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Our Mission

Californians Together, a coalition of education, civil rights, parent/caregiver, community, and advocacy organizations, champions the educational success of California’s more than 1.1 million English learners. Californians Together serves as a trusted voice, source of expertise, and steadfast advocate standing for the educational rights of access for California’s English learners, immigrants, and linguistically and culturally diverse students. We seek to overcome and transform the harms of systemic racial, language, and cultural inequality in education and to close opportunity gaps from early childhood through post-secondary education. The coalition exposes timely issues, advocates for cutting-edge policy and practice solutions grounded in research, and mobilizes to provide capacity-building support to multiple levels of the educational system.

Our Vision

Working at the intersection of research, advocacy, practice and policy, Californians Together seeks an assets-based educational system that protects, promotes, enacts, and is accountable for full and meaningful educational access and excellence. We envision schools that are funded, structured, and staffed to welcome, affirm and prepare English learners and immigrant students for successful graduation and to participate, thrive and lead in and across their multiple linguistic and cultural communities. This includes celebrating and building upon the cultural and linguistic assets children and their communities bring to their education in a schooling system that supports the development of bilingualism and biliteracy.

Our Story

Activists that had been involved in the “No on 227” campaign came together for reflection with others who had been deeply involved in the struggle to protect, preserve and further bilingual education in California and to begin to shape strategy for the future.

There was widespread consensus among advocates that one clear lesson from the Proposition 227 experience was that bilingual education advocates needed to be more formally organized and skilled at moving an agenda forward in a political arena. It was clear that a new political coalition and new set of strategies would emerge. In early 1999, six months after Proposition 227 took effect, Californians Together was formed—a new statewide coalition of parents, teachers, education advocates, and civil rights groups committed to securing equal access to quality education for all children. High on the agenda of the new coalition was the need to reinstate bilingual education as an effective program for English learners, and the task of changing hearts and minds about bilingualism and changing the deficiency-oriented and compensatory paradigm about bilingual education to an assets-based perspective.