The UPDATE | September 21 | Addressing Racial Disparities & Advocating for Youth

Addressing Racial Disparities & Advocating for Youth

Dramatic Racial Disparities in Reading and Math Proficiency Demonstrate Urgent Need for Broad Policy Change

According to recent PARCC assessment results published by the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education:

  • 23% of Black students and 32% of Latinx students showed proficiency in reading, compared to 82% of their white classmates

  • 11% of Black students and 19% of Latinx students demonstrated proficiency in math, compared with 75% of white peers

Combatting discrimination and racism, along with advocating for publicly funded  early childhood, out-of-school-time, and other supportive programs can transform opportunities and outcomes for District children.


When DC Council Returns to Work, They Need to Prioritize Children and Youth

The DC Council returned from summer recess earlier this week and held their first legislative meeting on Tuesday, September 19. With families across the District facing increased burdens, we are mobilizing our supporters to make their voices heard to ensure Mayor Bowser and the DC Council center the needs of Black and brown children and youth as their top priorities. In the coming weeks, we will release our budget and policy recommendations and mobilize supporters. 



DC’s Young People Talk Candidly about Mental Health Challenges in New Video

In a new video from the Youth Voices Youth Power Project, young people from across the District explained the significant impact that mental health challenges have on their lives. Interviews featured in the video were conducted throughout 2023 with young people involved in 10 community-based organizations that partnered with the Youth Voices Youth Power Project. We asked these young people  to share their opinions and experiences about life in the District in order to amplify their stories to help channel and build their power.


DC Action Names Jorge Membreño as Director of Youth Advocacy

Jorge Membreño, a licensed independent clinical social worker, has focused his career on the intersections of identity, marginalized communities, and supportive services. He provides a trauma-responsive and equity lens to his work both in his advocacy and his counseling practice. 


Before joining DC Action, Membreño was a Special Advisor for Youth and Families with the Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH). He previously served in multiple Director-level roles at SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders) to build safe and stable shelters, case management services, mental health counseling, crisis intervention, and community support for LGBTQ youth. 


Membreño earned his BA in Psychology from Christopher Newport University and a master’s degree in social work from Boston University. He is the proud son of Salvadoran immigrants and was born in Washington, DC, which he calls home.


About DC Action

DC Action is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, multi-issue advocacy organization making the District of Columbia a place where all kids grow up safe, resilient, powerful and heard. DC Action uses research, data, and a racial equity lens to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential. We are home to DC Kids CountUnder 3 DCDC Out-of-School Time Coalition, Youth Voices Youth Power Project, the DC Home Visiting Council and the Youth Economic Justice and Housing Coalition. Our collaborative advocacy campaigns bring the power of young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.

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