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, April 8th
Social Justice Unions

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

Thursday, May 12th
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.

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

NYCoRE Conference 2020 Call for Proposals

Freedom Dreams: NYCoRE’s 9th Annual Conference

On March 21, 2020 at The James Baldwin School

The 2020 NYCoRE Conference Freedom Dreams is an opportunity for us to explore our imaginations in every way possible: we will collectively embrace our capacities to freedom dream through struggle, love, inquiry, and practice. NYCoRE’s 9th conference call for proposals invites you to engage your dreaming to reimagine education today and share it with the NYCoRE community. 

We live in a white-supremacist nation state — and that is no accident. This reality is sustained by an imagination so relentless and so toxic that it has normalized inhumanity. In this imagination, people who exist outside the boundaries of white supremacy, in turn, become property. 

To escape this toxic imagination we must engage our own imaginations, as adrienne maree brown dreams: 

“Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown and Renisha McBride and so many others are dead because, in some white imagination, they were dangerous. And that imagination is so respected that those who kill, based on an imagined, radicalized fear of Black people, are rarely held accountable. . . Imagination has people thinking they can go from being poor to a millionaire as part of a shared American dream. Imagination turns Brown bombers into terrorists and white bombers into mentally ill victims. Imagination gives us borders, gives us superiority, gives us race as an indicator of ability. I often feel I am trapped inside someone else’s capability. I often feel I am trapped inside someone else’s imagination, and I must engage my own imagination in order to break free.” ― adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds 

As educators, we are afforded the opportunity to facilitate experiences that are both educational and transformational alongside — not for, but with — our students. This, in other words, is “breaking free.” To use our collective imaginations, inside the classroom, outside the classroom and through the classroom to break free, to dream and build a world that does not yet exist but that we yearn for, is to freedom dream. 

Young people — particularly young people of color — engage their own imaginations to freedom dream. This gives them life in the face of neighborhoods, schools, public transportation systems, hospitals, and other institutions that continue to disenfranchise young people of color. That freedom dream is survival. It acknowledges that challenging white supremacy is not enough — we must engage our own imagination in order to break free. 

Some key questions for us during this conference are: 

– What might freedom dreaming in our schools look like? Sound like? Feel like?

– How would power dynamics need to shift in order to center the freedom dreams of the oppressed, marginalized and “othered”?

– What did freedom look like before colonization? What can we learn from our ancestors?

– How can we make freedom dreaming a praxis? 

Such questions will strengthen our will to dream. This is our grand challenge. Join us on March 21st to freedom dream as a way of healing ourselves, our schools, and our communities while living in a world that currently feels so broken. 

For NYCoRE’s 2020 conference, we are seeking proposals for workshops that speak to the theme of Freedom Dreams. We invite proposals from educators in varied settings that focus on a diverse range of topics. Relevant political critiques are welcomed, as are curricular ideas, classroom strategies, theoretical frameworks that lead to praxis, presentations on community work, and other ideas for inspiring practice. Some possible workshop themes to consider are: critical race theory, gender and sexuality in the classroom, spaces for organizing and convening with similar justice-centered organizations, Participatory Action Research (PAR) Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), youth workshops, workshops on art and identity for young people and youth, resisting the current administration, etc. We are also specifically seeking workshops that contribute to bridging the gap that often exists between educators and young people by bringing the voices of youth into workshop sessions. NYCoRE is offering the opportunity to propose an alternative workshop forum called an “Organizing Space.” An organizing space provides time for people/ groups that are organizing on shared issues (i.e. testing, social justice unionism) to come together to build solidarity and plans for actions. To be considered for an organizing space, a proposal must have at least two different groups or organizations as facilitators, a plan for session goals, and a description of how the time will be used. 

We ask all submissions to review NYCoRE’s Points of Unity for alignment before submitting: 

Click here to submit a proposal.

Welcome Back to School!

Invites you to a 
Back to School Happy Hour
556 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn NY
September 14th 
Beer and Wine Specials
*First 15 people will receive a NYCoRE T-shirt*

Shout out to Chris Maestro, a founding member of NYCoRE, as he approaches the one year anniversary of his craft beer and vinyl record bar.

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