Education Equity Action Plan Coalition provides an update on new Black Studies curriculum

Photos credit: Isseu Diouf Campbell

On May 10, 2022, members of the Education Equity Action Plan (EEAP) Coalition hosted its first-ever Black Media Salon at historic Sylvia’s in Harlem.

The Black Media Salon was an opportunity to update members of the Black press on the groundbreaking $10 million Education Equity Action Plan (EEAP) announced last September.

NY1’s Cheryl Wills served as host and moderator of a panel discussion with EEAP Coalition members, Educator George Patterson, Educator and Activist Michelle Patterson, United Way of New York City Education Director Nina Stovel, and BE-U President Dr. Shango Blake.

Melanie Eversley, former USA Today Race and Culture Reporter and current Executive Editor of the upcoming Black News and Views, was the guest speaker.

The Education Equity Action Plan (EEAP), preparing for its pilot phase, is the first Pre-K through 12 Black Studies curriculum to be woven into the existing public-school curriculum. The EEAP was created to address pre-existing, fundamental racial inequities in access to quality education and foster positive educational experiences for students of color, which ultimately were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown.

The curriculum will focus on early African civilizations, the continuum of the Black experience in America, African-diaspora peoples’ contributions and achievements, and their impact on the modern world. All are critical to helping Black children see themselves reflected in the curriculum to build their self-confidence and self-worth.

The EEAP Coalition is dedicated to ushering in this landmark curriculum and building support for the campaign in the community. To that end, the coalition is hosting the following events to reach New Yorkers:

Black Studies: Let’s Read Me + You (ongoing)

  • The EEAP Coalition has already launched Black Studies: Let’s Read Me + You Series. This empowering series features New York influencers and authors such as activist and educator Dr. Hazel Dukes, and Brooklyn Children’s author Nina Crews to share stories that uplift the voices, experiences, and legacies of Black students so they are reflected and celebrated in the public-school curriculum for the benefit of every student. 

Barbershop Conversations: Shaping More than Hair – May 21 (10:30 am to 2:30 pm) @ Denny Moe’s Barbershop in Harlem

  • A conversation about the importance of Black boys’ education and the benefit of Black boys being seen and celebrated in the place that shapes their minds– the classroom!
  • Special Guests – Hip-Hop Principal Dr. Shango Blake, Author Bakari Sellers, Educator and Activist Jose Vilson, Educator and Activist George Patterson
  • Live DJ, food and prize giveaways

Beauty Shop Conversations – May 21 (2 pm to 4 pm) BeYOUtiful: A Conversation About Black Girls, Education, and Confidence – Back2Basics Salon in Harlem

  • A discussion about Black hair, Black studies, and self-knowledge in a space that has always shaped our hair-dos and minds: the Beauty Salon. 
  • Special Guest Speakers, Hair and Race Educator Keya Neal (featured on HBO Max Documentary “Not So Pretty), Activist and Educator Michelle Patterson, EEAP Member and Activist Nina Stovel, and NYC Leader and Educator Adrian Strayer

Laundromat Socials – June 4 10:30 am to 2:30 pm @ Sudsy Water @ Polo Grounds and Sudsy Water @ NYCHA 

  • We are reaching people where they are on a Saturday, taking over laundromats to help bring fun, joy, giveaways and information about Black Studies with reads for kids, food, live DJ and giveaways

Black Studies Summit – June 24 5:30 pm to 8 pm @ Faculty House at Columbia University 

  • We will bring together educators, facilitators, and activists from across the city to discuss the current state of education and a push toward a more culturally relevant education. 

Rally for Black Studies – June 26 11:30 am to 3 pm (MORE TO COME!)

  • The EEAP Coalition will host a community block study where community organizations, educators, parents and students will gather to celebrate and spread awareness for the need for Black Studies. 

Members of the EEAP Coalition include the Black Education Research Collective (BERC), the United Way of New York City, The Eagle Academy Foundation, the Association of Black Educators of New York, Inc. (ABENY), Black Edfluencers-United (BE-U), and the leadership of the New York City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus (B-L-A-C).

For more information or to get involved, contact info@eeapcoaltion.org or visit www.eeapcoalition.org.