Why & What We Do
The League works for and with Black, Brown, undocumented, and low-income students to advance policies and practices that increase college access and affordability, as well as to mobilize against inequitable policies. Grounded in the lived experiences of our members, The League’s policy agenda aims to tackle policy issues that are both broad and nuanced. The League depends on close relationships with our members to center the issues impacting students on campuses across Missouri and Southern Illinois.
The League takes action on student issues, utilizing the brain trust of The Scholarship Foundation’s Policy Fellows to lead and strategize advocacy efforts. Policy Fellows and League members flesh out student concerns, using research and data analysis, into a workable policy agenda.
The Policy Fellowship began in 2014 to engage current college students in the decisions that impact their ability to go to college. Since 2014, Policy Fellows have researched and advocated at the state level for increased need-based aid, divestment from merit-based aid, and scholarship/tuition equity for undocumented students. In 2015, The League (then the Active Advocacy Coalition) was created to build upon and mobilize the efforts of the Policy Fellows. In 2015, the League began its federal policy agenda and during the 2020 annual meeting, laid the groundwork for a campus policy agenda. The League and the Scholarship Foundation continues to pioneer student-led advocacy as a strategy to close the equity gaps that exist in higher education.
We value equity. We define equity and work to live in a world that practices it. Developing equity consciousness (internal and external awareness of systemic oppression and its effects) and commitment (the will to take up equity challenges).
We value justice. We are a broad, diverse community of people who are driven by a commitment to justice. We prioritize support that improves the lives students and people of color. We work to introduce new alliances and tools for challenging racism, sexism, classism, inequities, injustices, and homophobia, across our communities.
We value critical inquiry. We recognize that building community requires time, effort, and sacrifice. We see questions as essential to growth, renewal, and the overturning of ideas that harm our communities.
We value tenacity. We are bold, daring, fearless, and steadfast in challenging assumptions and conventions in ways that resonate and connect with grassroots communities. We think critically and strategically in search of the best answers and approaches.
We value innovation. We approach our work with optimism, think boldly, and see new ideas as opportunities for transformation, forward growth, and social change.
We value authenticity. We live at the intersections, transgressing boundaries and uplifting our communities.