We believe the American dream begins with every child having an opportunity to learn — from Pre-K to college — regardless of their zipcode. Our mission is to ensure this through an expanding base of voters, policymakers and advocates who work to enact and adopt evidence-based solutions.
Ms. Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez currently serves as President to the Board of Education of the Azusa Unified School District. She currently serves as the President of the California Latino School Boards Association (CLSBA). She also serves on the California School Board Association's School Wellness and Conference Committees. Board Member Cruz-Gonzalez is an alumni member of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) California Health Leadership Program, and is currently collaborating with city and school district leadership and other Azusa community members to develop a “Healthy Azusa”. She also serves as a founding board member and Secretary to the San Gabriel Valley Civic Alliance. She holds her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Mayor Andrew D. Gillum, an alumnus of Florida A&M University (FAMU), former president of the Student Government Association, and FAMU’s first student member of the Board of Trustees became the youngest person ever elected to the four-member Tallahassee City Commission in February 2003. When elected at the age of 23, he was a student majoring in political science. Passion for public service, and the ability to motivate and mobilize people to action garnered his re-election in August 2004 to a four year term on the Commission. He was elected Mayor of Tallahassee in August 2014.
Mayor Gillum has held prominent leadership roles such as Mayor Pro Tem, Chairman–Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency and lead commissioner for the Long Range Community Based Target Issue Committee. In keeping with his mantra to uplift and build the collective community, Andrew has championed several community initiatives including the Nims Middle School Digital Harmony Pilot Program, the Landlord Tenant Mediation Program; the Code Enforcement Amnesty Program; and the creation of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Park.
Mayor Gillum served as Field Organizer and statewide Director of the “Arrive With 5” program with People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF). He organized the largest “Arrive With 5” get-out-the-vote campaign in Florida’s history. He also worked as Deputy Political Director with the Florida Democratic Party. He was the inaugural National Director of the Young Elected Officials Network with PFAWF, in which he initiated and spearheaded a program that unites elected officials age 35 and under in a network that supports them with leadership and personal development training and public policy support. His success garnered him the position of Director of Youth Leadership Programs for PFAWF. In this role he oversees the strategic planning, implementation, and development of three program areas: Young People For, Young Elected Officials Network, and the Young Professionals Activist network.
Mayor Gillum serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Schott Foundation for Public Education. He also has been recognized as an emerging leader by the Congressional Black Caucus, Jet Magazine, Ebony Magazine, the Association of Trial Lawyers for America (ATLA), The Drum Major Institute, IMPACT and FAMU’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award.
On July 2, 2007, Dr. John H. Jackson became the President and CEO of The Schott Foundation for Public Education. In this role, Dr. Jackson leads the Foundation’s efforts to ensure a high quality public education for all students regardless of race or gender. Dr. Jackson joined the Schott Foundation after seven productive years in leadership positions at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He served as the NAACP Chief Policy Officer and prior to that as the NAACP's National Director of Education.
Dr. Jackson also served as an Adjunct Professor of Race, Gender, and Public Policy at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. In 1999, President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Dr. Jackson to serve in his administration as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education.
Dr. Jackson possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Xavier University of Louisiana; A Master of Education in Education Policy from the University of Illinois' College of Education; and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois' College of Law. In addition, Dr. Jackson received a Master of Education and Doctorate of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Jackson served on the Obama-Biden transition team as a member of the President’s 13-member Education Policy Transition Work Group.
Abby Levine serves as Director of the Bolder Advocacy initiative at Alliance for Justice. She provides legal guidance that encourages grantmakers to support advocacy and other nonprofit organizations to participate in policymaking decisions through an understanding of federal tax and election law. Abby’s work includes creating curriculum, teaching workshops, providing technical assistance, writing plain-language legal guides, and describing federal legislative and regulatory developments that impact nonprofits.
Prior to joining Alliance for Justice in 2004, Abby served as the Public Policy Analyst at the National Council of Nonprofit Associations (NCNA). At NCNA, Abby monitored and analyzed issues affecting the nonprofit sector, such as challenges to nonprofit tax exemptions and advocacy, state budget cuts, government grants streamlining, and corporate governance.