Photos credit: Isseu Diouf Campbell
A group of legislators, non-profits, academics, and Black education advocacy groups gathered on September 19, 2021, at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem to formally unveil a new initiative: the Education Equity Action Plan (EEAP).
The Education Equity Action Plan aims to address pre-existing, fundamental racial inequities in access to quality education and foster positive educational experiences for scholars of color. Inequities, which ultimately, were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The groundbreaking initiative is designed to pave the way for the institution of a citywide K-12 Black studies curriculum in the nation’s largest school system.
The target timeline for launching the Education Equity Action Plan’s pilot K-12 Black studies curriculum and accompanying professional development program is between the first and second quarter of 2022. The implementation will occur at a select number of DOE schools.
Representatives of the United Way of New York City, The Eagle Academy Foundation, Teachers College, Columbia University; the Association of Black Educators of New York, Inc. (ABENY), and Black Edfluencers-United (BE-U), the leadership of the New York City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus (BLAC), Council Members I. Daneek Miller and Adrienne Adams, along with New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter who all collaborated on the initiative, were present at the event.
The EEAP is a $10 million pilot project, which will serve as the main vehicle for creating a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum. The curriculum will focus on early African civilizations, the continuum of the Black experience in America, the contributions and achievements of African-diaspora peoples and their impact on the modern world, as well as the role of race in power relationships and the adverse social effects of systemic and institutional racism. All these topics will be complemented by a professional development program to support teachers and administrators in ensuring the effective implementation of the curriculum.
The $10 million in FY22 funding for the Education Equity Action Plan is to be allocated in the following amounts:
* The Eagle Academy Foundation – $3.25M
* United Way of New York City – $3.4M
* Black Education Research Collective, Teachers College, Columbia University – $3.25M
* Association of Black Educators of New York, Inc. – $50,000
* Black Edfluencers-United – $50,000
The establishment of both the EEAP’s educational and professional development programs will be led by the Black Education Research Collective (BERC) at Teachers College, Columbia University; in partnership with Eagle Academy Foundation, BE-U, and ABENY, Inc. Additionally, BERC will engage with its partners in research and evaluation processes as well as stakeholder outreach and community engagement. Their efforts will be overseen and administered by an EEAP commission. The search for the commission’s members will be conducted in concert with BERC, and, along with the collective, the appointments made in consultation with United Way, Eagle Academy Foundation, the City Council, and DOE; all of whom will act as EEAP partners and facilitators.