nyc students tackle the segregated public school system with poetry & spoken word

May 23, 2017

Just 1 in 5 Black and Hispanic students in New York City are “college ready” after four years of high school. 235,000 kids go to schools where 100% of the students qualify for free lunch. 1/2 of schools have 12 or fewer white students. These are just a handful of statistics from the New York City Department of Education that are listed on the #TeensTakeCharge website explaining why the organization was founded. #TeensTakeCharge is a growing coalition of high school students from Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx fighting for equitable education using oral & written testimony, live discussions, and interactive events.

One of the organization’s initiatives is a testimonial selection of letters and poems the students have written about their experiences in the New York City public school system. They include the profound voices of students like Haby Sondo, who writes, “I often hear the voices of authoritative figures in my head screaming, ‘the only escape from your environment is an education, don’t take it for granted!’ But how can I, how can my brothers and sisters of the South Bronx “beat the odds” if our education system is broken?”

You can take part recentering the decisions about students’ schools around student voices by using the hashtag #TeensTakeCharge, and check out more about the project and how you can support at the website below!: