New York Appleseed Newsletter: Advocacy, Integration, New York
September/October 2017
Advocacy ~ Integration ~ New York
The Year in Review
Dear Friends:

We hope you all had a good summer. As we begin another school year in New York, we wanted to take a moment to step back and review the accomplishments of New York Appleseed and its partners.

Some of us at New York Appleseed just finished reading Ibram Kendi's challenging book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America . Kendi reminds us that our national history is not one of continuous racial progress, but rather a constant vying between the forces of racism and anti-racism. The last year has been no exception. Even as our country as a whole experienced heartbreaking setbacks, New York Appleseed and our partners continue to make measurable progress towards more integrated and equitable schools in New York City and New York State. We've given you some of the highlights below.

We couldn't do this without your support. Thank you.

The New York Appleseed Team   
The 2016-2017 School Year in Review
22 Schools Using Pro-Diversity Admissions Plans
In 2015 the New York City Department of Education announced a diversity pilot program building on the 2012 breakthrough student-assignment plan at PS 133. Over the last year DOE has extended the program to an additional 14 schools for a total of 22 schools now using pro-diversity admissions plans . NY Appleseed also released a statement on the benefits of plans like these that prevent the concentration of white and affluent parents in a small handful of public schools.

Students at the Forefront

Meanwhile, School Diversity Project Director Matt Gonzales has worked with student leaders at IntegrateNYC to organize a Youth Council. Matt commissioned and coordinated performances of the original play Laundry City written and performed by high-school students (see below). In January we were able to hire our first Youth Policy Fellow Hebh Jamal . Matt and Hebh have appeared on panel discussions and have been quoted in newspaper articles more times than it is possible to recount over the last year. 

NYC DOE Policy Statement Prioritizing Diverse Schools

Matt and Hebh’s organizing efforts paid off dramatically in June when the Department announced a policy statement prioritizing diverse schools - a goal that New York Appleseed first set out four years ago and has steadfastly pursued.  

Presenting to the Board of Regents

In a fitting end to the school year, the New York State Board of Regents invited Matt, Hebh, and many of our student partners to Albany to present at its annual retreat -- one of the few times that students have been invited to a meeting like this.  It was a historic occasion by all accounts.

A New Framework for Diversity at NYC DOE

The policy statement seems already to have occasioned a shift in the Department’s practices. Pursuant to the new policy, the Department released a job description for a new director of student enrollment with school diversity at the top of the list of responsibilities . In September the Department proposed a plan to desegregate Community School District 1 on the Lower East Side and announced plans to work with several other community school districts.  

Upcoming Events
NCSD Conference
Don't miss the national conference of the National Coalition on School Diversity happening right here in New York City! Click here for more information.

Get Involved
Bring Laundry City to your local school or community space. 

Contact  Matt Gonzales t o set up a performance. Here is a short clip of a recent performance. 
Join ASID , the New York City Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation!  

A SID will be meeting October 26th from 4-7pm. Pl ease contact Matt Gonzales for more information and join our Facebook Group:  ASID-NYC
Join the mailing list here: Join ASID

Check out the ASID calendar for more upcoming events.
The Benefits of Diversity
Thanks to our pro bono artist Abigail Arguilla , we are excited to share our postcards explaining the benefits of diverse schools. Please let us know if you would like some cards mailed to you.

Keep an eye out for our 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.

New York Appleseed ~