RSVP Today! First Look at the Loving Cities Index | Schott Foundation for Public Education

RSVP Today! First Look at the Loving Cities Index

Grassroots Education Series
RSVP Today:

First Look at the Loving Cities Index

Monday, February 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm ET


In the midst of our current challenges and unique political moment, it is necessary to declare a new day in America for our young people. America’s New Day must start by acknowledging the fact that providing all children an opportunity to learn requires that we provide them with the supports they need to thrive outside the school, starting at birth.

Throughout American history, the policies and practices that created opportunity gaps from birth have been baked into the ecosystem of local and state systems. It is well documented that many of these policies and practices were rooted in implicit racial bias at best, and explicit racism and hate at worst. Even today, far too many of the the policies and practices that govern how cities manage and resource housing, education, healthcare, transportation, workforce development, criminal justice, and civic engagement reinforce inequity in outcomes for children and families of color compared to their White peers by creating a system of barriers to success across all facets of a child’s living and learning environments from the time of their birth.

Today, our best shot for healing communities of their achievement gap is by addressing the larger living climate opportunity gaps. Likewise, our best chance for supporting healing in communities harmed by practices rooted in hate is through current practices that create loving systems.

Healthy living environments for students are impacted by a family’s access to affordable healthcare, food, housing, fair wages, transportation, and safe communities, which are all deeply linked to a child’s opportunity to learn. Healthy learning environments inside schools create a culture of academic rigor and success; healthy learning environments are impacted by school resourcing, access to early education, experienced teachers and support staff, economic integration in school districts, advanced curriculum and restorative discipline approaches.

Join us as we discuss a groundbreaking new tool to both assess and transform our communities — the Loving Cities Index — and the first ten cities we’re covering.

Our speakers will include:

Dr. John H. Jackson, President & CEO, Schott Foundation for Public Education

Dr. Cassie Schwerner, Senior Vice President of National Partnerships

Allison Brown, Consultant, Community Wealth Partners

Come with questions, insights, and calls to action during our Q&A session at the end!
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GrassrootsEd.

Register Today:



About the Speakers

Dr. John H. JacksonDr. John H. Jackson

Dr. John H. Jackson is President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education.  In this role, Dr. Jackson leads the Foundation’s efforts to ensure a fair and substantive opportunity to learn for all students regardless of race or gender. Dr. Jackson joined the Schott Foundation after serving in several senior level positions. Among them, National Director of Education and Chief Policy Officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 2000-2007.  In 1999, President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Dr. Jackson to serve as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Jackson has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Race, Gender, and Public Policy at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute as well as the George Washington University School of Education.  Earlier in his career, Dr. Jackson conducted research at the Harvard Civil Rights Project on civil rights issues and legislation related to racial disparities in housing, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and employment; he also evaluated institutional policies and court orders to assess the level of compliance with civil right laws and regulations. In 2004, Dr. Jackson founded the National Equity Center Inc., a national non-profit established to promote diversity and democratic values by providing youth with leadership, academic, research and advocacy skills to eliminate existing local and national civil rights and social justice disparities.

Dr. Jackson has been elected or appointed to serve on many boards and commissions. Among them the Xavier University of Louisiana Board of Directors, Harvard University Board of Alumni, Association of Black Foundation Executives, American Bar Association At-Risk Commission, and Brown v. Board Federal Commission. Dr. Jackson also served on the Obama-Biden transition team as a member of the President’s 13-member Education Policy Transition Work Group. 

A native of the Southside of Chicago and product of the public school system, Dr. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Xavier University of Louisiana; A Master of Education in Education Policy from the University of Illinois' College of Education; and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois' College of Law. In addition, Dr. Jackson received a Master of Education and Doctorate of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Cassie SchwernerDr. Cassie Schwerner

Cassie Schwerner joined The Schott Foundation for Public Education in 1997. In her current role as Senior Vice President of National Partnerships, Dr. Schwerner manages Schott's national campaign partnerships and oversees the Healthy Living and Learning Communities (HLLC) initiative, as well as Schott’s development department.

Cassie serves on the steering committee of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS), a national coalition of parent, youth and community organizations and labor groups fighting for educational justice and equity in access to school resources and opportunities in communities across the country. She recently completed a six-year term on the Board of Directors of Grantmakers for Education and stewarded the Schott Foundation’s involvement as a founding member of the steering committee for Communities for Public Education Reform, a national donor collaborative that has generated more than $30 million for the field of education organizing. She recently joined the board of New York Appleseed.

Prior to joining the staff at Schott, Dr. Schwerner was a research and editorial assistant for Jonathan Kozol. She worked on his books Savage Inequalities and Amazing Grace, and on all of Kozol's other projects over a ten-year period. She remains a close advisor to Kozol and serves as a trustee of his Education Action Fund – a small foundation that distributes funds to families in New York and Massachusetts.

Allison BrownAllison Brown

As a Consultant, Allison Brown leads client engagements, advises and coaches leaders, and spearheads internal teams to develop solutions and deliverables through research and analysis. She has a strong background in social enterprise strategy, with a focus on education and women’s empowerment initiatives. Her expertise is specifically centered around expansion planning, developing sustainable business models, and leading communication strategies. 

Allison previously worked as the India Field Manager with Gray Matters Capital Foundation, where she led the program development and cohort management for the IDEX Fellowship in Social Enterprise.  While in India, she also co-founded an empowerment and life skills training organization, VOICE 4 Girls, where she designed a revenue-generating business model, developed strategic partnerships, and oversaw operations to deliver services to over 4,000 girls. 

Allison has a B.B.A. in Communications and Social Enterprise Management from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.