Lift Every Voice group organizes to transform city schools

Across our city, communities are far too often in crisis mode, according to a new organization called Lift Every Voice Philly.

New leadership changes at the School District, in City Hall, and in Harrisburg give us a critical opportunity to pursue racial justice and equity in a meaningful way that tackles trauma and instability. We must seize this moment and build a vehicle powerful enough to address the root causes of Philadelphia's status as the nation's poorest big city, and to tackle gun violence. By pushing for stronger systems, we can fight for the future of our city and our schools — but it will take all of us. School communities are the lifeblood of our school system and our city. But, time and time again, decision-makers shut out and silence parents, caregivers, and community members, as our public schools, and our city, hang in the balance.

That’s where Lift Every Voice comes in.

We believe schools, as one of our largest public systems, are powerful engines to changing the future of our city.

We believe that Philadelphians want and need to get back to the basics of fighting for public institutions, especially the public schools that every community needs.

We are building an organizational home for multi-racial campaigns for community transformation. LEV’s base building starts with Black women-led chapters in the most disinvested Philadelphia schools and a solidarity chapter of parents with race and class privilege. Our members lead decision making grounded in their experiences as parents, grandparents, students, caregivers, and neighbors.

We believe that our power to transform schools and our city lies in base building and leadership development that’s laser focused on concrete problems and concrete wins. By centering Black women’s leadership, we are reclaiming and asserting power and taking a two generation approach to face our biggest problems.

We believe solidarity is a verb. By uniting members across race and class lines through our school based and our Solidarity chapters, we are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, citywide. We are building leaders who are from and accountable to the communities closest to the pain.

We envision schools that welcome, heal, and respect the humanity, self-determination, and growth of all of our children, regardless of race, income, immigration status, ability, or neighborhood.