Natomas Unified Unanimously Supports Campaign to Increase the Number of Young Men of Color Attending and Graduating from Region’s Universities

--- Published on October 15th 2021 ---
Improve Your Tomorrow program

Natomas Unified School District (NUSD) proudly supports the 1300 Campaign, an initiative spearheaded by Improve Your Tomorrow (IYT), the Sierra Health Foundation, My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The Campaign aims to send an additional 1300 young men of color (YMOC) to Sacramento State and UC Davis by 2025. During the October 13, 2021, Board meeting, Trustees enthusiastically approved a resolution proclaiming their support of the Campaign’s 9-point policy plan, which is directly aligned with the district’s college and career readiness focus. 

Included in the adopted resolution is a provision committed to ending willful defiance school suspensions district-wide. Recognizing that data shows that students of color are often disproportionately suspended at higher rates than their peers throughout the state, Natomas Unified is committed to addressing that and making systemic changes that dramatically decrease the suspensions of young men of color.

The 1300 Campaign complements what Natomas Unified is currently doing to ensure students have a pathway to attend college, such as increasing student access to AP classes, providing opportunities to take college courses while in high school, and creating class schedules that automatically include A-G courses, a requirement to enroll in most 4-year colleges and universities.  

“Anytime we can provide more access to our students, particularly those that are underrepresented and marginalized, to support their success, it’s a win. We’ve always had a great partnership with IYT through the mentoring programs and college tours that they provide to our students. When they approached us about the 1300 Campaign and the impact it will have on our young men of color, we immediately wanted to be a part of it,” said Chris Evans, Superintendent.

Through partnerships with the Los Rios Community Colleges, Sacramento State University, and University of California, Davis, the 1300 Campaign seeks to permanently transform the Sacramento region by creating an equitable pipeline for more young men of color to obtain college degrees. According to research conducted by the 1300 Campaign, young men of color with college degrees are 38 times less likely than their peers without degrees to be incarcerated. We also know that it’s well documented that individuals that obtain a college degree generally have expanded access to job opportunities, increased earning potential, and economic stability.

“Systemic inequalities continue to disproportionately and negatively impact the academic prospects of our black and brown youth. However, through their participation in the 1300 Campaign, Natomas Unified School District is helping lead the charge against systemic inequalities.” Said Michael Lynch, Co-Founder and CEO of IYT.

Continuing, Lynch stated, “All of us at IYT want to extend a huge thank you to Natomas Unified School District and Superintendent Chris Evans for meeting this critical moment and committing to permanently transforming the systemic barriers that limit the opportunities for young men of color.”

The 1300 Campaign is a targeted policy campaign geared toward ending the school to prison pipeline. To learn more about the 1300 Campaign, please visit www.1300campaign.org.