The Time Is Right to End ‘Zero Tolerance’ in Schools

“Education Week” commentary  by Gara LaMarche of The Atlantic Philanthropies on “zero tolerance” in schools references Public Interest Projects’ education equity work through the Just and Fair Schools Fund.
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Public Interest Projects Announces New Staff to Lead Alliance Building Program


April 6, 2011…Building on its work to promote and support strategic alliances that cross and benefit social justice issues, Public Interest Projects has named Trishala Deb new Senior Program Officer of Alliance Building.

Trishala Deb has worked at the intersection of a variety of prominent issues, including immigrant and refugee rights, gender justice, anti-violence and militarization, community organizing based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and supporting the capacity building efforts of emerging grassroots organizations. She was a program officer for the National LGBT Rights Program at the Arcus Foundation, where she supported strategies to forge alliances between the LGBT and immigrant communities.  Previously, she coordinated a program for LGBT immigrants at the Audre Lorde Project, a community organizing center for LGBTQ people of color in New York City.

Before working at Arcus and Audre Lorde, Deb served as a program manager for Refugee Family Violence Prevention Project; as case manager for SHARE House, a battered-women’s shelter; and as development assistant at Men Stopping Violence in Atlanta. She was a member of the founding group for the Community Birthing Project, and has served on the boards of INCITE, North Star Fund, the South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association, and the Highlander Research and Education Center.

“Trishala has devoted her career to working for justice for the LGBT community, people of color, immigrants and women,” said Berta Colón, president of Public Interest Projects.  “Her experience at the intersection of several key issues uniquely positions her to help Public Interest Projects carry its alliance building to the next level.”

Public Interest Projects established its Alliance Building Project in 2008 after recognizing that grassroots activists and funders wanted to reach beyond their constituencies to align themselves with others that share common goals.  “Working in isolated silos limits our impact on issues,” said Colón.  “By forging multi-ethnic, multi-issue alliances we can greatly expand our philanthropic vision and build political power within and across communities.”

The Public Interest Projects Alliance Building Project recently released “Connecting at the Crossroads: Alliance Building and Social Change in Tough Times,” a new report on strategic alliance building in the current political climate.  The report includes a framework for defining and understanding the forms and paths that alliances take and features a first-of- its-kind scan of alliance-building efforts across the country.  Visit the Public Interest Projects website to see the report,