Saturday, May 21, 2016

2016 Theme: Engaging Communities

  • How can we prepare students to be active citizens in their communities, their city, and beyond?
  • How can we engage students with the stories of community organizers and leaders who have made a difference?
  • How do you nurture your classroom’s community?
  • How do you inspire your students to envision new possibilities for their world?

On Saturday, May 21, 2016, the Museum of the City of New York will host the 4th Annual Teaching Social Activism in the Classroom Conference. Educators are invited to present and participate in this free full-day conference, which highlights the various tools and techniques used by teachers to engage their students in the history and practice of social change. Inspired by the content of the Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition, Activist New York, educators, activists, and historians present their work to one another and discuss the best practices for teaching this important subject to students of all ages.

Our Topic
Engaging Communities

Participation in the conference counts towards maintaining professional certification from the New York City Department of Education. All participating educators receive a letter of attendance.

Email pd@mcny.org for more information.


Saturday, May 21, 2016 - Museum of the City of New York

Sign-in begins at 8:30 am. The day concludes at 3:30 pm.


  • 8:30 am – 9:00 am  Check-in and Coffee
  • 9:00 am  Opening Remarks
    • Keynote Address: Engaging, Challenging, Creating: A Visual Exploration of Community
      Dominique Jean-Louis, Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Fellow, Museum of the City of New York
  • 10:10 am – 11:00 am, Session I: Engaging the Community
    • Transitioning: A 180-Day Journey of Gender, Identity, and Acceptance
      Matthew Amore, Middle School Teacher, CPE II
    • Youth on Community Boards: Preparing Young Adult Stakeholders
      Alan Schulman, Coordinator, Youth on Community Boards (moderator); Lucille Songhai, Director of Community Affairs, Manhattan Borough President's Office; Al Kurland, Police Athletic League; Tommy Torres, Education Committee Chair, Community Board 1 Brooklyn; Four 16-18 year old Community Board Appointees
    • Creating an Engaged and Nurturing Learning Community: Promoting Respect and Taking Risks
      Juan Castellanos, Facing History and Ourselves
    • Engaging People in Change (EPIC): Creating Youth Activist Spaces
      Abby Nathanson, Program Director for EPIC, with EPIC student leaders
  • 11:10 am – 12:00 am, Session II: Connecting to Community
    • Chalk Talk: Fostering Activism Through School History
      Deenah Shutzer, Brooklyn Connections Educator; Kaitlin Holt, Program Manager; Brendan Murphy, Education Coordinator, Brooklyn Public Library
    • Cultivating Change Agents: Developing Self-efficacy as a Pathway to Social Action
      Jennifer Frank, Millersville University
    • Voices for Civic Engagement: Integrating Activism into the Curriculum
      Shana Stein, Andrea McLaughlin, Tom Manos, Lead Teachers, Civics and Government Institute; Jeffrey Freeman, Lead Teacher, Center for Social Justice
    • Teachers Own Civic Experiences: A Factor in Our Modeling
      Mark Levy, Teacher, Organizer, Consultant; Bridget Bartolini, Founder, Five Boro Story Circle Project; Patrick Keegan, Instructor, TC/CU Social Studies; Alejandro Rodriguez, Director of Future Leaders Network, ASTEP
  • 1:10 pm – 2:00 pm, Session III: Challenging Community
    • Building Undocumented Student Leadership in Schools
      Jennifer Queenan, Ariela Rothstein, NYC DOE High School Teachers and members of Teach Dream; Guadalupe Ambrosio, member of the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC); Additional NYSYLC members
    • “If There is No Struggle, There is No Progress”: Smith Students Demand Removal of Metal Detectors
      Alan Singer, Professor, Hofstra University; Pablo Muriel, Teacher, Alfred E. Smith HS; Dennis and Ibrahim, Alfred E. Smith HS Students; Scott Savaiano, Hofstra Student
    • Zine-making and Sharing: Building a Classroom Community while Discovering Personal Identity
      Jackie Du, Artist and Educator
    • #NotOneMore: Kalief Browder, Racial Justice, and Human Rights
      Michaela Miragliotta, ARTE Curriculum Development Coordinator
  • 2:10 pm – 3:00 pm, Session IV: Creating the Community
    • Never Too Young to Be Authors: Students Learning to Becoming Future Historians and Preservationists
      Carl Ballenas, Elementary School Teacher; Student Authors: Derek Netto, Senior, Columbia University, Brandon Arjun, Freshman, St. John's University, Guishyloh Boursiquot, Senior, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, Ryla Pasaoa, 8th Grade, Immaculate Conception Catholic Academy
    • Voices for Nature: Student Activism Beginning in the Classroom, Olivia Kalin, Museum Educator, Art and Nature Studies for Elementary and Early Childhood, Wave Hill; Jackie Du, Artist and Educator
    • Postcard Educate: Bringing Social Activism into the Classroom
      Allie Cashel, Director of Operations, Postcard Educate
  • 3:00 pm  Closing

Participation in the conference counts towards maintaining professional certification from the New York City Department of Education. All participating educators receive a letter of attendance.

Attending the Conference

Attending the Conference is Free! All educators, students, administrators, and professionals are welcome to attend. Reserve your free spot below. If you are interested in bringing students with you, please email pd@mcny.org with your projected number of students.


Teacher Advisory Group

New this year, we are working with a group of educators to help review submissions and suggest ideas for sessions and activities. Interested in joining next year's teacher advisory group for the conference? Email pd@mcny.org to learn more.

The Puffin Foundation

Activist New York is the inaugural exhibition in The Puffin Foundation Gallery, which is dedicated to the ways in which ordinary New Yorkers have exercised their power to shape the city's and the nation's future.

Puffin Foundation logo