What New York City students are doing about climate change

Students with Global Kids at a climate change conference in Poland.

Students with Global Kids at a climate change conference in Poland. Global Kids

The New York City-based Global Kids sent four high school students to Poland. That is where representatives from 192 countries were discussing the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. The students – three from New York and one from Minnesota – are an accepted exhibitor on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in collaboration with the non-governmental organization Peach Boat. The Dec. 4-12 trip was part of the Global Kids Human Rights Activist Project, which aims to get students involved in public policy discussions. Past efforts include a successful effort in the New York City Council to mandate climate change education in public school. Find out more about the project here.


The nonprofit Sing for Hope was behind a Queens school event that brought Haitian and American students together. Queens Courier has the details on how that event happened after Sing for Hope – which promotes the arts citywide – delivered a piano to Horace Greeley Middle School on Nov. 1. That’s when a representative of the nonprofit asked school principal Clemente Lopes if he would be interested in hosting the children’s choir Voices of Haiti. Students got a chance to meet students from another country, improve their cultural understanding, and hear some music.


A new fellowship is available for journalists interested in covering Raise the Age in upstate and western New York. The New York bureau of The Chronicle of Social Change is looking for two professional journalists and two student journalists to take on this juvenile justice issue by producing three to five stories in the coming year. Training and stipends are available. Read more about it here.


There were lots of celebrities on hand at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ Dec. 12 gala. Former President Barack Obama, actor Robert De Niro, musician Jon Bon Jovi, actor Chris Tucker and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy were just a few of the big names among the 1,600 guests at the event, which raised more than $6 million. Actor Alec Baldwin hosted an auction that raised about $200,000 for prizes that included Hamilton tickets and a chance to have dinner at journalist Bob Woodward’s house, according to a Dec. 13 press release. The nonprofit has been making headlines as of late for its controversial program to bail out teens and women held at Rikers Island.


A top federal child welfare official is coming to JCCA today. Jerry Milner – commissioner of the federal Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families – will stop by the nonprofit to learn more about its work in preventative services for at-risk youth, workshops for families involved in the foster care system and other services. JCCA was formerly known as Jewish Child Care Association.

The visit came about when JCCA CEO Ronald Richter crossed paths with Milner at a panel discussion, but the timing is quite fortuitous because it will give JCCA an opportunity to show off its preventive programs – a top priority for Milner as the Family First Act gets implemented.  


A coalition of nonprofits and religious groups wants NYCHA to stay under the control of New York City. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is considering a takeover of the beleaguered city public housing agency, but faith leaders and allies say that could results in the loss of public housing units and other negative effects on the hundreds of thousands of people who live in NYCHA housing.

To stop this, the coalition – co-led by FPWA, Majlis Ash-Shura: Islamic Leadership Council of New York, Riverside Church, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, and United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn – sent a letter on Dec. 13 to HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

“We know what happens when the federal government takes over local public housing authorities,” reads the letter. “In Gary, Indiana; Cairo, Illinois; Wellston Missouri; and Chicago, Illinois, federal receivership all ended the same way: large public housing developments were shuttered and hundreds, sometimes thousands, of residents were displaced. Even with Section 8 assistance, families are priced out of their hometowns.”

Read the full letter below: