New York Appleseed, Inc. advocates for equity of access and fair allocation of resources to schools and neighborhoods in New York City and its greater metropolitan area. We collaborate with volunteer lawyers, parent groups, demographers, real estate professionals, government officials and community advocates to uncover regional disparities, develop practical solutions and advocate for implementation of our recommendations.
Matt Gonzales, Director, School Diversity Project
Before joining New York Appleseed, Matt 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 worked as a special education middle school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. He brings over ten 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. He is committed to using educational policies to achieve social justice for underserved communities, and plans to utilize his skills as an educator, an advocate, and a researcher to support the school diversity work of New York Appleseed.
Hebh Jamal, Youth Policy Fellow
Hebh Jamal is a senior at Beacon High School. She is a member of Muslim American Society and was featured in the New York Times article, “Young Muslim Americans Feeling the Strain of Suspicion.” Shortly after, Hebh was invited to speak on a panel with the president of the Ford Foundation on her experiences being a Muslim in a post-9/11 America. The conversation can be found here.
Through sincere dedication and curiosity, Hebh became committed to giving back to her community, but more importantly fighting for what she thought was right. Through a simple observation, Hebh managed to question why schools looked the way they did, eventually leading to the conclusion that school segregation affects all New York City students. She joined the organization, IntegrateNYC4Me, and shortly after earned the role of a Lead Student Activist.
In the effort to diversify New York City schools, Hebh introduced the idea of having a Diversity Council where students from all districts across New York City can meet and be the leading force for integration. Now, more than fifty students attend the council, along with politicians, teachers, educators, and advocates. Hebh brought people together and as an advocate, she aims to create a sense of community through dialogue and activism.
Hebh is excited to work with New York Appleseed and be a contributing force to the team.
David Tipson, Executive Director
David became director of New York Appleseed in 2010 after working at 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 City public schools. 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 margins of Park Slope, Brooklyn. This plan became a model for schools across the city. 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. At Lawyers’ Committee, David represented community-based organizations 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 and is a member of the bar in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.
Board of Directors
Kathleen A. Scott (Chair) – Norton Rose Fulbright
Philip D. Anker – WilmerHale
James Cotton – PNB Paribas
Natalia Delgado – Huron Consulting Group (retired)
Willis J. Goldsmith – Jones Day
Stanley M. Grossman – Pomerantz LLP
Carl Lipscombe – Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Vivian Maese – Latham & Watkins LLP
Jeff Maurone – McKinsey & Company
Tai Park – Park Jensen Bennett LLP
Bertrand B. Pogrebin – Littler Mendelson PC
Gil Raviv – Millennium Management LLC
Shaheen Rushd – Pomerantz LLP (retired)
Kathryn E. Schneider – Medidata Solutions
Cassie Schwerner – Schott Foundation for Public Education
David Sternberg – Brown Brothers Harriman
Vicki Walcott-Edim – MasterCard – Law Department
Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.
Founders’ Circle of Corporate Supporters
Millennium Management LLC
Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe LLP
The Donors’ Education Collaborative
The Sirus Fund
Pro Bono Partners
Flyover BK Web Design
Alexander Gelski and Ryan Hickey
King & Spalding
Latham & Watkins LLP
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Our Community Partners
IntegrateNYC4me 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, INYC creates context for the necessity of advocacy and action. IntegrateNYC4me 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 Next – Laundry City
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. Epic NEXT 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.
This summer, five young people from the LAUNDRY CITY Company interviewed over 30 educators, policy experts, parents and students on the topic of educational segregation and created the original play LAUNDRY CITY, a hilarious and provocative exploration of what “Separate but Equal” means to us today.
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 to learn more about Appleseed: