In a historic event, New York Appleseed, IntegrateNYC4me, and Epic Theatre Ensemble‘s Epic Next presented at the New York State Board of Regents July 2017 meeting. Student leaders from New York City presented policy recommendations and social justice theater to education policy leaders from across the state, including Chancellor Betty Rosa and State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. IntegrateNYC4me presented the 5 Rs of Integration – a student-designed policy framework for 21st century school integration. This was followed by a student performance of a scene from the original play Laundry City. The presentation concluded with an open discussion with the Regents. IntegrateNYC4me and New York Appleseed made a formal request for the development and funding of a statewide student advisory council to ensure student voices are included in discussions of education policy in New York State.
This event marks an important day for school integration advocacy in New York State, and is a testament to the power of intentional and intergenerational collaboration led by young people. None of this would have been possible without the support of Chancellor Betty Rosa, Regent Judith Johnson, and their wonderful staff members who worked tirelessly to bring us to Albany.
New York Appleseed will continue to elevate the voices of those most directly impacted by school segregation to the Board of Regents and to educational leaders in New York City.