Read the Letter to Mayor de Blasio written by IntegrateNYC’s Leadership Council.
New York City Students Call on Mayor to Commit to Real Integration
New York, NY (December 5, 2017) – In a letter released today, a broad coalition of students, parents, education advocates, scholars, and elected officials have joined IntegrateNYC in calling on Mayor de Blasio to commit to a school diversity strategy that is comprehensive, inclusive, and disrupts the manifestations of racism and white supremacy in New York City schools. The IntegrateNYC Leadership Council calls for Real Integration, a 5 Point Platform designed by the students from IntegrateNYC that includes: (1) Race and Enrollment, (2) Resource Equity, (3) Relationships Across Group Identities, (4) Representation of Staff, and (5) Restorative Justice. As the City begins to undertake initiatives focused on diversity, we call on the Mayor and Chancellor to commit to the 5 R’s of Real Integration to ensure these initiatives will impact all 1.1 million students.
On Thursday, December 7th, students from IntegrateNYC will join the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ) at a 12pm Press Conference, and will be testifying at the New York City Council Education Committee hearing on Diversity in New York City Schools. IntegrateNYC will introduce their campaign, Real Representation, for Real Integration.
IntegrateNYC encourages students, parents, and educators across the City to support our letter by signing on with this link. For those that cannot attend the hearing, IntegrateNYC will be livestreaming the event on our Facebook page. Follow us!
Elijah Fox, District 2 Alumnus, Co-Chair of the Board at IntegrateNYC, said, “The core tenet of democracy is that policy is created and consented to by those whom it addresses and affects. Education policy must be informed and guided by students, as a matter of both fairness and pragmatism: it is right and just that students have a say in their education, and there exist no better experts in schooling than those who live it every day.”
Aneth Naranjo, District 22 Alumnus, Director of Youth Engagement at IntegrateNYC, said, “Students have the right to a fair and equitable education. Real Integration is the solution for school segregation because it’s by students for students, no one knows better what students need than students themselves. Real Integration tackles all aspects of segregation in schools and ensures that students will be given a high-quality education in a space in which they feel safe and supported. Students, especially students of color, have endured enough obstacles and trauma while exercising their right to an education. It’s time to give them the education they deserve.”
Julisa Perez, District 22 Alumnus, Director of Local Outreach at IntegrateNYC, said, “Students have been systematically underprepared for their academic and lifelong careers due to the school segregation still found in NYC schools at every grade level. Today, Real Integration is the key to beginning a process of undoing the harm that has been done over the course of decades and creating a better future for every student to come.”
Jederick Estrella, District 18 student, said, “Integration is important because it helps minimize racial tensions in an already racist society. The voices of students actually in this system brings awareness to why this is such an issue. If adults don’t realize what’s happening through statistics, maybe they need proof from an actual student going through it.”
Leanne Nunes, District 8 student, said, “When schools and classrooms in particular lack the representation of people of color, misrepresentation of those groups and a deficit of knowledge and understanding of these groups and their cultures develop leading to racial, ethnic, and cultural boundaries made in schools among students. Teachers are meant to be windows and mirrors for growing minds to show them the world of possibilities that lies beyond and within them. Students of color are missing the opportunity to see themselves in those who answer the call to help mold the next generation.”
Matt Gonzales from New York Appleseed said, “We are proud to stand with IntegrateNYC in calling on the City to support the 5 R’s of Real Integration. The students have correctly framed the work of integration as a set comprehensive priorities that honor communities of color, disrupt racism and white supremacy, and lay the groundwork for excellent schools for all 1.1 million students in New York City.
Sarah Camiscoli, Executive Director of IntegrateNYC, said, “Historically, students lead the charge to stand for civil rights, resource equity, and beloved community. Let us honor that history and create a new future alongside these new leaders.”