FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement from Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa on Students’ Presentation on Diversity, Integration and Equity
The Board of Regents and I were honored last week to have a group of New York City high school students present to us their views on diversity, integration and the equitable distribution of resources in our State’s public schools.
The presentation, “Student Voices: Strengthening the Student Movement for More Equitable Schools,” was the combined work of IntegrateNYC, the Epic Theatre Ensemble and New York Appleseed. IntegrateNYC is a student-led advocacy group committed to transforming the conversation around school segregation through research, advocacy and action. The Epic Theatre Ensemble is an off-Broadway theatre group that has developed an Arts Leadership Program that utilizes a comprehensive, individualized approach to artistic and youth development. And New York Appleseed advocates for equity of access and fair allocation of resources to schools and neighborhoods in New York City and the greater metropolitan area.
Their argument was simple and straightforward: equity and integration in education will help everyone benefit from the promise of our great Empire State.
Our teenaged guests were eloquent, fearless, sophisticated, passionate and organized. They filled us with hope for the future and demonstrated that the next generation has a clear vision for the kind of society in which they would like to live. It is clear they have the commitment and energy to help build that better future for all of us.
Some spoke of their experiences visiting other high schools and observing that while some schools have abundant resources, others are severely lacking. One brave young man discussed his trepidation and uncertainty about attending college in the fall – because he had never before had a white classmate in all of his years of schooling.
The Regents and I applauded these wonderful young people and thanked them and their program directors for allowing us to see things through their eyes. We assured them that we heard their message, will call upon them again and will always keep open the lines of communication between the adult policy-makers and the students for whom we set those policies.
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