On October 9th, CEJ held a teach-in and rally to honor Indigenous People’s Day. Over 100 parents, students and community members gathered to learn about indigenous traditions in the Americas, denounce the celebration of Columbus Day, and call on Mayor de Blasio to expand Culturally Responsive Education in NYC schools. The danza group Cetiliztli Nauhcampa performed, and parents and students spoke about the need for anti-bias training for school staff, multicultural curriculum and courses that respect and reflect the backgrounds and experiences of all NYC students. Speakers emphasized that the fact that NYC students are still celebrating murder, rape and genocide through Columbus Day – while many other cities have embraced Indigenous People’s Day – is a disgrace. CEJ will continue to push the Mayor and the NYC Department of Education to lead the nation in #Education4Liberation.Tweet
CEJ’s Indigenous People’s Day teach-in and rally on October 9th was covered by various city news organizations because of its strong attendance, diverse perspectives and unified mission. Over 100 parents, students and community members gathered to learn about indigenous traditions in the Americas, denounce the celebration of Columbus Day, and call on Mayor de Blasio to expand Culturally Responsive Education in NYC schools. The event, and additional protests throughout the city, sparked crucial dialogue about inaccurate historical narrative and students’ cultural identity. To read news coverage, click on the links below:
“Columbus Day Parade Marches on Amid Controversy, Rain”, NBC New York: “A movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day has gained momentum in some parts of the U.S. Critics of Columbus say he was a ruthless explorer who treated indigenous people abhorrently.”
“Indigenous Peoples Day? Italians say stick with Columbus”, Fox 5 News, New York: “Indigenous Peoples Day began to gel as an idea before the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas. South Dakota began celebrating Native American Day on the second Monday of October in 1990. Berkeley, California, got rid of Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day in 1992.”
“Protesters demand ‘accurate’ Columbus school curriculum”, New York Post: “This isn’t just about changing the name of a holiday or the removal of a document . . . During the past school year, young people have been exposed to hate in ways most have never experienced before. It is more important than ever that our students are learning accurate versions of history and are exposed to diverse cultures and perspectives.”
“Padres afirman que no los involucran en lucha contra el ‘bullying’ (Parents say they are not able to be involved in the fight against ‘bullying’)”, El Diario New York: “A mi hija le hicieron ‘bullying’ acá en esta escuela y se tomaron varios días antes de que tomaran acciones . . . Debería haber programas más efectivos y hacerle seguimiento y entender que las cosas pequeñas van creciendo y pueden terminar en tragedias”. (“My daughter was bullied here at this school and they took several days before they took action . . . There should be more effective programs and follow up and understand that small things are growing and can end in tragedies.”)
In remembrance of Juneteenth, the date on which the last enslaved Africans in the US were freed, students, parents and allies came together to rally for racial justice in the classroom. From the steps of City Hall, we called on the Mayor to make Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) a centerpiece of his second term education agenda.
Culturally Responsive Education includes…
- A curriculum that reflects all cultures
- Positive discipline policies
- Diverse teachers and leadership
- Cultural competency and anti-bias training for all school staff
- Transformative parent engagement
Want to learn more about why our children need a culturally responsive education and the positive impacts its had on children throughout the country? Click here!
Want to learn more about the Juneteenth and its historical significance? Click here!
To read the Juneteenth press release, click here!Tweet
Saturday, March 25th marked the launch of CEJ’s Campaign for Culturally Responsive Education. Joined by passionate speakers, talented drummers and dancers, and allies from across the city, we marched from the site of New York’s historic First African Free School to the steps of the Department of Education to call for the implementation of Culturally Responsive Education in our children’s schools. Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) connects the academic curriculum to students’ personal experiences and perspectives; helps students build knowledge and pride in their culture, heritage and language; and develop students’ ability to communicate and connect across cultures.Tweet
On Thursday, December 8th, CEJ parents held a press conference at the NYC Department of Education to call on the NYC Department of Education to do more to make schools a refuge from racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia for students and families. In light of the surge of racist and anti-immigrant harassment and crimes in NYC and nationally, the DOE must take a much more proactive role in equipping school staff to support students who are exposed daily to hateful speech and acts through their own experiences, friends and family, and the media; and families who are being threatened with discriminatory federal policies.
Click here to read CEJ’s proposal to the DOE for steps to address this need.
Click here to read the press release
Join the campaign by signing up here!Tweet