Local K-12 Advocacy Efforts

UNCF is serious about education reform.

Our Federal Policy and Advocacy team works on Capitol Hill to help us implement changes at the national level. We also work hard to improve the college-readiness pipeline in local communities.

We have also selected two cities—Indianapolis, IN and New Orleans, LA—where we are working with local leaders, parents, teachers and schools to dramatically improve the number of African American and other minority students who are well-prepared to apply, attend and graduate from college.


The havoc Hurricane Katrina wrought on New Orleans in 2005 created an opening for bold new educational models to emerge in the city and there is evidence that these models have led to significant improvement in student results post-Katrina.

The bad news is that the community’s self-reported lack of ownership in the changes threatens to stall the momentum. What’s more, while school choice is a centerpiece of New Orleans education reform efforts, many parents struggle to navigate the complex system.

And at a time when they are most needed most, many African American community leaders are absent from the education reform dialogue.

We believe this is unacceptable. Therefore, we are working with John White, Louisiana States Superintendent of Education, the Black Alliance for Educational Options, Stand for Children, the Urban League and many other prominent African American organizations in New Orleans to strengthen the education landscape.

Doing so will help get more African American students to college, including to the two HBCUs that are in New Orleans: Dillard University and Xavier University of Louisiana.

“64 percent of African American parents in New Orleans feel that public school reform efforts would be more effective if African American leaders and organizations were more involved in education reform.”UNCF African American Parent Research Quantitative Survey


Our goal is two-fold: to engage more leaders and to empower more parents.

Whether you live in Indianapolis, New Orleans or one of the dozens of other cities with a UNCF local office,  we’d love to have you join us in our efforts.

Leaders who:

  • Understand that the pipeline to college is broken for African Americans
  • Have a clear, informed understanding of the challenges African American students face in the public school system
  • Activate the black community to play a greater role in education reform
  • Promote a vision for how to improve educational outcomes for students in their community

Parents who:

  • Know what a high-quality school looks like in terms of instruction, student outcomes and standards
  • Know how to enroll their children in quality schools
  • Know how to navigate the educational path to getting their children to and through college
  • Understand their rights and how to advocate for change
  • Understand how to push schools to achieve better student outcomes
  • Believe they have a strong and important voice in the education reform movement

If you live in either Indianapolis or New Orleans and would like to learn more about our K-12 advocacy work and how you can help.

Contact: Naomi Shelton
T  202 810 0211