Become an NCSD Member

NCSD membership is open to organizations that have demonstrated or are willing to demonstrate a commitment to racial and economic school integration in the United States.

Once you fill out the application form and sign the accompanying Membership Statement, the NCSD Steering Committee will consider your candidacy. The steering committee meets four times a year, so it may take up to three months for a final decision. If you wish to follow up with us, please email Gina Chirichigno at

Thinking About Applying for Membership to NCSD?

The National Coalition on School Diversity (NCSD) engages in research, public education, and advocacy to help expand support for government policies that promote school diversity and reduce racial and socioeconomic isolation. Members are invited to participate–consistent with their organization’s ability and designation–in NCSD’s advocacy efforts, which include, but are not limited to: legislative advocacy, administrative advocacy (e.g. communicating with departments of education and other non-legislative government agencies/bodies), and civil rights litigation at the district, local, state, and national levels.

Membership is free and open to individuals and organizations that meet specific criteria, which is described below. In lieu of the annual membership dues that most national organizations require, NCSD requests that members make a voluntary contribution (consistent with an organization’s capacity) to its bi-annual conference. You can learn more about our past conferences at

The Benefits of Joining NCSD

Membership in NCSD provides opportunities to:
  • Meet, learn from, connect with, and build alliances among our ever-growing, dynamic network made up of people and organizations committed to creating, sustaining, and improving equitable and diverse schools in the United States
  • Access members-only conference calls that provide up-to-date information and insights about research, practice, and policy work in the field
  • Amplify your work through our newsletter, which is disseminated to a network of 5,000+ integration supporters nationwide
  • Connect with a community of peers when you have questions or are looking for information and allies to strengthen your work
  • Lend your voice and perspectives on school integration with local and national media
  • Express support and contribute your skills to NCSD’s many advocacy efforts and campaigns at local, state, and national levels
  • Receive public recognition of your membership and activities on our website and our conference materials

What We Ask of Members

  • A contribution, consistent with your organization’s capacity, to our bi-annual conference
  • Keep NCSD reasonably informed about your organization’s integration-related work
  • Public support for NCSD’s work. This could include publicizing our written products, webinars, or events and supporting NCSD’s advocacy efforts, as appropriate
  • Recognition of your affiliation with NCSD, e.g. on your website or when speaking at education conferences and similar events
  • We strongly encourage collaboration and communication between members, in order to inform, enhance, amplify, and better understand each other’s work
  • Be welcoming, inclusive, and curious about other NCSD members and their work. This might include amplifying and supporting fellow members’ work through social media, issuing invitations to members to be on panels, or simply by connecting by phone or in-person to learn about each other’s work
  • Make efforts to connect with fellow members when visiting, presenting, and/or attending events in other cities
  • Particularly if you are experienced in the field, with status and connections to opportunities and knowledge, encourage and support emerging practitioners, researchers, and advocates dedicated to this important work
  • That you sign our Membership Statement (you must have the proper authority to submit an application on your organization’s behalf).

Please note: NCSD is not accepting applications from individual schools at this time. Instead, we encourage you to connect with some of the following members and partners, which are better positioned to provide support and guidance to schools:



To find out more about becoming an NCSD member organization, feel free to contact us:

Gina Chirichigno
The National Coalition on School Diversity

Philip Tegeler
Executive Director
The Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Event 9/19: The Lines Between Us: At School and At Home

***A livestream of the event will be available via PRRAC’s Facebook page.***

We are excited to partner with the Poverty and Race Research Action Council on “The Lines Between Us: At School and At Home” on September 19, 2019.

We will welcome Lawrence Lanahan, author of the new book The Lines Between Us, a story of two families in Baltimore set against the background of decades of segregation and the evolution of the landmark Thompson v. HUD public housing desegregation case.  Lawrence Lanahan will be joined by Cara McClellan from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and journalist J. Brian Charles.

The panel discussion will be held in PRRAC’s event space at 740 15th St. NW. Refreshments will be available at 5:30pm, and the discussion will start at 6:00pm.

Register here for this free event.

Who: Lawrence Lanahan, Cara McClellan, and J. Brian Charles
“The Lines Between Us: At School and At Home” 
Where: PRRAC offices – 740 15th St. NW
When: September 19th at 6:00pm (refreshments at 5:30pm)
Why: To explore interconnections between segregation in housing and schools

New Publication: State of Integration 2018

The State of Integration 2018 is a compilation of essays by the National Coalition on School Diversity’s staff and members. It begins with an assessment of current threats to school integration. It then chronicles some of the new progress and opportunities we are seeing at state and local levels.

