Forward Promise Innovation Grantee

National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI)

National Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC)

Promoting students’ human rights to education and dignity in schools.

The National Economic and Social Rights Initiative created the Dignity in Schools Campaign to unite parents, youth, advocates and educators to end harmful discipline practices that disproportionately exclude low-income students of color. They in turn help schools implement positive approaches to discipline that reduce conflict and improve teaching and learning.


More about Dignity in Schools


Highlights from Week of Action Against School Pushout

Highlights from Week of Action Against School Pushout

In the fall of 2013, over 60 organizations in 22 states joined Dignity in Schools in the campaign to Push Back Against School Pushout as part of their National Week of Action. Each day during the Week of Action, Campaign members and allies across the country held marches, rallies, teach-ins, community forums, film screenings and more.

Read more


Tyrone Sinclair, Youth Leader from NESRI's Youth Justice Coalition in Los Angeles

“...No young person should be deprived of the essential tools and skills that they need to succeed in our society. We need college prep, not prison prep. We need education, not incarceration,” Tyrone said at a Dignity in Schools Campaign Rally in Washington, D.C. In “Growing Fairness” Tyrone shares his story on school expulsion to L.A. County Jail and the power of restorative justice within the Youth Justice Coalition.

Video Series

See more RWJF videos

In the news

Parent, Youth & Teacher Advocates Fight To End Unjust School Suspensions

March 26, 2014 – A group parent, youth and teacher advocates rally in Washington, DC to support alternatives to a culture of zero-tolerance and end the school-to-prison pipeline. The group was part of the Dignity in School Campaign (DSC), a coalition made up of 78 organizations from 22 states that’s challenging the current ‘push out’ problem in today’s schools.

Read more

Dignity in Schools Campaign Calls on Lawmakers to End “Zero Tolerance” Policies

March 26, 2014 – Students and activists from across the country went to Capitol Hill this week to demand lawmakers set education policy that encourages students instead of criminalizing them. New data from the Department of Education shows students of color as young as preschoolers are suspended at rates several times those of white students. 

Read more

Restorative Justice' After-School Special

October 4, 2012 – The American Prospect writes on the documentary, Growing Fairness, aimed to train an army of educators set on using restorative justice instead of punishment when dealing with high-school kids.

Read more

Advocates call for an end to the criminalization of students in New York and around the country

September 12, 2013 – Rolling Stone Magazine mentions Dignity in Schools’ statistics, including that although "only a third of students in New York City are black, they received over half (53 percent) of the suspensions over the past decade."

Read more

The School-to-Prison Pipeline Gets Its First-Ever Hearing in the Senate

December 13, 2012 – ColorLines shares how members of the Dignity in Schools members spoke at the first-ever airing in the Senate. 

Read more