Even before she became a third grade teacher in the South Bronx, Christine Green knew that she wanted to become a lawyer to change education. Growing up in South Georgia, the world Christine lived in seemed unjust, especially in education, and she believed that lawyers were smart people who could help solve the problems she witnessed.
As a kid, Christine saw how the all-white, mostly middle class students in the private school she attended did not have attendance problems, and did not come to school hungry -- a stark contrast to the students in her mom’s classroom at an all Black, mostly poor, county public school. Christine heard her mom’s students talk about not being expected to attend college, about having to miss school to take care of younger siblings, and how food and clothes were real, everyday concerns.
Christine realized that the dichotomy was one that adults had created, and she vowed to help change it. She became a teacher first through Teach For America to not only change the trajectory of her students’ lives, but also to learn more about the problems they faced, so that she could address them with a law degree.
Now, as General Counsel for Leadership for Educational Equity -- a nonpartisan, nonprofit leadership development organization working to end the injustice of educational inequity by inspiring and supporting a diverse set of leaders with classroom experience to engage civically and politically -- Christine is using her legal expertise to actualize educational equity.
Christine’s work and accomplishments include:
Supporting Leadership for Educational Equity members who are training and educating teachers and former teachers to organize their communities and build a movement for educational equity.
Working to connect members who are law students or lawyers to use their legal skills for education with other members seeking legal research and advice.
Finding a lawyer to draft a legislative brief in support of a bill establishing state financial oversight of a New York school district.
Helping source plaintiffs and pro bono legal counsel for impact litigation in lawsuits in two states.
Helping LEE members who are lawyers find new roles, including with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, and pro bono opportunities to represent other LEE members on matters as diverse as determining LBGTQ protections for school district employees, to district procurement policies, to forming a 501(c)(3) organization to tutor third graders.