NCSD in the News: Politico Covers Anti-Busing Law

Via Politico (June 13, 2019)

“A spending bill last year axed the anti-busing language, and it was ‘huge’ that Congress was able to do so after so many decades, said Philip Tegeler, of the National Coalition on School Diversity. Now, he said it needs to finish the job with a ‘final detail’ that would remove the funding restriction permanently.

“‘It’s a throwback, it’s an anachronism from the ’70s, and it just needs to get fixed,’ he said.”

Read the full article here.

Press Release: NCSD Lauds the Introduction of the Strength in Diversity Act


Washington, DC – This week, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11) respectively introduced the Senate and House of Representatives versions of the Strength in Diversity Act. Specifically, the NCSD-endorsed proposed legislation would provide support and funding for voluntary, local efforts to further the socioeconomic and racial integration of schools. As we approach the 65th anniversary of the Brown decision, it is commendable that Congress is taking steps to support students and the educators working to develop their potential on a day-to-day basis.

Additionally, it is clear that the sponsors along with the co-sponsors, Reps. Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Gregorio Sablan (D-MP), as well as Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT), understand the important role integrated schools play in our diverse, democratic society. As we noted in a 2018 research brief, Re-Weaving the Social Fabric Through Integrated Schools: How Intergroup Contact Prepares Youth to Thrive in a Multiracial Society: “Socioeconomically and racially integrated schools help students to discover their commonalities, and to acknowledge meaningful differences in perspective and experience, which can enhance mutual understanding and foster inclusion and participation in a multicultural democracy.”

Specifically, the Strength in Diversity Act would:

  • Authorize federal funding to provide planning and implementation grants to support voluntary local efforts to increase racial and socioeconomic diversity. Grants could fund a range of proposals, including (but not limited to):
    • Studying segregation, evaluating current policies, and developing evidence-based plans to address racial and socioeconomic isolation;
    • Establishing public school choice zones and revising school boundaries;
    • Creating or expanding innovative school programs that can attract students from outside the local area; and
    • Recruiting, hiring, and training new teachers to support specialized schools.

NCSD Steering Committee Members’ Reactions:

Susan Eaton, Professor of Practice & Director, The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University: “In a time marked by divisive politics, it is deeply inspiring to see two stellar elected officials propose legislation that recognizes both the harm of segregation and the potential of true integration to enhance learning for all, to equalize opportunities for social mobility and to reduce racism and prejudice. We thank Senator Murphy and Rep. Fudge for responding to the calls of young people, parents and educators across the country who are asking for new structures, policies and practices to create, sustain and improve diverse and equitable public schools.”

Matt Gonzales, Director of the School Diversity Project, New York Appleseed:  “We applaud Senator Murphy and Rep. Fudge for introducing the Strength in Diversity Act, a bill that should provide much-needed federal support for districts to develop, implement, or expand school integration initiatives. For too long, the federal government has dropped the ball on its commitment to achieve the mandate of the 1954 Brown decision. Despite this intransigence, cities and states across the country have taken the lead in building diverse and equitable schools, and the Strength in Diversity Act offers a meaningful opportunity, and necessary resources to support these voluntary efforts. As our student partners at IntegrateNYC have said, it has been 65 years since the Brown decision, and it is long overdue that we #RetireSegregation!”

Elaine Gross, President of ERASE Racism: “This is an important bill, because it recognizes and addresses the reality that racial segregation in public schools is growing. This has profound consequences for those students whose needs are inadequately addressed and for the nation as a whole, which misses out on the educational benefits of diversity. This bill will enhance crucial efforts to increase diversity in education, which is a local need and should be a national priority.”

Philip Tegeler, President/Executive Director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council: “It’s a sophisticated bill that understands that school segregation in the 21st century is about both racial and economic isolation, and that more often than not, segregation happens across school district lines. This bill also recognizes the reciprocal relationships among schools, housing, and transportation, and encourages districts to plan holistically.”


Event: Hill Briefing on 4/9

How Congress, States, and School Districts Can Take Action on School Diversity
April 9, 2019
10:30am – 12:00pm
The U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center, SVC Room 201-00
Washington, DC, 20515

Please RSVP to

Sixty-five years after Brown v. Board of Education, the research remains clear that integrated schools produce better outcomes for all students, and strategies to promote racial and socioeconomic diversity are being used by school districts across the country.

