NYCoRE 2022 ItAGs

Hello Again! There is still time to join us for this year’s Inquiry to Action Groups (ItAGs) as we celebrate NYCoRE’s 20th Anniversary. 

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. 

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. **

Register here: https://bit.ly/3swHft4

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.

* This ItAG is now currently open ONLY to BIPOC identified folks (as of 1.19.2022)*

Tuesdays • 5-7PM (Virtual); 2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 3/1, 3/8 & 3/14

Facilitators: Melissa Braxton (she/her) & Jules Csillag (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.

The Transformative Power of Art

Art is power. The process of creating, collectively viewing, and dialoguing about art can be a force for healing and liberation. There is a need for the narratives of BIPOC women to be acknowledged and honored. In this ItAG we hope to engage in storytelling through art which can be a tool to work through generational, racialized, and gender-specific trauma and oppression while building community and empowering each other.

This ItAG is open specifically to and for women of color.

Wednesdays • 6-8PM (in-person at the People’s Forum); 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 3/2, 3/9, & 3/16

Facilitators: Lindsey Johnson (She/Her), Daralee Vázquez García (She/Her), and Elizabeth Velasquez (she/her)

  • Linsdey Johnson is a former DoE high school teacher, social worker and illustrator.
  • Daralee Vázquez García is a former DoE teacher, now an educator and circle keeper within the movement against gender-based violence.
  • Elizabeth Velazquez is an artist, and a visual arts educator at a small dual-language public school in Brooklyn.

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.

* This ItAG is now currently open ONLY to BIPOC identified folks (as of 1.19.2022)*

Thursdays • 5-7PM (Virtual); 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 3/3, 3/10, & 3/17

Facilitators: Pam Segura (she/her) & Jenna Queenan (she/her)

  • Pam Segura (she/her) is an Afro-Latinx teacher and facilitator who lives and works in the Bronx. She is interested in abolition in the public school context because she seeks points of action and peace in these weird places we know as schools.
  • Jenna Queenan (she/her) is a White educator and PhD student in Urban Education at CUNY. Having recently left the DOE and entered a new institution (CUNY), she is excited to think about the questions abolitionist educators should be asking across institutions. In particular, she wants to think about how identity impacts which questions need to be centered.

From Framework to Practice: Creating the Learning Communities We Deserve

Join educators Genesis and Natalia, female BIPOC educators who find joy in collaborating with adolescent scholars ranging throughout grades 7-12! We believe that scholars deserve authentic learning experiences and are here to help educators troubleshoot the obstacles that may stand in the way. We’re looking for educators who are currently teaching and who are looking for community and support with their current content / facilitation. In this six-week series, we hope to increase cultural and historical responsiveness in both curriculum and practice by exploring elements of Dr. Gholdy Muhammad’s HRL Framework and looking at NYU Metro Center’s Scorecard for Culturally Responsive Curriculum. Interested? Sign up!

Wednesdays • 5:00PM – 7PM (Virtual); 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 3/2, 3/9, & 3/16

Facilitators: Natalia Foreman & Genesis Grullón

  • Natalia is an Afro-Caribbean Queer Curriculum Kween dedicated to creating communities designed to uplift and empower its people. Born & raised in East Flatbush Brooklyn, NY to Caribbean immigrant parents, experiencing New York City’s school systems as both a student and educator, and existing as a Queer Black Woman makes for a dynamic perspective that she yearns to share with the world. She aims to use her consciousness and creativity to support educators and their scholars.
  • Genesis Grullón is a Latinx math teacher in a public middle school in the Bronx. She lives in Harlem (where she was born and raised) and enjoys running and reading books by herself and with other people. She believes in the importance of building math literacy for everyone, and continues to explore ways to make math more responsive and accessible to her students

Queer and Beyond: Reflecting on the Schooling of Gender Identity and Sexuality

In this ItAG we hope to hold a space for reflection and discussion about what it means to have a queer identity in school. What does it mean for educators, for our students and for their families? How should we be supported? How should we be supporting one another? Over a decade ago NYCoRE published Beyond Tolerance, a resource guide for teaching about LGBTQI issues in schools. The world has changed dramatically since then and yet the need for a guide like this remains. Using the original Beyond Tolerance as a springboard, we’ll consider the current context and what resources schools are most in need of. We’ll consider how language is alive and perspectives around identity evolve over time. What can we create that will speak to this moment but also to a future where expansive views of gender and sexuality are understood and embraced?

