2023 NYCoRE Inquiry to Action Groups

Educators who register will participate in Inquiry to Action Groups linking social justice issues with classroom practice.  Small groups will meet weekly virtually or in-person *(for a total of six, two-hour sessions plus a kick-off ) between January and March to share experiences, respond to readings, exchange ideas and develop action plans. 

Here is the link for registration: 


Read more about the ItAGs offered this year!

** NYCoRE strives to make ItAGs affordable with a registration fee of $35. If you are unable to pay the full fee, there are limited scholarship funds available. Please email Natalia@nycore.org for more details. **

Dreaming Disability Justice: Reorienting towards Inclusion

“What we must do is commit ourselves to some future that can include each other and to work toward that future with the particular strengths of our individual identities.”

– Audre Lorde (1968)

In this ItAG, educators are invited to explore how racism and ableism are inherently interconnected with education. By centering the joy, resistance, and interdependence of those with lived experience (e.g. disabled QTBIPOC), we’ll self-reflect and co-create to make Disability Justice (DJ) dreams a reality in each of our learning spaces. Balancing theory and practice, we will engage with resources from scholars & advocates of Disability Justice (with themes like collective liberation, anti-capitalism, and wholeness), DisCrit (with themes like curriculum, pedagogy, and solidarity), and linguistic justice (with themes like pride, privilege, and power). We will center the perspectives of those with lived experience, bringing an intersectional lens, openness, and curiosity to our learning space.

Disabled educators particularly encouraged to register.

Point of Unity (POU) 9: We believe all students deserve an environment where they can flourish.

Wednesdays • 5-7PM (Virtual); 2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 3/1, 3/8 & 3/15

Facilitators: Melissa Braxton (she/her), Jules Csillag (she/her) & Megan Smith (she/her)

  • Melissa Braxton (she/her/hers) is an African American educator who lives and works in Brooklyn. She enjoys working as a Special Educator in the integrated co teaching classroom setting.
  • Jules Csillag (she/her/hers) is a cis, white, queer, middle-class woman, immigrant, bilingual, survivor with C-PTSD & ADHD. She’s also a speech-language therapist, consultant, adjunct faculty instructor, and writer.
  • Megan Smith (she/her/hers) is a cis, white, middle class woman who lives and works in Brooklyn. She has worked as a Special Educator for the past five years in elementary 12:1 classrooms and is currently working in a 4th grade ACES (Academics, Career, and Essential Skills) ICT setting.

Critical Educational Leadership

Working within a school community entails collaboration with educators, students, their families, the surrounding community, and, on a broader level, policymakers and various policies. Working with a school community as a school leader requires that this collaboration be combined with decision-making, leadership, and innovation, usually on the spot. As critical school leaders, social justice shapes our vision and influences our daily work. How do we sustain a learning environment of social justice and revolutionary education while working within a broader context of White-supremacist, cis-heteropatriarchal neoliberal school reform? What steps do we take each day to ensure that young people and adults alike are active participants in their own learning and growth? As a community of inquirers, we will navigate the landscape of educational leadership with the goal of fostering humanistic educational spaces.

Overarching ItAG Goals:

This Inquiry to Action Group (ItAG) seeks to create a safe and critical space for critical school leaders to:

  1. Engage in critical friends’ practices
  2. Share best practices
  3. Participate and lead text-based discussions
  4. Explore critical participatory action research practices as tools to use with adult learners in a developmental manner

Tuesdays •4:30-6PM (In-Person at City As and Castle Bridge Schools); 1/31, 2/7, 2/14, 2/8, 3/7 & 3/14

Facilitators: David Rosas & Rachel Seher

Radical Visions: Educators as School Abolitionists

What is abolition? What is school abolition? These terms have been thrown around a lot recently, but what do they actually mean? In “Radical Visions: Educators as School Abolitionists,” we will work together to create a space where we can 1) develop working definitions of abolition and school abolition 2) connect these definitions to our identities and relationships to privilege and oppression 3) identify practices in our institutions that we want to abolish and grow 4) support one another in doing abolitionist work. As facilitators, we commit to cultivating a space where harm can be addressed and we all have opportunities to reflect through multimedia texts, writing personal memoirs, and engaging our creativity.

Half the spots in this ItAG are reserved for people of color. This ItAG will be 7 weeks instead of the usual 6 weeks.

Thursdays •5-7PM (In-Person); 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 3/2, 3/9, 3/16 & 3/23

Facilitators: Pam Segura (she), Jenna Queenan (she) & Juan Córdova (he)

Musical Circles: Restore and Transform

In this iTag, we will explore the many symbiotic relationships between youth musicians and restorative justice practitioners by researching, analyzing and creating original music based on restorative topics and practices such as community building, conflict resolution and affirmations. Our socially conscious mixtape/performance will consist of specific topics of interest chosen by the youth, as they create their own media, shaping the culture in their own lives/communities. Please note that, for this ItAG, we will have four spots open for the community and three spots for musician activists in our school communities.

Fridays • 3:30-5:30pm(In-Person); 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 3/3, 3/10, & 3/17

Facilitators: Nicholas Ryan Gant (he) & Martin Urbach (he)

  • Nicholas Ryan Gant is a New York based artist and educator.NRG studied classical vocal performance at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and holds a master’s of art in Music Education from Hunter College, as a participant in The Lincoln Center Scholars program. He has had the opportunity to sing support vocals for artists such as Mariah Carey, Jon Batiste, and Childish Gambino.
  • Percussionist Martin (pronounced mar-TEEN) Urbach is a Latine Immigrant, restorative justice practitioner, educator, activist and youth organizer. His work in the classroom is based on facilitating brave spaces for young folks to fall in love with music and to promote social justice through music making in their community.


ItAG Kick Off Meeting: A general kick-off meeting for all ItAG participants will be held Friday, January 27th, 5:30– 7:00 p.m.

Registration: The registration fee is $35. This will cover the cost of materials and support NYCoRE’s ongoing work. Multiple teachers from the same school can register together for the same ItAG for a reduced rate of $30 each. Reduced/Donation based rates available for students/pre-service teachers. Questions about need-based scholarships should be directed Natalia@nycore.org. Registration closes on Wednesday Jan. 25th at Midnight.


*For In-Person ItAGS, the Covid Policy is the following:

NYCoRE ItAGs COVID Community Wellness Safeguards

We want everyone to stay healthy and safe. Therefore, our policy for indoor gatherings is that we:

  • Wear masks
  • If you are feeling sick and demonstrating symptoms we ask that you not attend “in-person”

If/when someone is Covid + we ask that you:

  • communicate with your co-facilitators immediately.

If this happens, we will move the following ItAG session to virtual for a week and return to in person the following week for safety precautions.

Thank you for understanding and respecting our COVID policies. Community wellness is our priority.

We hope that your experience in an ItAG this season is rejuvenating and inspiring.

Please stay well and safe.

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