Over the past 18 years, Justice Matters has worked toward social and racial justice in education by elevating the voices and values of communities of color on issues ranging from school discipline, to arts integration, to teaching and learning. Our core belief: communities of color hold the answers toward bringing about racially just public schooling.
Justice Matters’ many achievements have included:
- A fellows program in racial justice leadership for college students (several past fellows are now movement leaders);
- A hub for policy research and analysis;
- Groundbreaking studies and reports on public education;
- Organizing families of color to demand racially just schooling for their children and communities;
- A national effort to provide critical analysis and inform federal policies, including the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; and,
- A national network of social and racial justice schools.
Over nearly two decades, we have developed a social and racial justice framework that has made a difference in the lives of children and families of color. We are proud of our work and the legacy we have built.
Today, after months of planning and strategizing, we are pleased to announce the next phase of Justice Matters by introducing Justice Matters Press, a social and racial justice press by and for people of color. Justice Matters Press will build on Justice Matters’ legacy by continuing to deliver critical social and racial justice analyses and applying them to multiple areas, including, though no longer exclusively, public education.
Justice Matters Press will be a hub of knowledge, ideas, and inspiration—a place to produce compelling and engaging literature. We will be a publisher and platform that nurtures consciousness-raising and creates opportunities to discuss, debate, and strategize around the ideas we put out and how to take us to new ways of thinking and bringing about lasting systemic change.
We have named Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, former Associate Director of Justice Matters, as Justice Matters Press’ founding Publisher and Executive Director. Lorenzo served for six years as Associate Director of Justice Matters and brings a wealth of experience in multi-issue movement building with over a decade of work centered on intersectional experiences of communities of color, including public education, LGBT rights, youth leadership, reproductive justice, immigrant rights, and economic justice. In addition, Lorenzo is the founder and publisher of Kórima Press, which supports and publishes queer Chicana and Chicano literature. Since its inception five years ago, Lorenzo has built Kórima Press into a recognized name in publishing, as well as in academic, arts, and activist circles. Its award-winning titles are taught in community college and university classrooms across the U.S.
Three Justice Matters Board members—Lauren Veasey, Maisie Chin, and Steve Phillips—will continue on as Board members of Justice Matters Press and will grow the size of the Board to further build the direction of the organization.
Justice Matters Press will do more than publish books—we will be a movement building and supporting organization through a programming ecosystem that maximizes impact through diverse engagement opportunities. These include interviews and thought pieces and analysis by authors, staff, and community members, virtual dialogues and town halls, student fellowship program, and a biennial summit.
The conditions are ripe for Justice Matters Press. As our country’s demographics continue to change and people of color grow in numbers, electoral potential, and mobilizing capacity and needs, it is critical that we have access to sharp, nuanced, sophisticated analyses on a range of issues that affect our lives. We need a people of color-led and centered press to play a role in leading national conversations about race and justice— and in so doing, building knowledge and power. Based on our research thus far, this will be the only social and racial justice press by and for people of color.
We are excited to enter this next phase and for the immense possibilities ahead. We invite you to join us in imagining and bringing about a world where the voices of people of color are at the forefront of social and racial justice conversations and action.
In solidarity and hope,
Maisie Chin, Steve Phillips, Lauren Veasey
Board of Directors