CADRE was founded with a set of beliefs that has guided us to this day, and has formed the basis of everything we do. We BELIEVE that:
- Every parent or caregiver in South LA is a valuable asset of the community.
- Each parent or caregiver in South LA is capable of being a leader for social change.
- Raising a child in South LA is a political act: helping children discover their self-worth and life options in an environment of racist oppression and repression takes incredible resistance to negative forces and constant negotiation with power for the most basic of needs.
- The quality of life in South LA depends almost entirely on the quality of its schools. As a public we will only achieve real education reform when parents have real power.
- The community will develop if the schools develop collective consciousness and solidarity among their students and parents. This requires resistance to labeling, tracking, dividing, and intensifying competition between children and parents along racial, economic, language, behavioral, or ability lines in order to separate children and families into economic winners and losers.
- Regardless of income, South LA parents are the true owners of public education: without them there would be no schools.
- Every person has the human rights to a quality education, dignity, and participation in the institutions that affect them.
Because of these beliefs, we most value:
- Parent leadership development and power
- Cultivation and collection of parent knowledge
- Parent decision-making
- Dignity and respect for parents
- Organizational democracy
- Collective struggle and identity
- Liberation from racism
- Social justice rooted in human rights: civil, political, economic, social, and cultural
- Accountability and responsibility
- Preservation of public education
So that our work consistently reflects our beliefs and values, we operate with the following principles:
- Primary members are parents/caregivers whose children attend public schools in the South LA region of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
- We strive for a membership equally balanced among African American and Latino parents, regardless of the demographics of schools and out of deep respect for both the shared and distinct histories and experiences in South LA.
- We remove language, transportation, and childcare barriers to every extent possible.
- Our members have the access, tools, support, and time they need to make the most informed, well thought-out decisions to direct the organization’s strategies and goals.
- We create and fulfill opportunities for all of our members to engage in a deep understanding of power and spheres of influence within the public systems that control the quality of their lives.
- Our work challenges the status quo of parent-school relationships at every opportunity and remains vigilant about our mission and vision.
- Our organization maintains independence and autonomy in order to maximize the power of our members to speak their truths and demand true community-driven solutions and public accountability.
- We learn from social change movement victories and shortcomings, past and present, in order to find the most promising strategies and tactics for building long-term power.
- We regularly evaluate the quality of our relationships and decisions, and our accountability to our members.