The Public School Avengers

According to a 2014 report by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project, New York City’s schools continue to be among the most segregated in the nation. How does a diverse city still have such segregated schools?

In the summer of 2017, CUP collaborated with Teaching Artist Nupur Mathur and a group of students from the Red Hook Community Justice Center to peel back the layers on school segregation. To investigate, students got out of the classroom and into the politics of education to speak with people invested in the future of NYC’s public high schools, from students and parents to educators and policy makers. Students created The Public School Avengers to teach others about school choice, the impact decisions make on a student’s future, and how you can get involved.

Students debuted their project at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, where they presented their booklet, demonstrated their interview skills, and shared their creative process.

Get your own booklet here

What People are Saying

We learned how to ask the right kinds of questions, to listen carefully to the answers, and to form an opinion for ourselves.” – Malik Boston, student

The CUP program helped me see things differently. Now I know I don’t have to accept things as they are, but if I see a problem, I can change it.” – Kenneth Frazier, student

This project taught me that civic engagement is giving people of a community the power to make the decisions for that community. I learned how to talk to people, even if I was nervous, and how just speaking with others can help bring awareness to an issue.” – Christy Liu, student

Resources & Links

The Red Hook Community Justice Center (RHCJC) is the nation’s first multi-jurisdictional community court and is part of the Center for Court Innovation that seeks to help create a more effective and humane justice system by designing and implementing operating programs, performing original research, and providing reformers around the world with the tools they
need to launch new strategies.

Funding Support

Major support for this project was provided by the Brooklyn Community Foundation. Additional support was provided by Cycle Architecture + Planning, Timothy & Elizabeth Howell, Lauren Kogod & David Smiley, Jeremy Robinson-Leon, Carol & Mark Willis, and more than two dozen CUP supporters.

Special Thanks

Lisa Donlan, Francisco Dominguez, Julia Espero, Jeneuse Geula, Clara Hemphill,
Anya Kamenetz, Mia Lee, Angelina Lopez, Nicole Mader, Carlos Menchaca,
Aneth Naranjo, Julisa Perez, Douglas Ready, and Jen Robinson


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Nupur Mathur
  • Project Lead
  • Jenn Anne Wiliams
  • Project Support
  • Frampton Tolbert

  • Miranda Almonte
  • Maritza Romera Baez
  • Malik Boston
  • Kenneth Fraizer
  • Keandre Hayne
  • Terence Hoskey
  • Kaiya Jordan
  • Quincy Kingston
  • Christy Liu
  • Shemar Miller
  • Elisa Salgado
  • Kristopher Whitehurst
  • Michael Williams
  • Deputy Director
  • Viviana Gordon

  • Associate Director of Youth and Community Programs
  • Sabrina Carter

  • Training and Education Associate
  • Joshua Pacheco