Voices in Urban Education, VUE, is NYU Metro Center’s open-access journal. Each issue of VUE is organized around a theme and strives to provide cutting-edge analysis of a vital issue in urban public education. This “roundtable-in-print” endeavors to bring together diverse education stakeholders with a wide range of viewpoints, including leading education writers and thinkers, as well as essential but frequently underrepresented voices in educational scholarship, such as community members, activists, teachers, parents, and students.
Despite being a primary education shareholder, educational scholarship often regards students as an incomprehensible commodity, neglecting to seek their first-hand knowledge and perspective. Voices in Urban Education is a publication that does not replicate this miscalculation, instead engaging public school students as both authors and artists. NYU Metro Center’s tradition of valuing and listening to the voices of students continues in Volume 51, Issue 1 of VUE.
This edition of Voices in Urban Education features the student voice in a number of introspective and poignant ways. A student leader shares her experience with racial and gender inequity and justice while transitioning into high school in one VUE article, while in another article an eleven-year-old shares what Black Lives Matter means to her in the wake of the 2020 calendar year murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and hundreds of other Black Americans at the hands of police officers, while still in a third article, a student co-writes a poem with a teacher on emotional well-being and connection.
Voices in Urban Education’s prioritization of student voice can also be recognized through the dynamic artwork displayed throughout the journal. Student artists from across the country, ages 21 and younger, responded to VUE’s Call for Artists, submitting their own artwork to be considered for an upcoming edition of the journal. Entries are judged on their execution of the theme, artistic merit, design, originality, technical excellence, and content by a select group of jurors on the VUE Editorial Board. Selected student art submissions are featured in the journal, with the two compelling student art pieces designated as the cover art for the issue.
The student artwork in Voices in Urban Education brings a potent and alluring tapestry of viewpoints to a wide array of journal topics, facilitating greater representation and interrogation of the questions and concerns challenging education in this very moment. The student art submissions in VUE are imaginative and engaging, ultimately lending great depth, humanity, and hope to the scholarship shared within the pages of this education journal. These entrancing and impactful student pieces featured in Voices In Urban Education are not merely complementary elements to the trailblazing analysis of the open-access journal, but rather an equal participant in the ever important responsibility of cultivating critical thought and empowering VUE audiences to stand as agents of social change.
We would like to thank the student artists whose art brings life to this issue. We would also like to thank the educators and adults who encouraged these artists to create and contribute to this issue.