Black Student Leadership Network2023-05-04T08:54:39-05:00
2022 Children’s Sabbath Manual: Raising Democracy by Resurrecting Hope

Black Student Leadership Network

In 2022, Children’s Defense Fund revitalized our historic Black Student Leadership Network (BSLN). The aim of BSLN is to develop a pipeline of Black servant leaders, from pre-K through college, who will guide us toward a future where children—especially our most marginalized—are provided every opportunity to thrive. ​

Through BSLN, CDF offers financial and training resources to support student and youth organizing efforts through development of curricula, trainings, and network development.

Core Components of BSLN

Highlights from 2022 BSLN Conference


BSLN Members Featured in Youth Response to the 2023 State of the Union Address

Michael Henry

Michael Henry

Zakaria Jamari

Zakaria Jamari

Children’s Defense Fund is pleased to share that two members of our Black Student Leadership Network—Michael Henry and Zakaria Jamari—have been selected to speak during the Young People’s Address after the 2023 State of the Union.

Henry, of Fayetteville, NC, is a Senior Political Science Major at Morehouse College. There he serves in various capacities, including as President of the Student Ambassador Team, a Study Abroad Ambassador for the Office of International Education, and a Prison Education Student Ambassador for the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership. Jamari, of Saint Paul, MN, attends University of Minnesota where he studies Psychology with minors in Public Health, Integrative Neuroscience, and Management. After graduation, Jamari hopes to pursue a Psy.D. in clinical psychology and become a licensed psychologist healing his community.

The #YoungPeopleAddress streamed live at 10:30pm EST on Tuesday, February 7.

Black Student Leadership Network Group

CDF Provided Opportunity to Reimagine its Black Student Leadership Network through NBA Foundation Grant

Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is deeply rooted in amplifying young Black leaders’ vision and voice for a more just democracy and economy. With support from the NBA Foundation, CDF has revitalized its historic efforts to develop a pipeline of Black servant leaders who will lead today’s movements and guide us towards a brighter future where children, especially our most marginalized, are provided every opportunity to thrive.

The effort is part of CDF’s renewed commitment to community power building, which sparked the creation of CDF’s new Movement Building unit earlier this year, which seeks to facilitate local organizing for parents, youth, and faith leaders.

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For questions about the Black Student Student Leadership Network, email