Tackling School Segregation with Theatre is a collaboration between New York Appleseed, Epic Theatre Ensemble, and IntegrateNYC4me. Through this initiative, talented New York City public high school students use social justice theatre, coalition building, and social media to expand youth leadership in the movement for school integration and equity in their respective communities, as well as the greater NYC metropolitan area. All of their work is grounded in educational research, and is guided by the foundational scholarship of the field.
Equipped with a working understanding of school segregation in NYC, Epic Next students interviewed a diverse range of educators, education activists, policymakers, and other key leaders, gathering additional perspectives and source material for their theatrical production. Simultaneously, the students honed their new understandings—and their ability to dramatize the core issues, as both they and their interviewees perceive them—through Epic NEXT theatre classes facilitated by professional actors, directors, and playwrights. The resulting student-written play is then performed for audiences throughout New York State in order to mobilize students, parents, and other New Yorkers to demand authentic school integration.
In order to expand the discussion about educational segregation, Matt Gonzales, Director of the School Diversity Project for New York Appleseed, submitted a proposal for the students to perform the play Laundry City at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in San Antonio. The performance would be followed by a panel discussion involving student leaders from the group IntegrateNYC4me. The proposal was accepted, and the team will be traveling to San Antonio in late April to perform Laundry City, and to facilitate a discussion with the educational research community about student advocacy and the implications for educational research.
Any support for our travel and housing expenses will be greatly appreciated.
See a clip of the play here.