Call to Educational Justice!! Lean In for this NYC Conference

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Edward A Reynolds West Side High School

140 West 102nd Street

New York, NY 10025

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“An educator in a system of oppression is either a revolutionary or an oppressor.” Lerone Bennett Jr.

In New York State, the implementation of Common Core and high stakes testing have created unprecedented inequity. Test and punish policies disproportionately effect students of color, students with disabilities, English Language Learners and students living in poverty. School communities, from early childhood to higher education, survive on varying spectrums of the public school system, the most dire being school closures in the poorest communities. The root forces of compliance based policies and unyielding standardization have left very little room for common sense in collaborative problem solving. Parents, students, teachers, administrators, professors and concerned citizens have pulled together to uncover, expose and demand the source of inequities be put to an end.

In the last twenty years, we have faced unprecedented policies that clearly indicate strong market forces vying for public school dollars. These policies have not lead to results! Our communities continue to be downtrodden, our students continue to suffer, and parents continue to be silenced. The time is now to come together. Parents, teachers, students and community activist need to come together as one collective voice to impact how public education moves forward in the 21st century. We need all of you at the table for this historic event.

JOIN US for this strategy focused day to discuss, connect the issues and strategize to push back against:

  • Profit driven privatization, top-down & oppressive decision making at all levels of education
  • Test Driven, rather than student driven, instruction and programming
  • Teacher evaluations based on high stakes standardized tests & Demonization of the teacher’s union
  • Increasing segregation in our public schools

Activism is sparking in many different ways to empower public school stakeholders. The unforeseen consequences of privatization efforts have led to resistance in pockets throughout the city. The opt out movement, restorative justice practices and joined efforts to engage our elected officials are just a few. At the same time, there’s a sense of urgency to build a citywide community movement.

In an effort to enact true democratic decision making, the grassroots organizations from around the city and state will begin the 2015-2016 school year by joining together in a conference. Registrants will receive the full agenda. We need you there!

Breakfast and Lunch will be provided!

Breakout Sessions
The breakout sessions will be organized as both heterogeneous and homogeneous discussion groups. Both heterogenous and homogenous in an effort to build city wide and congressional district alliances.
Participants will share their context, define their needs, and brainstorm solutions. Next, they will create prototypes and get feedback from other participants on how to make their prototypes (plans) stronger. The larger group will be broken down into pairs and table groups during the majority of the breakout sessions so that everyone has a voice.

Flow of the Day

8:00-8:45: Breakfast/registration

8:45-9:15 Keynote

9:15-9:55 panel

Breakout 1 -- Heterogeneous Groups 10:00 - 11:30


What's not going well in your space? What would you like to see? How will we get there?

11:30-12:10 Lunch

Breakout 2 – Homogenous Groups 12:10-3:10


What strategies will we use to accomplish our goals?

3:20-4:00 Closing ceremony

Auditorium Report out

Thank you/Next Steps

Keynote Speaker -- Dr. Yohuru Williams

Described in Diverse Issues in Higher Education as “one of the most exciting scholars of his generation,” Dr. Yohuru Williams is the History Department Chair and the Director of Black Studies at Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. He is also Chief Historian for the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Museum in New York, NY. He received his Ph.D. from Howard University in 1998.

Dr. Williams is the author of Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights, Black Power and the Black Panthers in New Haven (Blackwell, 2000) and Teaching U.S. History Beyond the Textbook: Six Investigative Strategies, Grades 5-12 (Corwin Press, 2008) and the editor of A Constant Struggle: African-American History, 1865-Present (Kendall Hunt, 2002). He is the co-editor of In Search of the Black Panther Party: New Perspectives on a Revolutionary Movement (Duke, 2006), and Liberated Territory: Untold Local Perspectives on the Black Panther Party (Duke, 2008). He also served as general editor for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History's 2002 and 2003 Black History Month publications The Color Line Revisited: Is Racism Dead? (Tapestry Press, 2002) and The Souls of Black Folks: Centennial Reflections (Africa World Press, 2003). Dr. Williams served as an advisor on the popular civil rights reader Putting the Movement Back into Teaching Civil Rights (Teaching for Change and PRRAC, 2004). Dr. Williams is presently completing a single-authored book, titled Six Degrees of Segregation: Lynching, Capital Punishment, and Jim Crow Justice, 1865-1930.

Dr. Williams' scholarly articles have appeared in publications such as the American Bar Association’s Insights on Law and Society, the Organization of American Historians’ Magazine of History, the Pennsylvania Historical Association’s Pennsylvania History, and the Delaware Historical Society’s Delaware History, as well as in The Black Scholar, The Journal of Black Studies, and the Black History Bulletin.

In addition to providing professional development for teachers, Dr. Williams regularly speaks to young people on a variety of topics, from American and African American History to character education. To date, he has conducted teaching seminars in 38 states and the District of Columbia, and has spoken to thousands of students, from California to Connecticut.

Dr. Williams has made a variety of local and national media appearances, most notably on Al Jazeera America, Ebru TV, Fox Business, C-SPAN, and NPR. He is a regular political commentator on the Cliff Kelley Show on WVON, Chicago. Dr. Williams’ areas of media expertise include United States History, African American History, Education Policy, Civil Rights Law and Policy, Race and Criminal justice, and Politics.

Date and time


Edward A Reynolds West Side High School

140 West 102nd Street

New York, NY 10025

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Organizer Jamaal A. Bowman

Organizer of Call to Educational Justice!! Lean In for this NYC Conference

Jamaal A. Bowman

Jamaal is the founding principal of Cornerstone Academy for Social Action (C.A.S.A.) Middle School. Jamaal received his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of New Haven in May 1999 and immediately began his teaching career at P.S. 90 in the south Bronx. After spending five years at 90, Jamaal moved on to serve as the dean of students at the High School for Arts and Technology. In 2008 Jamaal was accepted into New Leaders for New Schools and spent the year writing the proposal for CASA while interning at Achievement First Endeavor Charter School. Jamaal is a certified business teacher, guidance counselor, and school building leader, and has used all of his personal and professional experience to help build the vision, mission, tone, and foundation of CASA. 

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