Non-profit

482 Forward

Website:

www.482forward.org

Location:

Detroit, MI

Tax ID:

47-3537426

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2018):

Revenue: $583,624
Expenses: $496,669
Assets: $611,515

Formation:

2016

Organizing Director:

Molly Sweeney

482 Forward (482F) is a left-of-center organization based in Detroit that advocates for left-of-center education policy, including increased public school funding and greater influence for labor unions within the public school system. [1] 482F has opposed charter schools and other school choice programs, claiming that they take resources away from failing public schools. [2] The organization has also supported left-of-center criminal justice policy, advocating for the removal of all police officers from public schools in Detroit. [3]

482F helped to start the Michigan Education Justice Coalition (MEJC), a left-of-center organizing collective which pushes for left-wing education policy. MEJC advocates for public schools to require the teaching of critical race theory, an educational philosophy which teaches that the United States is fundamentally racist, in public schools. Left-of-center organizations including the Metropolitan Organizing Strategy for Enabling Strength (MOSES), the ACLU of Michigan, and We the People-Michigan also assisted in founding MEJC. [4] [5]

Background

482F is a left-of-center parent and student advocacy organization which claims that racist, oppressive policies drive the public education system. Most notably, 482F advocates for massive increases in public education funding in Michigan, calling for nearly $4 billion in additional funding, a 25% increase relative to Michigan’s budget. To fund the increase in the education budget, 482F has called for the introduction of a progressive income tax in Michigan, which currently has a flat-rate income tax. [6] [7] 482F has claimed the additional funding would be spent towards student counseling, social work, and other mental health measures in schools. [8]

482F attempts to build its power and influence by networking within the Detroit community and partnering with other left-of-center organizations in the area. The organization leads protests, legislative campaigns, and other grassroots to promote its left-of-center education agenda. [9] [10]

Activism

482F frequently engages in activism to promote increased funding for public education. The organization has fought to keep poor performing schools open even when their closures are mandared by law, organizing press conferences, town halls, rallies, lobbying, and petitions to stop school closures. 482F has also worked with private actors in order to support the public school system, organizing with two church groups to transport students with poor attendance records who found it difficult to get to their assigned public schools. [11] [12]

482F has also organized coalitions to support increased school funding in Detroit. The organization helped create the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, a group of left-of-center organizations which advocated in support of a state bill to increase funding in order to pay down debt and cover the transition costs of splitting Detroit Public Schools into two different systems. The bill also supported the continued prevalence of left-of-center labor unions and union-negotiated contracts withing the districts. [13]

In 2020, 482F organized parents to pressure Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) to settle a lawsuit which found that the state had violated children’s rights to learn to read during its emergency management of the Detroit Public School system. 482F pushed for the settlement to codify the idea that children have a “fundamental right to read.” Gov. Whitmer agreed to a $100 million settlement, with the funds going to literacy programs and two public task forces on improving the city’s public schools. [14]

Anti-School Choice Advocacy

Aside from advocating in support of increased public-school funding, 482F has opposed school choice programs and charter schools since its founding. In 2017, 482F supported a lawsuit against the state of Michigan after it appropriated $2.5 million of the state’s $16 billion education budget to private schools to cover the costs of enforcing state mandates. The lawsuit claimed that the small amount of funding would be a “gateway” to school voucher programs. [15]

In 2019, 482F recruited student organizers, including Universal Academy charter school student Tuhfa Kasem. Kasem claimed that after joining 482F, she realized the alleged “educational injustice” she was facing at her charter school and was inspired to dedicate her salutatorian speech at Universal Academy to bashing the school. Kasem claimed that Universal Academy had subjected her to “unlawful” injustices and expected her and her peers to “stay quiet and accept it as first-generation Yemeni and Iraqi students,” without providing details for any of the alleged “injustice.” [16]

That same year, then-Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited a Detroit charter school to advocate for school choice programs. 482F organizers protested alongside the left-of-center Detroit Federation of Teachers, advocating for an additional $3.7 billion in public school funding and claiming that the organization wanted “Betsy DeVos to fully fund schools in this state.” [17]

In April 2021, Detroit proposed to sell 10 vacant acres of land to KIPP, a national charter school operator. Activists affiliated with 482F and the radical, left-wing activist organization By Any Means Necessary protested the measure, claiming that it would draw students and resources from unsuccessful Detroit public schools and other existing private schools. [18]

Opposition to Policing in Schools

In June 2020, following a wave of protests and riots opposing alleged police brutality, 482F organized a protest outside the Detroit Public Schools office building to protest the presence of police officers in the Detroit school system. 482F demanded that the Detroit Public Schools Police Department (DPSPD) be defunded, instead redirecting funding to guidance counselors and “restorative justice programs.” [19]

482F demanded an immediate 50% decrease in DPSPD funding to be redirected towards “trauma-informed care,” in addition to a commitment to “fully defunding the DPSCD Police Department by June 2021. [20] Following the protest led by 482F, the head of the Detroit school board announced that the district would create two panels to improve school safety and monitor the district police department. [21]

