Activist groups using religion to "support public schools"
Every Child NC and Pastors for NC Children call for mobilizing the "faith community
An email newsletter from “Every Child NC” (ECNC) recently promoted an action being conducted by “Pastors for North Carolina Children” (PNNC) that calls for “mobilizing the faith community” to “support public schools.”
PNNC was formed in 2020 and has offshoots located in FL, KY, MS, OK, TN, and TX. The stated mission of PNNC is to “Mobilize Faith Leaders To Advocate For Justice in Our Public Schools In North Carolina."
The action is called "Mission Amplify."
Announcing the Launch of Mission Amplify—Put Prayer Into Action
Pastors for NC Children (PNCC) mobilizes faith communities to support public schools. Drawing from the ancient Prophetic letter tradition, PNCC has launched their first initiative—Mission Amplify.
It invites congregations and community groups to write postcards to NC legislators in support of public schools.
We know that education is one of the greatest ways to ensure children flourish. PNCC believes public schools are a public good and are important to create thriving communities.
By supporting public schools and the 1.5 million NC children they serve, we are living out our call from Christ Jesus to “Love our Neighbors” and “the least of these.”
Together we are serving as the hands and feet of Christ in North Carolina and putting our prayers into action. Learn more about PNCC at http://PastorsForNCchildren.org or email Director Rev. Suzanne Parker Miller at PastorsForNCchildren@gmail.com.
The email included a “training” schedule with dates ranging from April 26 through June 7.
According to the email, PNCC is also hosting “monthly gatherings for anyone interested in the conversation about faith and public education advocacy” on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 10-11 am.
Both ECNC and PNNC have teamed up with other left-leaning organizations such as N.C. State Board of Education member James Ford’s CREED-NC, as well as ISLA, Education Justice Alliance, and Action4Equity.
One such collaboration was the “People Power and Policy: Racial Equity And The Future Of North Carolina's Students” that took place on April 28th. The event was “presented by our friends from Every Child NC,” according to a PNCC newsletter. Here’s the brief description that was given about the event:
What would North Carolina schools look like if we elevated the experiences, histories, brilliance and struggles of our Black and brown students and their families? What if our schools supported every child in realizing their full potential? What if every child had what they needed and was in a school environment where their full identify was affirmed?
In this series we will be learning from community advocates working to realize education justice across our state. Together, these leaders are working to bring our People into their Power to influence Policy change and deliver on the unfulfilled promise of education equity. We can have schools that work for every child. We can have funding that honors our pursuit of full equity and policies that lift up our school communities, instead of holding them down.
Another ECNC collaboration involves organizing activities in Forsyth County related to the long-running Leandro school funding case.
“Our partners at Action4Equity along with Forsyth County Association of Educators and the Minister's Conference of Winston-Salem, have put together a regional education coalition, Forsyth Leandro. They are organizing in their community to educate and advocate for the school funding they deserve. Learn more here!”
The “learn more here” link takes you to a website called "Forsyth Leandro Education Coalition." The Forsyth County Association of Educators, Action4Equity, and Minister's Conference of Winston Salem are listed as the entities responsible for the page along with "support" from the N.C. Justice Center and “Equity Forsyth.”
Action4Equity, like PNNC and ECNC, is yet another 501(c)3 formed in 2020 that describes itself as “a black-led, intentionally multi-racial coalition of educators, parents, students, faith leaders, and community members” to build a movement to “advance equity” in Winston-Salem/Forsyth public schools.
According to Action4Equity’s website, the group uses “tools ranging from policy and advocacy to direct action,” and “applies pressure, and supports legal action to make real and lasting change within the Board of Education, WS/FCS administration, and in our local schools.”
The question to be asked now is where is the money coming from for these various education non-profit activities?
Mainly from grants from the left-leaning Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR).
In 2021, PNCC received $30,000 for “general operating support from ZSR.
ZSR was and continues to be a main funder for Blueprint NC, a 501(c)3 non-profit that is known for its coalition of far-left activist groups in the state and for a leaked 2013 memo outlining a strategy for its members to attack all elected Republican officials, but in particular, former Governor Pat McCrory.
Summary of the main points from the attack memo:
• “Crippl(e) their leaders (McCrory, Tillis, Berger, etc.)”
• “Eviscerate the leadership and weaken their ability to govern.”
• “Pressure McCrory at every public event.”
• “Slam him when he contradicts his promises.”
Blueprint NC’s parent organization is the N.C. Justice Center. In 2021, ZSR funneled grants totaling over $1.6 million into the N.C. Justice Center; $850,000 in year one and $800,000 in years two and three. The grant money was, again, for “general operating support.”
As with PNCC, ZSR also issued $300,000 in grant funding in 2021 to Blueprint NC to span the following three years for “general operating support.” Additionally, ZSR gave Blueprint another $70,000 grant for its “NC North Carolina Black Leadership and Organizing Collective: BLOC Power Rising Project.”
All grants issued by ZSR can be viewed on their annual reports page.
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