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James Kemple Presents to NYC Racial Justice Commission


On Friday, July 23, 2021, Executive Director James Kemple spoke at a meeting of the NYC Racial Justice Commission. The Commission’s goal is to “identify and propose structural changes and significant policy reforms that will advance racial justice and equity and begin to dismantle structural racism for all New Yorkers.” The July 23 meeting focused on eradicating education inequity and featured a range of panelists, including NYC Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter, David Banks of Eagle Academy Foundation, Stewart Kwoh of the Asian American Education Project, Claude Steele from Stanford University, Kim Sweet from Advocates for Children, and David Kirkland, Executive Director of NYU Steinhardt’s Metro Center

Dr. Kemple proposed a framework to help City officials work together with educators, researchers, and community organizations across the City to improve educational equity and particularly to address issues related to systemic and structural racism. This framework leverages insight from prior research to propose policy initiatives in three broad areas:

  • Setting an evidence informed foundation for structural and systemic responses to racial injustice and inequity— in short, measuring, publishing, and holding ourselves accountable for what we seek to change.
  • Reframing the equity agenda by investing more in the communities and schools that have been most affected by racism and structural inequality— in short, directing discretionary resources toward the places with the highest level of need, and using those resources to uplift and support local assets.  
  • Requiring rigorous evidence about the use and impact of discretionary resources aimed at enhancing opportunities and outcomes for our most vulnerable students. 

These recommendations build on those offered in the Research Alliance’s recent policy brief, Blueprint for Advancing Equity in NYC Schools

A recording of the panel is available on the NYC Racial Justice Commission YouTube Channel.