ONE HUNDRED BLACK MEN OF NEW YORK
The Founding Chapter of One Hundred Black Men Supports
NYC Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza
Media Contact: Dina Gardner 212-777-7070; 718-791-1999, OHBMOffice@ohbm.org
New York, New York – June 8, 2018
The Founding Chapter of One Hundred Black Men (OHBM) is joining with NYC leaders and civic organizations to show support for New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and his initiatives to foster equity among all NYC schools and students. Recognizing the importance of diversity in our city and schools, OHBM firmly believes that thoughtful measures to ensure full desegregation throughout the NYC school system are required and must be taken immediately.
Michael J. Garner, President of the One Hundred Black Men of New York said “The Founding Chapter of the One Hundred Black Men of New York strongly supports the diversity policies of New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. We can never go back to pre-Brown vs. the Board of Education, where Black Students were segregated and regulated to inferior education and resources while the majority community thrived. Therefore, we stand with our Chancellor in ensuring that a quality education within the City of New York is open to ALL.”
Courtney A. Bennett, executive director of the One Hundred Black Men of New York, and former NYC public school teacher, added, the focus on educational equity for all children in our public education system is the key to ensure a strong, vibrant economy and competitive workforce in our city for years to come.
“The next generation will need the highest quality education in order to properly prepare for success in the world that lay ahead. Equitable access to the best educational resources puts our youngest New Yorkers in a position to prosper – young people are our future and we should give them no less. Every single one of our students deserves the best that we can give to them –right now, and going forward. As one of the founding members of the One Hundred Black Men, I am proud to support Chancellor Carranza’s initiatives to foster equity among NYC schools and ALL of our students. In 2018, I expect all New Yorkers to join in support of that goal.” – David N. Dinkins, 106th Mayor, City of New York
Former US Congressman Charles B. Rangel weighed in, “It is so easy for northerners to be critical of segregation taking place in other places but, when looking at statistics in the north and New York City in particular, it is a clear indication that racism and segregation exist. It is always difficult to desegregate—as many factors come into play. When people of means look for places to stay, they not only look for luxury but also better schools. The small percentage of blacks in elite schools is not just due to written tests, but also the fact that many have not had the same economic opportunities to live in middle class communities. Additionally, we have to find out the reason the worst schools are in the poorest neighborhoods, and why teachers who are not the best are assigned to the schools in poorer neighborhoods… it is terrible if you don’t confront the racism in our city, state and country.”
“Whether in Pre-K, elementary school, middle school or high school, all of our city’s children are entitled to access to the highest quality education to prepare them for college and their future careers. Data has revealed systemic inequities are disproportionately leaving behind black and brown students in our city schools. I commend Chancellor Carranza for recognizing the need and value of increasing diversity on all levels of the educational ladder.” –Congressman Gregory W. Meeks.
Senator Kevin Parker stated that, “This is not solely about diversity, but more so about ensuring that students who come from Black and Brown communities have the opportunity to receive a first class education. As a member of the One Hundred Black Men and an elected official who represents diverse communities of color, it is important that I
advocate to improve the quality of life for the children in my district. If Senate Bill S8503A were signed into law, it would permit additional measures of student achievement to be considered during the application process, such as a student’s GPA and teacher recommendations”, concluded the Brooklyn lawmaker.
Senator Brian Benjamin added, “Top US universities like Brown & Harvard consider multiple factors including test scores when selecting incoming students. It’s time that NYC’s top public high schools follow suit to ensure the most talented & diverse group of students have the opportunity to receive a quality education.”
Michael Blake, Assembly Member and DNC Vice Chair, commended Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Carranza, Assembly Member Barron and community leaders for promoting equity in education by creating more pathways for Black and Latino students to be accepted into specialized high schools. “While not disparaging current students attending these schools, these changes create a new opportunity for many New York students and families that were traditionally shut out from gaining equal access to a high quality education. The issue of school segregation continues to plague our community as it was found that Bronx High School of Science, a specialized high school, has a school population of only 14% of students coming from The Bronx. Confronting these disparities with historic and bold policies is essential to opening up doors for students of color and creating a new paradigm. This new direction truly proves to students of color that your block won’t block your blessing and your zip code won’t deny your destiny.”
Inez Dickens, Assembly Member, stated ,“I salute the One Hundred Black Men of New York and their President, Michael Garner, supporting New York City’s Education Chancellor Richard Carranza is taking on a problem historically faced by New York City parent—the lack of diversity in our schools. As part of attacking the lack of diversity, particularly in specialized schools, the Assembly is discussing legislation for the elimination of testing to gain entry into those schools which historically has prevented minorities from securing entry. Society owes all children, regardless of ethnicity, the best education that this city has to offer. Today, we are trying to take steps towards that goal.
Council Member Andy King, chair of the City Council’s Juvenile Justice Committee commented, “No matter the neighborhood or color of their skin, the children who attend our city’s public schools should be governed under the same fair and equal policies and funding. Our school system can do better by our youngsters and Chancellor Carranza gets that. I applaud him on his initiatives to foster equity among all of our city’s schools and students.”
Past OHBM President, Paul Williams, stated “I believe that data and experience should drive public policy. One Hundred Black Men, as a leading organization, has decades of experience with New York City’s public education system. And, we know the data. This compels me to support Chancellor Carranza’s brave call for educational equity. I urge all New Yorkers to support our new Chancellor and take one small step with him. It may very well be that the future viability of our great City depends on it.”
Reverend Jacques Andre DeGraff, Associate Pastor of Canaan Baptist Church said, “New Yorkers have led the way for the nation in dismantling institutional discrimination. We must now stand with this chancellor to allow every child in New York the full opportunity to reach their potential. This Chancellor has the vision, courage and candor to right these wrongs. “
The president, board and members of the One Hundred Black Men are changing the narrative and outcomes for Black youth by annually awarding $100,000 in college scholarships; conducting gun buyback programs; championing state and city efforts to award 30% of contracts to MWBEs; and annually mentoring over 200 hundred NYC students including at the first Eagle Academy, which the OHBM-NY founded in 2004. Founded in 1963 by Hon. Judge Robert Mangum, Hon. David N. Dinkins, Jackie Robinson and other prominent men of the civil rights era, OHBM is the premier civic organization for Black Men and has grown to have over 100 chapters throughout the United States and abroad.