Education Civil Rights Alliance

Schools should serve, educate, empower and, above all, be safe for all students. They should be places where students feel assured their rights and humanity are respected. But today, students’ civil rights are increasingly under attack. We stand against these attacks by helping state and local partners advocate for their school districts to support students and by taking legal action, when necessary, to protect students' civil rights.

ECRA's mission

The ECRA ensures the civil rights of historically and presently marginalized students are protected by providing resources to students, parents, educators, school districts, and advocates on creating safe, inclusive, and affirming schools, supporting state and local legal enforcement actions when school districts and states fail to do so, raising public awareness of the challenges students face, and serving as a deterrent to discriminatory school policies and practices.

We recognize that educators are the primary connection to classrooms and students. That’s why the ECRA also works with educators across the country who want to ensure our schools are equitable places where all students—particularly historically marginalized students—can learn and grow. 

Our alliance includes over 90 members—powerful community groups, experienced educators, the nation’s largest teachers’ unions, legal organizations, national associations, civil rights organizations, researchers, and individuals committed to ensuring that schools serve, educate, empower, and are safe for all students. 

student sits at a desk writing in a booklet

ECRA's Priorities

The ECRA centers racial justice and prioritizes work on civil rights issues that impact students living at the intersections of identities that have been historically marginalized. In 2024, the ECRA will be supporting state and local efforts in these 3 issues areas:

  • School-to-Prison Pipeline
  • School Resource Inequity
  • Attacks on public education, including book banning and harmful legislation opposed to “critical race theory,” LGBTQI+ students’ rights, equity, and academic freedom.

Where to Learn More

The Education Civil Rights Alliance is convened by the National Center for Youth Law and managed by Sabrina Bernadel, a member of NCYL’s Education Team. Email Sabrina at