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Our Mission

New York Appleseed advocates for integrated schools and communities in New York City and New York State. With evidence-based advocacy and close work with stakeholders, we achieve direct impact in the community and beyond. We extend and magnify this impact across North America through participation in the Appleseed network.

Integrated schools and communities are those that:

+ Achieve Racial, ethnic, and economic diversity in composition;
+ Appoint leadership Representative of this diversity;
+ Facilitate Relationships across people of different backgrounds;
+ Practice Restorative justice; and
+ Share equitable access to Resources and opportunities.[1]

What does all this mean?  Click here for more information on our mission statement.

[1] We are indebted to the students of IntegrateNYC for developing this framework for Real Integration.

Our Team

Matt Gonzales, Director, School Diversity Project

Matt is an educator, an advocate, and a policy analyst. He is a former special-education middle-school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District and has over 17 years of experience working for educational justice inside and out of schools in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City. He has published work on race, educational equity, and politics. He earned his Masters in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2016, where his research focused on educational segregation and policy. He obtained his Bachelor’s in Urban Education and a Special Education Teaching Credential from California State University, Los Angeles.

At New York Appleseed Matt employs his impressive range of skills — as an educator, as an advocate, and as a community organizer — to advocate for integrated schools in New York City and New York State.  As director of Appleseed’s School Diversity Project, Matt co-founded and serves on the Steering Committee for the NYC Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation (nycASID), a citywide advocacy organization. He is policy coach and mentor for the youth advocacy group IntegrateNYC and works directly with school and district leaders to support their efforts towards integration, most notably, in advising Community School Districts 1 and 15 on district-wide integration plans. Matt serves on Mayor de Blasio’s School Diversity Advisory Group and played a critical role in shaping the group’s February 2019 recommendations. He is a member of the NYC CRE Working Group convened by the NYU Metro Center to develop a common definition and vision for Culturally Responsive Education in New York City. He has worked closely with state education leaders to design the New York State Integration Project (NYSIP) grant program and has supported districts all across New York in developing integration plans. Nationally, Matt serves on the Policy Working Group and Steering Committee for the National Coalition on School Diversity and is an Advisory Board member for Integrated Schools, a grassroots parent network committed to integrated schools.

Email Matt 

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David Tipson, Executive Director

David took the helm of New York Appleseed in 2010 after working in the Fair Housing & Community Development Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, DC. Since 2011 David has led New York Appleseed’s work with Orrick and other pro bono partners to advocate for integrated schools and communities in New York City and New York State. In 2012 New York Appleseed and Orrick were key players in securing a pro-diversity, pro-inclusion, and anti-“flipping” student-assignment plan for PS 133 which opened the door to the modern-day movement for school integration in New York City. This type of “set-aside” plan has become the building block for nearly all of the City’s subsequent school-diversity and integration efforts.  From 2011 – 2019 David served on the steering committee of the National Coalition on School Diversity.

At the Lawyers’ Committee, David represented community-based organizations, promoted pro-integration policies, and developed and managed large-scale pro bono projects relating to land use and racial justice. Prior to joining Lawyers’ Committee, he worked as a land-use attorney at Robinson & Cole in Hartford. David has a joint degree in law and urban planning from the University of Virginia. He serves on the Civil Rights Committee of the New York City Bar Association and is a member of the bar in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.

 Email David

Board of Directors

Kathleen A. Scott (Chair) – Norton Rose Fulbright
Thomas C. Baxter Jr. – Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
James Cotton – Bristol-Myers Squibb
Natalia Delgado – Huron Consulting Group (retired)
Naomi Raquel Enright – Writer
Jeff Maurone – Citadel Securities
Troy McKenzie – NYU School of Law
Tai Park – White & Case LLP
Bertrand B. Pogrebin – Littler Mendelson PC
Gil Raviv – Millennium Management LLC
Jill Rosenberg – Orrick
Shaheen Rushd – Pomerantz LLP (retired)
Kathryn E. Schneider – Medidata Solutions
Cassie Schwerner – Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
David Sternberg – Brown Brothers Harriman
Lucia Swanson
Jonathan L. Walcoff

Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.

Founders’ Circle of Corporate Supporters

Millennium Management LLC
Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe LLP

Foundation Supporters

The Donors’ Education Collaborative
The Sirus Fund

Pro Bono Partners

Covington & Burling LLP
Flyover BK Web Design
Jones Day
King & Spalding
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP

Community Partners

IntegrateNYC

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IntegrateNYC is a research, advocacy, and action organization led by students and classroom teachers from all over New York City. Through responsible and participatory research on the disparate impact of segregation and the benefits of integration, IntegrateNYC creates context for the necessity of advocacy and action. IntegrateNYC connects students, parents, teachers, administrators, political leaders, academics, grassroots organizers, and artists in a powerful community determined to advocate for meaningful policies that can ensure a just and equitable school system for all our young people.

EpicNEXT

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Epic Theatre Ensemble creates bold work with and for diverse communities to promote vital discourse and social change by inspiring students to be creative and engaged citizens, presenting compelling topics that transform the way people think, and collaborating with artists, students and thought leaders to produce plays about key issues. EpicNEXT is Epic’s youth ensemble, an extraordinary group of thinkers, artists, and collaborators from New York City who apprentice with Epic to become America’s future arts leaders.

Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation (ASID)

In collaboration with our partners from the NYU Metro Center, New York Appleseed is proud to coordinate and facilitate monthly meetings of ASID.  The group includes students, parent leaders, teachers, school and district leaders, and members from a range of organizations interested in supporting integration.

Interested in joining ASID? Fill out the form to join the mailing list and receive updates on upcoming meetings, policy developments, and other events.

The Appleseed Network

New York Appleseed is part of the Appleseed network of 17 social justice centers across the United States and Mexico.  Appleseed centers work with volunteer lawyers and other professionals to address structural barriers to opportunity and justice.  Watch this short film from our 20th anniversary in 2013 to learn more about Appleseed: