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. Before joining New York Appleseed, he was a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University, where his work focused on socioeconomic and racial integration, educational equity and other social justice issues. He has authored a variety of publications both scholarly and in popular media around race, education, and school integration. Prior to moving to New York, Matt was a special education middle school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. He brings over fifteen years of experience working inside and out of schools in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York to support students and families in achieving educational equity. In addition to his work as a researcher and an educator, Matt has an extensive background in community organizing. As a student at California State University, Los Angeles, he was elected the Legislative Affairs Representative and Chief Lobbyist for his campus, and worked diligently to organize, register and educate voters on issues related to higher education policy. As a graduate student, he co-founded Teachers College Students for Quality Education (TCSQE), a student advocacy group at Columbia committed to engaging students, faculty, and administrators in discussions and policy changes around racial and economic diversity at elite universities. 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.

Email Matt 


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 worked with the law firm Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe to advocate for proactive policies to prevent the segregation and re-segregation of New York’s public schools and communities. 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 on the gentrifying margin of Park Slope, Brooklyn. This type of “set-aside” plan has become the building block for nearly all of New York City’s subsequent school-diversity and integration efforts.  In 2013 and 2014 New York Appleseed released a series of policy briefings entitled Within Our Reach that illuminate and demystify the complex mechanisms by which public schools become highly segregated in a city as diverse as New York. New York Appleseed and Orrick also worked to support the State Education Department’s development of a new Socioeconomic Integration Pilot Program – a grant program directing $30 million to urban school systems across New York State to promote school integration.  SIPP – in both its original and subsequent rounds – has galvanized communities across New York State – and particularly in New York City – to address school segregation proactively.

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 sits on the steering committee of the National Coalition on School Diversity, 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 – McKinsey & Company
Troy McKenzie – NYU School of Law
Tai Park – Park Jensen Bennett 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
Latham & Watkins LLP
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP

Community Partners



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.



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 18 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: