By Evette D. Champion
Jennifer Hudson performed at the Stand for School Equality rally on October 7 at the Cadman Plaza in New York. Over 15,000 parents, students, and educators attended the campaign organized by The Families of Excellent Schools in an effort to stop separate and unequal schools all over New York.
The American Idol and superstar felt the call to add her voice to the betterment of education for all children in the state. In an interview with New York Daily News, Hudson stated, “I’m standing for education equality because every child deserves access to a great school.”
Hudson has a personal investment in this fight, as her six-year old son started school in Manhattan this past September. The website for The Families for Excellent Schools thoroughly explains the ultimate goals they hope to achieve by organizing the rally. The organization is working to break down the barriers that are preventing minority students from receiving a quality education which will help them achieve greatness.
The organization’s website makes a bold statement: “New York City’s schools tell a Tale of Two School Systems.”
The Families for Excellent Schools paints a picture of one school system that is geared toward white and Asian students. This school system has the best elementary, middle, and high schools. Students who attend these schools have doors that will open for them when the time is ready.
“The other system is bigger and bleaker — and almost entirely for children of color,” the website continues. “In New York City’s 850 lowest-performing schools, nine out of every ten children are Black or Hispanic. These schools funnel our most at-risk kids through a pipeline of failing elementary schools, failing middle schools, and failing high schools — before abandoning them on the precipice of poverty.”
Besides the rally, the Stand for School Equality event will be organizing a march where they will cross the Brooklyn Bridge and go all the way up to City Hall in Manhattan.
DJ Jazzy Jeff was in attendance and he had something to add about the education system in Philadelphia.
“The sad thing about it is you don’t necessarily realize it when you’re right in the middle of it,” he said. “Growing up, going to public school in Philadelphia, I thought I was getting the best education that I could. So, once you get older and you start to understand that there were differences in the education that you were getting. There were differences in the textbooks, there were differences in the teachers and the classroom sizes. It turns into this isn’t right and what can I do to make this right.”