Organizing Work

Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) Campaign

While NYC schools are some of the most culturally and linguistically diverse in the nation, with 180 languages spoken, enormous achievement gaps remain. In 2016, only 67% of Black and Latino students and 31% of English Language Learners graduated from high school in four years, compared to 82% of White students. 

Many destructive forces contribute to these unacceptable outcomes, including the ways that systemic racism, overt and implicit bias play out inside schools. That is why NYC needs Culturally Responsive Education (CRE). CRE is a method of rigorous, student-centered education. CEJ calls on the NYC Department of Education to implement CRE in the following ways:

  1. Work to ensure school and district staff represent the diversity of the NYC Schools population; promote district-wide skills in culturally responsive education and anti-discriminatory practices
  2. Provide classes, curricula, projects and resources designed to celebrate the rich diversity of NYC Schools students
  3. Cultivate a positive, culturally responsive culture in schools that respects and honors all youth regardless of race, culture, and abilities
  4. Champion increased parent engagement efforts that are culturally responsive and promote collaborative efforts to help students grow

CRE helps teachers build social and emotional connections with their students across racial and cultural differences, and root learning in students’ culture and prior experiences. It has shown to have impressive impacts on student achievement in Tucson, San Francisco, and other districts across the country. 

Click here to read about Culturally Responsive Education in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese or Bangla! 

Click here For additional resources on CRE from the Education Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative (EJ-ROC)’s CRE Hub, a multimedia site that provides critical research, communications materials, and organizing toolkits for educators, parents, students, community members, and district leaders to build the movement for culturally responsive education.

CRE Guidebook; “Transforming Our Public Schools: A Guide to Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education” Created by the NYC Culturally Responsive Education Working Group and the Education Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative (EJ-ROC) at the NYU Metro Center.


CEJ Community Schools Policy

Community Schools Policy, Parent Friendly Version (English and Spanish)

Community Schools Policy, DOE Version (English Only)

Watch the video below to see these policies put into action at Community School MS 50!

Empowering Families through Engagement from MSQI on Vimeo.


College-Ready Community Schools

Build College-Ready Community Schools for All: Quality Schools, Strong Neighborhoods, Bright Futures! In neighborhoods across NYC, parents share the hope that their children will graduate high school and go to college. But the realization of that dream varies dramatically. While 80% of children living in Tribeca graduate with the knowledge and skills they need for college, only 8% of students in Mott Haven do. These disparities are unacceptable. To prepare many more students for college and career success, the next Mayor needs a pre-k to 12th grade plan that combines academic rigor and high expectations with comprehensive supports and the creative, motivating experiences that excite students about their future. All students deserve the kind of high quality education that the best schools offer – without having to leave their neighborhood. We advocate:

  1. Focus on teaching and learning
  2. Build a college-going culture in all schools
  3. Provide strong, comprehensive support for every child
  4. Put the parents back in public education

CEJ College Ready Community Schools Platform

CEJ Plataforma de Escuelas Comunitarias de Preparacion Universitaria

Transformative Parent Engagement

CEJ advocates for transformative parent engagement that puts parents in the drivers seat as leaders and decision-makers in advancing student achievement. CEJ has been pushing the City Council to support a Parent Engagement Innovation Fund to provide schools with resources for implementing research-based parent engagement models that have proven to strengthen relationships between parents and school staff, develop families’ skills, knowledge and confidence, and improve the capacity of school staff to actively engage families in student learning. For more information about the fund and various programs that have proven successful, see the link below. 

CEJ NYC Council Parent Engagement Proposal

Transformative Parent Engagement


  • The Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) is a coalition mobilizing communities across the state to keep New York true to its promise of ensuring a high quality public education to all students regardless of zip code. Combining its legislative and policy expertise with grassroots organizing, AQE advances proven-to-work strategies that lead to student success and ultimately create a powerful public demand for a high quality education. For more information, go to
  •  The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools is a national alliance of parent, youth, community organizations, and labor groups committed to advocating for educational justice and equitable access to school resources. Representing mostly low-income communities of color, AROS believes that public education is the key to building a strong democracy and achieving racial and economic justice. For more information, visit
  • Journey for Justice (J4J) is a grassroots alliance of education justice advocates from across the country calling for an end to school closures. You can follow J4J on Twitter @J4J_USA #J4J2, or go to the J4J facebook page.