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 Staff

Nyah Berg, Director of Integrated Schools Project

Nyah Berg is Integrated Schools Project Director at New York Appleseed. She joins New York Appleseed after working as the Education Equity Organizer at ERASE Racism. Ms. Berg spearheaded ERASE Racism’s Student Voices Campaign and continued development of ERASE Racism’s Education Equity Initiative. During her time with ERASE Racism from 2017 to 2019, Nyah created workshops, actions and events to educate Long Island educators and students on topics such as implicit bias, student advocacy, culturally responsive education, and suburban segregation. Her work with students catalyzed the formation of ERASE Racism’s Student Task Force, which has since been invited to present workshops and participate on panels for Teachers College, Columbia University and the New York State School Board Association.

Nyah’s professional and personal life has driven her passion to use her voice to amplify others that are systematically not heard. As a biracial woman who grew up in a suburb outside of Boston, Massachusetts, she gained a unique perspective on the complexities that surround racial relations across geographically segregated areas. She hopes to draw on her own personal narrative, while continually learning from others to better advocate for Real Integration and educational equity in New York City and New York State. She holds a Master of Arts from Teachers College, Columbia University in education policy and social analysis with a specialization in education law and a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in English and Educational Studies from Vassar College.

Lena Dalke, Integrated Schools Project Associate

Lena Dalke joins New York Appleseed as the Integrated Schools Project Associate after working as a middle school teacher in New York City for 10 years. As a founding staff member of Community Roots Charter School’s middle school program, she helped to develop and strengthen inclusive practices for a racially and socioeconomically diverse student body, provided students with equitable access to educational opportunities and facilitated relationships between students of different backgrounds. Lena brings her understanding of how powerful school integration can be to her new position at Appleseed.

Lena holds a Master of Science in Education in Bilingual Middle School Education from Bank Street College of Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from Hampshire College.  Prior to becoming a teacher, Lena worked at an international health organization in San Francisco and as a counselor in a women’s health organization in New Jersey. She also has experience working with non-profit organizations in Mexico and in the US-Mexico border region.


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
Derrick Lott – Shearman & Sterling, LLP
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
Cassie Schwerner – Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
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 is a research, advocacy, and action organization led by students and classroom teachers from all over New York City.

Epic NEXT is an extraordinary group of thinkers, artists, and collaborators from New York City who apprentice with the Epic Theatre Ensemble to become America’s future arts leaders.  Watch the Epic NEXT and New York Appleseed production Laundry City here.

The Appleseed Network

New York Appleseed is part of the Appleseed network of 16 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:

Click on the links below to explore the Appleseed network:

Alabama Appleseed

Chicago Appleseed

DC Appleseed

Georgia Appleseed

Hawai’i Appleseed

Kansas Appleseed

Louisiana Appleseed

Massachusetts Appleseed

Appleseed México

​Missouri Appleseed

Nebraska Appleseed

New Jersey Appleseed

New Mexico Appleseed

South Carolina Appleseed

Texas Appleseed