Restraint


A statewide organization whose purpose is to advocate to end the practices of seclusion and restraint in Michigan schools through student advocacy, teacher support, parent education, quality control, and legislative change. Seclusion and Restraint are outdated and dangerous practices that are traumatic not only to the students experiencing them, but also to the staff members implementing them. There are many relationship based, trauma informed, neuroscience aligned, collaborative approaches available to schools that can help eliminate the situations that least to seclusion and restraint.

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Michigan Education Association

The Michigan Education Association (MEA) is a self-governing education association, representing about 120,000 teachers, education support professionals and higher-education employees throughout the state.

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Michigan Faith in Action

Flint, MI
Michigan Faith In Action is a faith-based movement developing a new Michigan that acknowledges the right, and creates the opportunity, for all to experience social and economic justice equally.

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Michigan Liberation

Michigan Liberation is a statewide network of people and organizations organizing to end the criminalization of Black families and communities of color in Michigan. We envision a state without mass incarceration, mass policing, and punishment.

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Michigan Organization of Adolescent Sexual Health

MOASH mobilizes youth voices, engages community partners, and informs decision-makers to advance sexual health, identities, and rights.

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Michigan Parent, Advocate & Attorney Coalition

Michigan Parent, Advocate & Attorney Coalition (MiPAAC) is a statewide group focused on student-centered advocacy. MiPAAC aims to educate families of children with special education needs on topics relevant to their advocacy efforts.

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Michigan Student Power Network

The Michigan Student Power Network is a statewide association of progressive student organizations.

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Michigan Transformation Collective

Kalamazoo, MI

The Michigan Transformation Collective catalyzes racial healing and narrative change to transform the community from a system of harmful human hierarchies into one of hope, courage, and love.

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Detroit, MI
A Black-led organization, MOSES Action develops grassroots leaders of color, promotes widespread civic participation, and empowers community members to act as powerful advocates for themselves and their communities in the public arena.

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Mothering Justice

Mothering Justice is a grassroots policy advocacy organization that provides mothers of color in America with the resources and tools to use their power to make equitable changes in policy.

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Oakland Forward

Pontiac, MI
The mission of Oakland Forward is to build power to remove economic, racial and social barriers to provide opportunities for individuals, with a focus on people of color, in Oakland County.

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Pontiac Policy Council

Pontiac, MI
The mission of Pontiac Policy Council (P2C) is to provide education regarding local, state and federal policy through civic engagement, by providing the Pontiac community with the tools and resources needed to advocate for policy change.

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Red, Wine, and Blue Michigan

Red, Wine, and Blue Michigan is a sisterhood working to change the world together, one suburb at a time. Red Wine & Blue provides everything women need to successfully organize in their communities
and beyond.

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Rising Voices of Asian American Families

Rising Voices engages Michigan Asian American community by engaging voters to participate in elections, relational organizing, political education, and election protection.

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Saline Supports

Saline, MI
Saline Supports is a movement dedicated to making Saline a place of mirrors and windows – where residents and visitors can see themselves and others in their neighbors, teachers, students, business owners, pastors, representatives and more.

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Stand Against Extremism LivCo

Livingston County, MI

Stand Against Extremism LivCo (SAGE) is dedicated to taking action that supports a safe and inclusive community for all people here in Livingston County regardless of individual identity. We stand firmly against increased efforts to promote hate and divisive ideology in our schools and local government.


Start School Later in Michigan


The goal of the SSLiM group is to teach students, teachers, parents, school boards, legislators and anyone else interested, about the positive impact of starting middle and high school no earlier than 9.00AM, and elementary school no earlier than 8.00AM. Our long-term goal is to change Michigan legislation by defining adequate school start times in Michigan allowing to protect students and improve student health, wellbeing and academic success.

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Student Advocacy Center of Michigan

Ypsilanti & JacksonMI & statewide
The Student Advocacy Center of Michigan works collaboratively with underserved students, and their families, to stay in school, realize their rights to a quality public education, grow and experience success.

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Support Forest Hills Public Schools Community Action

Forest Hills, MI
Support FHPS Community Action is a parent and caregiver organization that promote and support Forest Hills Public Schools.

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Urban Core Collective

Grand Rapids, MI
UUC believes that successful people and neighborhoods overcome the effects of systemic racism through equal access to education, economic prosperity, health and power and influence.

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We the People – MI

We The People brings together a diverse set of communities from across Michigan to build a proactive vision of what we want our state to look like for our families and communities.

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Words of Hope 4 Life


Words of Hope 4 Life is a dedicated mental health non-profit organization committed to fostering positive change and support within our community. Through meaningful collaborations, innovative programs, and a focus on amplifying youth voices, we aim to create a more inclusive and empowered environment. 

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Jobs at MEJC


Michigan Education Justice Coalition is a movement sweeping across Michigan to build Healthy and Healing Schools for ALL. Please join us!

MEJC Education Justice Intern

MEJC hires interns on a rolling basis to support all of our work! Feel free to propose a project to us!

See Complete Job Description

Job responsibilities include:

  • Support MEJC’s Healthy & Healing Schools Platform

  • Utilize data management and digital tools to manage activist information

  • Develop trainings with community leaders, youth and caregivers pertaining to school boards and organizing 

  • Create graphics around education justice topics

  • Research the role of the governor and school boards within education

  • Analyze data and use that knowledge to support various MEJC projects

  • Attend and coordinate events and activities within MEJC

  • Recruit and build connections with community and education leaders

  • Attend community events and represent MEJC

MEJC Education Justice Policy Intern

MEJC hires interns on a rolling basis to support all of our work! Feel free to propose a project to us!

See Complete Job Description

Job responsibilities include:

  • Conduct research and track and analyze legislation on topics such as education funding and budgets, education best practices for mental health & mental health funding in Michigan schools, affirming practices in schools for LGBTQ+ youth and families, culturally competent curricula.

  • Support the drafting of memoranda, policy briefs, fact sheets, weekly updates, and background papers on issues relating to education policies and budgets.

  • Attend meetings, Michigan House and Senate hearings, and other events related to education policy and subsequently brief MEJC staff.

  • Utilize data management and digital tools to manage activist information.

  • Support the development of social media content to help provide information for education justice supporters concerning policy issues.

  • Manage press clips and distribute internally from local and national media outlets.

  • Support MEJC Director and other staff and MEJC committees working on local, statewide and national policy issues.

  • Support tracking and development of local school board policies.

MEJC Education Justice Organizer 

The Michigan Education Justice Coalition seeks education justice community organizers to support efforts in targeted counties in Michigan to ensure all students receive equitable access to education.

See Complete Job Description

Job responsibilities include:

  • Participate in checkins, trainings and other activities

  • Implement events and activities related to MEJC’s Healthy and Healing Schools Platform.

  • Lead countywide community-labor coordination tables

  • Track attacks on curriculum, DEI efforts and other issues under the Healthy and Healing Schools platform and provide rapid response as necessary.

  • Monitor and engage on social media to uplift the Healthy and Healing Schools Platform.

  • Recruit for and lead trainings with community leaders, youth and caregivers pertaining to school funding, school boards and organizing.

  • Attend community events and represent MEJC and sponsoring organization.

  • Utilize data management and digital tools to manage activist information.

  • Phone and text banking to support education justice initiatives.


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