In June of 2013, the NY Gifted Education Examiner reported on the 1st Annual Uptown Education Forum for Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. The goal then was to create a user-friendly guide to help Uptown students, parents, educators, and other community members better understand and navigate the organization and functions of the various education-related offices within the NYC public school system as well as the roles and responsibilities of other education-related decision-making bodies.
But that was only a portion of the agenda. One of the forum's participating organization is Total Equity Now (TEN), whose mission statement is to "empower Harlemites as active participants and decision makers in advancing educational excellence and equity by facilitating educational information sharing, community organizing, youth civic leadership development, and community-based policy research."
They also hold special events, such as the upcoming 2nd Annual Visit Your Harlem Library Day on Saturday, June 7 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
On that day, families from all over NYC are invited to stop by any library in Harlem to receive their "Harlem Library Passport" from a Total Equity Now volunteer. They will also receive a sticker for visiting that particular branch and be taken on a tour of the facility, as well as given a monthly calendar of upcoming community events. Every library offers a different sticker, and the goal is to collect all ten!
If your family, school, youth-development organization, civic association, faith-based institution, or other group would like to participate as a team, please email: VisitYourLibrary@TotalEquityNowHarlem.org.
But that's not all! Other past and future TEN activities include:
* The Harlem Adult Education Conference, bringing together educators and administrators from 14 community-based adult-education programs to learn from each other and build relationships that benefit Harlem's adult learners.
* Harlem/Washington Heights-to-Maine Learning Adventure featuring cross-cultural dialogue, historical and agricultural enrichment activities and college tours to empower 8th graders
* First-day-of-every-month Literacy Across Harlem Day and an inter-generational #RockThoseReads Street Team service project.
* 2nd Annual Harlem Mentoring Fair to connect community-minded adults with organizations seeking mentors for young people in the community.
* 3rd Annual Literacy Across Harlem March, Book Drive & Community Celebration on September 20th, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
All events are put on by teams of volunteers and community partners who facilitate democratic problem solving and activism; literacy initiatives that connect young people, parents, and others with reading-related resources and help build reading pride; youth-development programs that promote critical thinking and civic leadership; timely information sharing via social-media pages; and education coalitions and conferences that have begun to tear down some of the longstanding barriers preventing the uptown community from reaching its full potential.
They are currently in the process of fundraising to support all of the above, and those who would like to make a contribution can go to: www.totalequitynowharlem.org/donate