California activist group pays students $1,400 to become racial and social justice warriors

California activist group pays students $1,400 to become racial and social justice warriors

A progressive activist group in California is paying students $1,400 each to become racial and social justice warriors — with the school district forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the “propaganda” programs, according to a report.

The Long Beach Unified School District funneled nearly $900,000 for a one-year contract to Californians for Justice (CFJ), a “youth-powered” non-profit that provides education and organizing on racial justice issues, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by the Free Press.

The hefty contract, which runs until June 2024, includes $60,200 for 33 students and 10 families or parents to receive $1,400 each to participate in CFJ’s training programs.

Californians for Justice..

Between 2023 and 2024, the Long Beach Unified School District funneled nearly $900,000 to Californians for Justice.. Facebook / Californians for Justice

The agreement states it is to “provide assistance to teachers, administrators and selected students in building strategies to support cultural understanding and change.”

On its website, CFJ boasts it has “trained hundreds of youth of color in Long Beach to be community leaders and organizers.”

The group explains it “provides leadership development opportunities throughout the school year and summer to ensure our youth leaders gain the political education and valuable organizing skills they need to lead social justice movements.”

‘It’s so fun! You get paid good, you can have a fun time,” one student participant gushed in a recent video on the CFJ Instagram.

The non-profit focuses on racial and social inequity in California cities.

The non-profit focuses on racial and social inequity in California cities. Facebook / Californians for Justice

A spokesperson for the Long Beach district – which, at 65,500 students, is that state’s fourth-largest – told the Free Press that the student stipends are “internships.”

It is to ensure “equitable participation in CFJ programs, embracing diverse perspectives in education,” they added.

Four teachers from the Long Beach district, however, told the Free Press that they had serious reservations about CFJ’s work.

One educator denounced the payments for participating as a “horrible propaganda strategy.”

“I am shocked and horrified at such a fact,” another teacher told the outlet of the student and family stipends.

This isn’t the first year that the Long Beach district has partnered with CFJ. Since December 2019, the district has paid the group nearly $2 million to work with them, according to the Free Press.

The group pays $1,400 to students who participate in their programing.

The group pays $1,400 to students who participate in their programing. Facebook / Californians for Justice

In 2021, CFJ ran three professional development sessions at Long Beach high schools, the outlet said, citing a past contract.

During those sessions, participants were encouraged to embrace the role of “student voice” and to work with teachers and admins “to advance a district wide Equity Agenda,” the 2021-2022 contract read.

CFJ was contracted to host 15 more of those trainings during the 2023-24 school year, according to the latest contract.

One teacher – who declined to give her name – told the Free Press that she thinks the workshops have become open forums for students to simply complain about the schools.

“[One student said] they would come to class on time if we built relationships with them,” she recalled.

“It’s helpful to hear their voice and know what they think would help them learn better, but I feel like you can do that with a focus group,” she added.

The educator also expressed concern that the activist organization is just feeding students “scripts.”

“The way that they are handing scripts to students, even the words coming out of the students’ mouths it just feels like indoctrination and not information,” she told the outlet. 

“One of the reasons that [CFJ] were hired is to help our students find their voice and be able to express it” Jay Goldfischer, a high school history teacher, agreed.

“They’re teaching them parroting,” he insisted, “which is the exact opposite of how you empower children.”

CFJ has drawn some criticism from teachers in the district.

CFJ has drawn some criticism from teachers in the district. Facebook / Californians for Justice

In a statement to the Free Press, CFJ said: “Our agenda is not hidden and is simple: we want the Long Beach Unified School District to be a place where every student is represented honestly in classrooms and curricula, and where they are safe to be in critical dialogue supportive of democratic participation across differences.”

The Long Beach Unified School District and CFJ did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

Menawhile, Goldfischer, who is Jewish, also took issue with the group’s approach to the Israel-Hamas war.

On Oct. 23 – just a few weeks after the terrorist group killed 1,200 people in southern Israel – CFJ posted on Instagram expressing support for the Palestinian cause, but did not mention the loss of Israeli lives.

Goldfsicher, some of his colleagues, and parents complained about what they felt were antisemitic undertones to CFJ’s posts.

Eventually, the president of the Long Beach school board, Diana Craighead, responded to one teacher’s concerns, and admitted that “I, too, am concerned with the antisemitic nature of their opinions,” the Free Press reported.

“However, I felt that the benefit of their support for our students outweighed my concerns,” Craighead explained.

In addition to the Long Beach district, CFJ is also contracted by Fresno, Oakland, and San Jose.

From June 2020 through June 2023, the Fresno Unified School District paid the acitvist organization $150,000 for leadership programming, the Free Press said, citing public documents.

The financial exchanges between CFJ and Oakland or San Jose were not available, the outlet said.


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