482F has supported left-of-center criminal justice proposals for years. In 2018, 482F sent student organizers to a conference which encouraged high school students to come up with plans for a “restorative justice center” instead of a jail in Wayne County. The students proposed that instead of being sent to jail, convicted felons could go to a center with “health centers, retail shops, a restorative justice space, cultural and religious centers, dog parks, people parks, museums, cafes, and, most popularly, a mental health spa.” [22]

482F founded the Michigan Education Justice Coalition (MEJC) alongside other left-of-center organizations, including the Michigan branch of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Detroit chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the ACLU of Michigan, the Metropolitan Organizing Strategy for Enabling Strength (MOSES), and We the People-Michigan. [23] [24]

MEJC has since adopted a left-wing educational policy agenda, including increasing public-school funding, eliminating suspensions and expulsions in public schools, implementing instruction in critical race theory, and allowing students to serve on school boards and the Michigan state Board of Education. [25] [26] [27] [28] [29]

MEJC has nearly 20 left-of-center coalition members as of 2021, including the Detroit Federation of Teachers, Michigan Liberation, Detroit Action, and the Urban Core Collective. [30]

Leadership

482F is led by a group or four “organizers.” Molly Sweeney is the organizing director at 482F. Sweeney graduated college in 2009, after which she worked as the lead organizer of Detroit Action Commonwealth, a campaign group that recruited among homeless people and section-8 housing residents to advocate for left-of-center housing policy. [31]

Maurice Weeks sits on the board of 482F. [32] Weeks is also the co-executive director of the left-wing Action Center on Race and Economy (ACRE). Prior to joining ACRE, Weeks worked at the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). Weeks supports left-wing policies, writing that “if he had a magic wand, he’d abolish the police, prisons, hedge funds, pharmaceutical companies, corporate landlords and white supremacy.” [33]

Finances

482Forward reported $583,624 in revenue in 2018, down from $702,074 in 2017. The organization also reported $496,669 in expenses, a significant increase from 482F’s 2017 expenses of $364,798. Salaries and other compensation contributed $275,894 to the organization’s total expenses. Despite increased costs and falling revenue, 482F’s net assets increased from $524,060 in 2017 to $611,515 in 2018. [34]

482F received a $200,000 donation in 2019 from the Stillman Foundation, a Detroit-based foundation which supports left-of-center education policy. organization that advances an opportunity agenda that includes k-12 education, afterschool work, and college and career pathways for Detroit children. In 2020, the left-of-center Kapor Foundation provided 482F with a grant between $15,000 and $100,000, though the exact amount is unknown as of early 2021. [35]