Thursdays • 5:15PM – 7PM (Virtual); 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 3/3, 3/10, & 3/17

Facilitators: Alanna Howe (she/her) & Dalila Mendez (she/her)

  • Alanna Howe has been teaching in New York City public schools for 17 years. She currently teaches in a 2nd grade dual language classroom at P.S. 15 in Red Hook. She was a founding member of NYQueer and a former core member of NYCoRE. She’s the proud mother of two very active children who, along with her students, motivate her daily to try and be more critically conscious.
  • Dalila Mendez is a queer bilingual teacher activist committed to equitable, liberatory and multilingual education. She currently works as a Computer Science teacher and as an Equity and Restorative Justice Coordinator in an elementary school in Brooklyn while completing a MSEd. in Educational Leadership through The College of St. Rose/CITE. Dalila’s students’ cultures lead the basis of her pedagogy in order to empower, engage and motivate. She holds a B.A. Degree in Bilingual Elementary Education Grades 1-6 & Puerto Rican and Latino Studies from CUNY, Brooklyn College and a M.A. in International Education Development from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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ItAG Kick Off Meeting: A general kick-off meeting for all ItAG participants will be held Friday, January 29th, 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.orgRegistration closes on Thursday Jan. 27th at 3pm.

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*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
  • Everyone who gathers in person is fully vaccinated (NYCDOE Policy)
  • 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.

NYCoRE’s 20th Anniversary Year-Long Conference – Save the Dates

Dear NYCoRE Community, 

We are excited to kick this year off with a very special announcement: NYCoRE is 20 years old! And to celebrate 20 years of grassroots organizing, movement building, and justice seeking, we will be celebrating with a year-long conference. In lieu of our traditional day-long conference in March, we will host one learning session every month, centering one or two Points of Unity (POU) and highlighting our history and work alongside our comrades. We also hope to use this year to revise and update our Points of Unity in community. 

Most sessions will be held virtually (now, you won’t have to miss a single conference session!), but please stay tuned for updates on small in-person meet-ups to process and discuss the sessions further. We have attached a calendar of our events so you can share it with your community.

To help make this year-long conference happen, we invite you to make a sliding scale donation to NYCoRE. No one will be denied access to an event for lack of funds, but if you are able to donate, we suggest: 

  • $40-$150 to register for the entire year of events
  • $5-$20 to register for an individual session

Send sliding-scale donations here via PayPal.

Our first virtual university session will be a panel with some of NYCoRE’s original members on September 10, please RSVP here. And our first in-person event will be a dance party on September 17th at Mayday Space in Brooklyn. We hope to see you there! 

The struggle does not end when the school bell rings!

Learning Sessions

Friday, September 10th
The Power of This Organizing Space: A History of NYCoRE
POU 1. We have a responsibility to address racism and neoliberalism as it impacts our students, our profession, and public education as a whole.
POU 4. We oppose the militarization of education.

Friday, September 17th
NYCoRE 20th Anniversary Dance Party

Thursday, October 14th
Schools as Part of Community and Critical Thinking
POU 7. Schools should be places of questioning and critical thinking.
POU 8. We believe schools are part of their communities.

Friday, November 12th
Standardized Testing and Radical Possibilities
POU 2. We believe there are positive alternatives to high stakes, standardized testing.

Thursday, December 9th
Budget and School Funding
POU 5. We believe school funding policies should ensure equitable resources for all.

January – March: ItAG Season
There will be Inquiry to Action Groups that address the following POUs:
POU 3. We believe in restorative justice as an alternative to punitive disciplinary measures.
POU 6. Schools must be safe spaces for everyone, regardless of how they identify or are perceived.
POU 9. We believe all students deserve an environment where they can flourish.

Friday, March 25th
Social Justice Unions

POU 10. We believe in the power of labor unions as a vehicle for social change.

Friday, April 8th
Reflecting and Looking Forward

POU 11: In order to combat economic, social, and political systems that actively silence people of Color and women, NYCoRE is committed to being an antiracist, antisexist organization. We maintain a majority of women and people of Color representation in our leadership and strive to do the same in our membership.

Thursday, May 14th
Point of Unity Assemblies

Friday, June 24th
End-of-Year NYCoRE Performance Space