Sabrina DuQuesnay

I will remember those who fought for integrated schools in a segregated nation.
Sabrina is a senior at Brooklyn College Academy.

Sabrina is a senior at Brooklyn College Academy.

I will remember those who fought for racially integrated schools in a segregated nation, 

Those who, rather than stand on the sidelines, took active participation.

Children are robbed of their opportunity to succeed lacking the tools,

Because they live in an area which forces them to go to low-achieving schools. 

In my old middle school, 8% of students met standards on the state math test, that's 8%, imagine the number of those who didn’t pass yet. 

I’m lucky now to go to a high school that prepares me, yet what about the rest, what about treating them fairly? 

My zoned high school 18K635, has a 15% College and career readiness rate, may I ask why?

Prominent Gang affiliations coloring our hallways with shades of red and blue, the irony, that's apart of the cops light color, too. 

We’re not all too different, yet not exactly the same, but should our socioeconomic difference be justified as blame, that students miss the opportunity for a quality education, based solely on the fact that they reside at a particular location?

We must not be acquiescent. Ready to accept the time for change is gone.

Should not our schools reflect the diversity which we as a city pride ourselves upon?

We must question: What do well-funded schools have, that underfunded schools don’t?

Better yet, what can well-off students do that underprivileged students won’t?

In this sense, we all have equal capabilities, yet it’s educational inequity that limits these opportunities.

New York has one of the most segregated school systems – housing projects and economic backgrounds determining the rate of success. The school funds are unequally spread, leading to unequal resource access.  

James Coleman, former president of the American Sociological Association, in 1966 published a report outlining a study of school performance and race relations. The study found that minority students performed better in racially integrated schools, that students had increased academic preparation, with access to these tools.

I remember in middle school not being able to bring textbooks home, weird tasting water ever present at the fountains. Students prosper on the other side of this economic divide, yet we are rendered inert at the end of this mountain. 

Young elementary school students lack textbooks in phonology, then are expected to ace the grammar section of the SAT.

Seemingly drain-like, the money and resources flow to one side, as so with this delicate sea of equality, does one see a change in tide.

No after-school programs increasing potential disruptive behavior. We are the change we seek, yet our apparent success is rooted in failure.

They say that it's residential income segregation—the separation of residents by income and the isolation. The neighborhoods are split, racially segregated, access to better schools determined by location.

Since racially and economically segregated housing leads to racially and economically segregated neighborhood schools,  we can increase integration through policies that lead to more integrated neighborhoods.

It’s not just me, but the children we raise, it’s more than the past that we are fighting to erase.

Lest we forget that it's the past that we must remember to face, in times of adversity, we forget that it's commonplace to ignore the problems, ignore the fact that kids need stimulation, recreational programs, resources to aid in their communication.

We have a duty not only to ourselves, but to the future generation, to help the young minds stand steady on a solid foundation, first by taking active roles in our communities instead of supporting mere narrations, and when change is stagnant, we organize demonstrations. To teach the kids that we are more than our past mistakes, that under pressure we’ll persevere because we are well aware of the stakes.

That despite the obstacles, despite the politics and more, we are willing to fight this inequitable war, that the right to a proper education should be granted to all, because united we stand but divided we fall.

Let us be remembered, not for lack of contribution, but as men and women of a society that when given problems, found solutions. Let us not be remembered as dwellers of the past, but as present and future thinkers whose legacy will forever last.

I will remember those who fought for integrated schools in a segregated nation.

Those who, rather than stand on the sidelines, took active participation.

Those who are willing to fight for students to go to quality schools regardless of learning mode.

Those who understand that obtaining an education should not be determined by performance, race, tax bracket, or zip code. 

I will remember those who will fight to ensure they are well informed. 

Those who are willing to help change the system that we undeniably formed.