In 2019, Stuyvesant High School, one of New York’s most elite public schools, admitted only seven Black students to an incoming class of 895. As highlighted in a new video put out by NYU Law’s Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law (CRIL), this statistic underscores the continued prevalence of racial segregation in schooling in the United States, even in progressive cities like New York.
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The video, titled “The Enduring Problem of School Segregation,” features interviews with civil rights lawyers, policymakers, and activists who are actively involved in changing and challenging the laws and policies that perpetuate segregation.
“It’s part of our work to contribute to conversations on race and help influence how people understand the modern drivers of inequality,” says CRIL Co-faculty Director and Associate Professor of Clinical Law Deborah Archer, who conducted the interviews. “Our goal was to talk to people who are not only thinking about these issues and trying to understand these issues, but who are engaged in doing something about them,” says Archer.
Since the video was released in June, Archer says that numerous undergraduate and legal educators have contacted the center, asking to incorporate the video into future curriculum. “It’s been an overwhelming response,” Archer says. “We want to share this video, and the future videos we have planned, in order to educate with the hope that people will engage in action,” she says. “At a certain point, issues like segregation may seem natural to people. We need to keep talking about it and the ways that policy decisions, laws, and practices drive these inequalities.”
Posted July 23, 2020