Please join the National Coalition on School Diversity and The Century Foundation for a congressional briefing on how all levels of government can support the growing national movement for school integration.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
  • Sufyan Hameed, Director of Expansion, IntegrateNYC
  • Angélica Infante-Green, Deputy Commissioner, New York State Education Department
  • Richard Kahlenberg, Director of K-12 Equity and Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
  • Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University

Moderated by Kimberly Quick, Senior Policy Associate, The Century Foundation

This congressional briefing is being held in collaboration with Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA-3), Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Representative Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH-11).

See PDF version of invite here.
Share on Twitter here.

A School Integration Policy Agenda for 2019 and Beyond

In “A School Integration Policy Agenda for 2019 and Beyond,” we outline 10 policy proposals that incentivize integration as the 116th Congress begins its work.

This document builds off of another document, “Crafting a Policy Agenda for 2019 and Beyond,” released in July 2018, which offered a list of strategies for consideration during federal, state, and local deliberations about how to shape our future educational systems.

These ideas are the result of a months-long process of engaging some of the integration movement’s most visionary and pragmatic leaders and thinkers, many of whom are grappling with these issues on a day-to-day basis in schools and community-based settings.

Sunil Mansukhani and James Colligan from The Raben Group facilitated this process. We are extremely grateful to our policy working group members for their time and effort:

  • Derek Black, University of South Carolina School of Law*
  • Nicole Dooley, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Matt Gonzales, NY Appleseed
  • Kris Nordstrom, North Carolina Justice Center
  • Will Stancil, Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at University of Minnesota Law School
*University affiliations provided for informational purposes only

Event: Matt Gonzales LTLT Visit 1/29

Powerpoint – LTLT Visit

NCSD Strategic Plan 2018-2020

Over the past year, NCSD been engaged in its first-ever strategic planning process to help us focus on how to uphold policies we helped advance during the last administration and to build on the momentum of the expanding school diversity field, particularly in light of the passage and initial implementation of ESSA and, later, an abrupt change in leadership and direction at the federal level.

The goal of this process was to engage and hear from members, advocates, and allies so that NCSD can formulate a clear strategic roadmap for the next three years. As such, the strategic planning process was developed to be comprehensive and heavily centered on engaging members.

The resulting strategic plan, which can be found here, focuses on the following six goals:

  1. Serve as the central convener of the school integration field.
  2. Connect constituents through learning exchanges, information sharing, and peer networks.
  3. Elevate a critical research agenda that is directly linked to work on the ground.
  4. Develop a comprehensive and strategic communications agenda.
  5. Monitor, influence, and protect federal policy.
  6. Implement a regional outreach strategy to highlight and support grassroots efforts.

We have also updated our mission and vision as follows:

VISION: America’s public education system is the centerpiece of a diverse, interconnected, and just democracy that is free from individual, institutional, and structural racism. The education system is inclusive of the individual and collective histories, perspectives, and voices of the communities it serves. This system values, supports, and equips all young people with the resources and skills they need to thrive. Our policies and social structures reflect a deep, unwavering commitment to our young people, our communities, and our democracy.

MISSION: Here at NCSD, we challenge common assumptions that segregation in our nation’s communities and schools is natural, harmless, or inevitable. NCSD supports brave, bold, visionary changemakers and bridgebuilders as they tackle the root causes of educational inequity and injustice. Our members work to design, enact, implement, and uplift K-12 public school integration policies and practices so we may build cross-race/cross-class relationships, share power and resources, and co-create new realities.

We are deeply grateful to the Ford Foundation for providing support for this process; and to our consultant (Melissa Hewitt, Forward Movement Consulting) and strategic planning committee for all of their hard work on this plan.


(Update: Read about the event here, we also shared this document with attendees.) 

Please join us for a briefing about the importance of school integration, including the real and hard fought benefits it has brought to our society as well as the multiple threats facing it. Our expert panelists will provide their insights on innovative solutions to remedy rising resegregation.

School Integration in 2018: Past Achievements, Present Threats, and Future Opportunities
Thursday, July 26, 2018
1:30PM – 2:45PM
House Visitor Center, Room 200
First St NE, Washington, DC 20515

Register here.

If you have any additional questions, please contact James Colligan at or 202-930-6813.

Beverages and snacks will be provided.