References

  1. “Education Organizing.” 482Forward. Accessed May 23, 2021. https://www.482forward.org/education-organizing.html. ^
  2. Oosting, Jonathan. “Groups Sue to Stop Public Funds for Private Schools.” The Detroit News. The Detroit News, March 21, 2017. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/03/21/private-school-lawsuit/99444418/. ^
  3. “Detroit School Board Adds Monitoring Panel after ‘No Police in Schools’ Rally.” Deadline Detroit, June 17, 2020. https://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/25535/detroit_school_board_adds_monitoring_panel_after_no_police_in_schools_rally. ^
  4. “Michigan Education Justice Coalition Healing and Healthy Schools Platform.” Michigan Education Justice Coalition, April 12, 2021. https://michiganedjustice.org/platform/. ^
  5. Dobbie, David. “Michigan Education Justice Coalition.” AFT Michigan. AFT Michigan, November 7, 2014. https://aftmichigan.org/michigan-education-justice-coalition/. ^
  6. BABIES OVER BILLIONAIRES. Accessed May 23, 2021. https://www.babiesoverbillionaires.org/. ^
  7. LeBlanc, Craig Mauger and Beth. “New Ballot Campaign Seeks Higher Taxes for Higher-Income Earners in Michigan.” The Detroit News. The Detroit News, February 28, 2020. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2020/02/28/new-ballot-campaign-seeks-higher-taxes-higher-earners-michigan/4906748002/. ^
  8. Wisely, John. “Betsy DeVos: Michigan Needs to Offer More School Choices.” Detroit Free Press. Detroit Free Press, September 20, 2019. https://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2019/09/20/betsy-devos-detroit-charter-school/2378201001/. ^
  9. “Education Organizing.” 482Forward. Accessed May 23, 2021. https://www.482forward.org/education-organizing.html. ^
  10. “Structure, Bylaws & Platform.” 482Forward. Accessed May 23, 2021. https://www.482forward.org/structure-bylaws–platform.html. ^
  11. “Chronic Absenteeism.” 482Forward. Accessed May 23, 2021. https://www.482forward.org/chronic-absenteeism.html. ^
  12. “School Closures.” 482Forward. Accessed May 23, 2021. https://www.482forward.org/school-closures.html. ^
  13. “Equity and Accountability.” 482Forward. Accessed May 23, 2021. https://www.482forward.org/equity-and-accountability.html. ^
  14. Hawkins, Beth. “Michigan Agrees to Aid Detroit Schools With $100 Million in Dedicated Literacy Funds After Courts Agree With New Legal Theory That Students Have Right to Read.” The 74. The 74 Media Inc., May 4, 2020. https://www.the74million.org/article/new-legal-theory-leads-to-court-ruling-that-detroit-students-have-a-right-to-literacy-now-michigans-governor-has-until-thursday-to-act/. ^
  15. Oosting, Jonathan. “Groups Sue to Stop Public Funds for Private Schools.” The Detroit News. The Detroit News, March 21, 2017. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/03/21/private-school-lawsuit/99444418/. ^
  16. Khaleel, Sonia. “Tuhfa Kasem Used Her Salutatorian Speech to Speak out against Her Detroit Charter School.” Detroit Metro Times. Detroit Metro Times, May 24, 2021. https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/tuhfa-kasem-used-her-salutatorian-speech-to-speak-out-against-her-detroit-charter-school/Content?oid=23423727. ^
  17. Wisely, John. “Betsy DeVos: Michigan Needs to Offer More School Choices.” Detroit Free Press. Detroit Free Press, September 20, 2019. https://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2019/09/20/betsy-devos-detroit-charter-school/2378201001/. ^
  18. Levin, Koby. “City Faces Blowback for Plan to Sell Vacant Land to KIPP Charter School.” Chalkbeat Detroit. Chalkbeat Detroit, April 28, 2021. https://detroit.chalkbeat.org/2021/4/27/22406847/detroit-faces-blowback-kipp-land-sale. ^
  19. “Detroit School Board Adds Monitoring Panel after ‘No Police in Schools’ Rally.” Deadline Detroit, June 17, 2020. https://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/25535/detroit_school_board_adds_monitoring_panel_after_no_police_in_schools_rally. ^
  20. “Detroit School Board Adds Monitoring Panel after ‘No Police in Schools’ Rally.” Deadline Detroit, June 17, 2020. https://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/25535/detroit_school_board_adds_monitoring_panel_after_no_police_in_schools_rally ^
  21. Catolico, Eleanore. “Two New Panels Will Review Safety and Provide Oversight of the Detroit School District’s Police Force.” Chalkbeat Detroit. Chalkbeat Detroit, June 16, 2020. https://detroit.chalkbeat.org/2020/6/16/21293706/two-new-panels-will-review-safety-and-provide-oversight-of-the-detroit-school-districts-police-force. ^
  22. Corey, Samuel. “Detroit Teens Reimagine Criminal Justice with Alternative to New Jail.” Detroit Metro Times. Detroit Metro Times, July 19, 2019. https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2018/10/05/detroit-teens-reimagine-criminal-justice-with-alternative-to-new-jail. ^
  23. “Michigan Education Justice Coalition Healing and Healthy Schools Platform.” Michigan Education Justice Coalition, April 12, 2021. https://michiganedjustice.org/platform/. ^
  24. Dobbie, David. “Michigan Education Justice Coalition.” AFT Michigan. AFT Michigan, November 7, 2014. https://aftmichigan.org/michigan-education-justice-coalition/. ^
  25. “Michigan Education Justice Coalition Healing and Healthy Schools Platform.” Michigan Education Justice Coalition, April 12, 2021. https://michiganedjustice.org/platform/. ^
  26. Dobbie, David. “Michigan Education Justice Coalition.” AFT Michigan. AFT Michigan, November 7, 2014. https://aftmichigan.org/michigan-education-justice-coalition/. ^
  27. “Michigan Education Justice Coalition.” Facebook. Accessed May 23, 2021. https://www.facebook.com/MichiganEducationJusticeCoalition. ^
  28. Network, Action. “Michigan Educational Justice Coalition : Michigan Educational Justice Coalition.” The Action Network. Accessed May 23, 2021. https://actionnetwork.org/groups/michigan-educational-justice-coalition. ^
  29. “About.” Michigan Education Justice Coalition, October 20, 2020. https://michiganedjustice.org/about/. ^
  30. Dobbie, David. “Michigan Education Justice Coalition.” AFT Michigan. AFT Michigan, November 7, 2014. https://aftmichigan.org/michigan-education-justice-coalition/. ^
  31. “Staff & Board.” 482Forward. Accessed June 1, 2021. https://www.482forward.org/staff–board.html. ^
  32. “Staff & Board.” 482Forward. Accessed June 1, 2021. https://www.482forward.org/staff–board.html ^
  33. “Staff.” Action Center on Race and the Economy, April 7, 2021. https://acrecampaigns.org/about/staff/. ^
  34. “482 Forward”. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990). 2018. Part I Lines 12, 18, 15, 22. ^
  35. “Kapor Foundation Gives $1 Million In Grant Funding To Social Justice Organizations.” Kapor Foundation . PR NewsWire, September 25, 2020. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/kapor-foundation-gives-1-million-in-grant-funding-to-social-justice-organizations-301137984.html. ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 2016

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2018 Dec Form 990 $583,624 $496,669 $611,515 $0 N $583,624 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $702,074 $364,798 $524,560 $500 N $702,074 $0 $0 $0
    2016 Dec Form 990 $786,352 $599,568 $186,784 $0 N $785,466 $886 $0 $0

    482 Forward

    1211 TRUMBULL ST
    Detroit, MI 48216-1940