New York Appleseed Monthly: School Integration Under a Trump Administration
December 20 16
Advocacy ~ Integration ~ New York
School Integration Under a Trump A dministration

Dear Friends:

As we near the end of 2016 and the incoming Trump administration begins to take shape, the civil rights community can’t help but feel deep concern.  Perhaps most alarming is the incoming administration’s too close ties to white nationalism and anti-immigrant organizations deemed “deeply racist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). And we are already seeing the negative impacts of the election play out in classrooms in New York City and across the country. A post-election survey of 10,000 educators conducted by SPLC found an upswing in “verbal harassment, the use of slurs and derogatory language, and disturbing incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes and Confederate flags.”  At the policy level, many in the academic and civil rights communities are concerned that the president-elect’s choice for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, will promote precisely the kinds of school-choice strategies that produce racial and economic segregation.

With or without a federal partner, New York Appleseed will continue to seek Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of the Beloved Community in our schools.  The majority of New York Appleseed’s victories on school-integration have been at the local level, and under the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act, the majority of decision-making power will remain in the hands of state and local leaders. This means that now more than ever state and local advocacy is critical to ensuring the success of integration efforts. It will be up to local advocates to continue pressuring leaders to ensure all students have access to high-quality integrated schools. 

Ultimately, however, school integration is a fundamental commitment that we in New York must make to ourselves and our children - a commitment that must be more enduring than the vicissitudes of ideology and beyond the whims of elected officials.  The election and the extreme divisiveness (political, social, racial, and economic) of the campaign have exposed a country in need of healing.  As we reflect on the past year and figure out where we go from here, we can't rely on our political leaders to bring us together; we must rely on ourselves.  We must rely on our communities, and we must see in our schools the opportunity to bridge the divides that were exposed over the past two years. School and community integration is the remedy to this division, and we must continue striving to come together. With your help, we will continue to #MakeAmericaInteGREAT!

We thank you for your unyielding support.  Please know that New York Appleseed will continue our work for integrated schools and make New York City a beacon for the nation. 


The New York Appleseed Team    

Post-Election Statements and Resources

National Coalition on School Diversity Statement

New York Appleseed is a proud member of the National Coalition on School Diversity. In an essay titled, "This is what resistance looks like," Elise Boddie and Philip Tegler articulate a strong vision of unity, but insist on the need to resist regressive policies. Read the NCSD statement here

Appleseed Network Statement

New York Appleseed stands with the Appleseed network in our commitment to supporting and protecting our must vulnerable citizens. Read the statement. 

Post-Election Resource Guide

See Nebraska Appleseed's Resource Guide for Immigrants, Refugees, DACamented, and Advocates. 

Updates and Announcements

High School Choice Panel at Feerick Center for Social Justice

On November 1st Fordham Law School's Feerick Center for Social Justice hosted policy experts, practitioners, DOE officials and advocates for a full day conference to discuss the NYC high-school-choice process. Three panels were convened to discuss the process, the challenges, and possible solutions to inequitable access to NYC high schools. School Diversity Project Director Matt Gonzales joined student-assignment expert Michael Alves and others on a panel to discuss solutions, including a reduction in screened admission programs and an increase in educational option schools; removing priority groups for schools that limit access to underrepresented students; more robust support for middle-school parents; and an audit of the screening process for racial and economic bias. Read more here

New York Appleseed at the UFT

School Diversity Project Director Matt Gonzales, Amy Stuart-Wells (Teachers College, Columbia University),  Shino Tanikiawa (D3 CEC Vice-President), and  Liana Donahue, (Harvest Collegiate) sat on a panel at the UFT on November 16th to talk about the future of integration given the election of Donald Trump. Both Dr. Stuart-Wells and Gonzales suggested that while they didn’t anticipate a robust federal role in support (or against) integration from the incoming administration, state and local integration efforts would continue. 

Read and article in The Chief.

On Their Turf: IntegrateNYC4me and the DOE join forces

At the November NYC Diversity Council meeting, students from IntegrateNYC4me collaborated with Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack and his team on policy statements around "The Three Rs":  Racial Enrollment, Resources, and Relationships. They formed working committees and will be developing their policy goals into workable solutions.

Laundry City and Dinner at Brooklyn Arts and Science

New York Appleseed and Epic Next presented a performance of Laundry City at PS 705 - Brooklyn Arts & Science. The evening began with dinner, then moved into the auditorium for an intimate performance by the students. The performance was followed by a powerful student-facilatated discussion about the play, the state of NYC schools, and the interests/needs of students. 

NYC Integration Advocacy Coalition 

The NYC Integration Advocacy Coalition held it's third meeting at NYU Metro Center. Advocates from across the city developed four working groups to focus on specific topics. Group 1 will develop language for a citywide policy statement; Group 2 will work on defining integration based on feedback from all stakeholders; Group 3 will develop ideas for public action; Group 4 will draft a response to the recent election. See our website, and/or contact Matt Gonzales for more information.

Want to Get Involved?

Bring Laundry City to your local school/community space.  

Contact Matt Gonzales to set up a performance. 

Join the NYC Integration Advocacy Coalition   

Our next meeting will be December 20th from 4-6pm. Please contact Matt Gonzales for more information and join our Facebook Group: NYC Integration Coalition.

IntegrateNYCNow Google Group.

Please sign up for our Google group IntegrateNYCNow, a place for us to share information, resources, and events. This can be a great opportunity for us to coordinate efforts online.

2. Click "subscribe to this group"
3. Enter your e-mail address (you can use any e-mail address; doesn't have to be gmail).

        Confronting Racism and Bias, Supporting Our Students

              New York Appleseed is proud to support a recent proposal developed by the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ) that calls on the NYC Department of Education to make each and every one of its schools an oasis from racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia and a beacon for equity and justice for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Under the proposal, DOE would immediately prioritize the training of principals, educators, staff members, and parents as expert anti-bias practitioners, and leaders who will develop and expand curricula that fully represents the rich diversity of NYC students. This proposal addresses both the here-and-now needs of students, and the long-term pedagogical needs of NYC schools. It reinforces critical “pillars“ in Chancellor Fariña’s Framework for Great Schools, (Supportive Environment, Effective School Leadership, and Trust) and truly exemplifies Mayor de Blasio’s designation of NYC as a sanctuary city.  CEJ will be hosting a press conference at the DOE (Tweed Courthouse) on Thursday, December 8th at 12pm. Please contact Matt for more details. 

              News and Notes

              For more up to date news on school integration in New York and beyond, please follow us on social media. See below for some highlights of the news around integration.


              December 8 - Desegregation: Teachers College, Columbia University 

              Keep an eye out for our monthly newsletter, subscribe to it, and share it with your friends. Have a great month!

              The New York Appleseed Team 

              New York Appleseed is part of a nonprofit network of 17 public interest justice centers in the U.S. and Mexico, Appleseed is dedicated to building a society in which opportunities are genuine, access to justice is universal and equal, and government advances the public interest.

              Learn More About Us 

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