James Ford
Independent Consultant, Filling the Gap Educational Consultants, LLC

Erica Frankenberg
Associate Professor of Education & Demography, Pennsylvania State University
Director, PSU Center for Education and Civil Rights 

Cara McClellan
Skadden Fellow at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Zahava Stadler
Director of Policy and Research, EdBuild

Conversation Moderated By:

Damon Hewitt
Executive Director, Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
Senior Advisor for U.S. Programs, Open Society Foundations



About the Speakers:

James E. Ford (BS in Mass Communication, Illinois State University; MA in Teaching Rockford University) is an activist, writer, minister, husband, and father who considers his work an extension of his greater life-calling. He is an award-winning educator and consultant on issues of equity in education. He is the Principal at Filling the Gap Educational Consultants, LLC and is currently pursuing his PhD at UNC-Charlotte in Urban Education. Most recently, he was the Program Director at the Public School Forum of North Carolina, an education think-tank and advocacy organization. Prior to this, he served as the 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year and the representative for 95,000 public school teachers throughout the state. While in this position, he lobbied the state legislature to help secure the first post-recession raises for teachers and was made chair of the Governor’s Teacher Advisory Committee. Ford taught World History at Garinger High School in Charlotte, NC starting in 2010. Ford’s early career cemented his connection to children and youth. He worked as a truancy intervention specialist in high schools and director of a teen center that provided educational and after-school activities for youth at risk of dropping out of school. In 2014, Ford was recognized as Charlotte Magazine’s Charlottean of the Year and the National Alliance of Black School Educators’ Teacher of the Year. He is a Carnegie Fellow. A self-professed “equity warrior” who believes education is a human right, Ford writes and speaks extensively on the topics of race, class, and education equity and advocates for the most disadvantaged student populations. He is a civic leader in Charlotte, serving as the co-chair for the Leading on Opportunity Council, an effort change the systemic barriers to economic mobility in the city.

Erica Frankenberg (Ed.D., Harvard University) is an associate professor of education and demography in the College of Education at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on racial desegregation and inequality in K–12 schools with an emphasis on segregation in suburban areas, school choice and racial stratification, politics of school diversity, and the connections between school segregation and other metropolitan policies. She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in leading education policy journals, law reviews, and housing journals as well as writing for policy and practitioner publications. In 2014, she coordinated the Civil Rights and Education conference at Penn State, and is co-editor of a 2016 book from this conference and has edited four other books. In addition to her scholarly work, she has helped school districts design diversity policies, and has served as an expert witness in school diversity cases. Prior to becoming a professor, she led the initiative on school integration at the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles. She is a graduate of desegregated schools in Mobile, Alabama.

Prior to joining LDF as a Skadden Fellow, Cara McClellan was a law clerk to the Honorable Gregory M. Sleet of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware and to the Honorable Andre M. Davis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Cara graduated with honors from Yale College, received an M.S.Ed. from Penn Graduate School of Education and a J.D. from Yale Law School. During law school, Cara participated in clinics where she represented youth in neglect and abuse proceedings and in expulsion proceedings and served as a Comments Editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review. She spent her law school summers as an intern at LDF and an intern at the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division—Educational Opportunities Section. Cara previously taught middle school with Teach for America in Philadelphia. She has published in the Columbia Journal of Race & Law, Yale Law & Policy Review Inter Alia, and the Huffington Post.

Zahava Stadler leads policy research and analysis at EdBuild. Before joining EdBuild, she worked with the School District of Philadelphia on its strategic planning process and completed an Education Pioneers fellowship at TNTP. She began her career in education at Innovative Schools, a nonprofit organization in Wilmington, Delaware, working with school districts and charter schools on human capital issues. Zahava holds master’s degrees in public administration and education policy from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University.


About the Moderator:

Damon Hewitt guides a philanthropic network of over 40 national, local, and community foundation presidents who are committed to systemic change and creating a shared strategy for supporting the liberation work of boys and men of color. Through his leadership, the EA has made philanthropy’s investments in boys and men of color more strategic and impactful. Damon also serves as Senior Advisor for U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations, providing strategic guidance on their efforts to advance racial justice, including reforming school discipline policies and improving life outcomes for boys and men of color. Previously, Damon worked for over a decade as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). There he founded LDF’s Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline initiative and worked in his hometown of New Orleans to coordinate post-Hurricane Katrina liti­gation and advocacy on education, housing, and voting-rights issues. Damon also worked as Executive Director of the New York Police-on-Police Shootings Task Force. Damon is coauthor of The School‐to‐Prison Pipeline: Structuring Legal Reform (2012, NYU Press), and he has published numerous articles on racial justice, school discipline policy and progressive education reform. He holds a B.A. in political science from Louisiana State University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.