Chancellor Carranza Celebrates Respect For All Week From Harlem To Hollis Queens

Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today celebrated the start of the 11th annual Respect for All Week in New York City schools, focused on embracing diversity, building community, and preventing hate. Citywide, schools serving grades 3-K through 12 are promoting kindness and respect through activities and events emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusion.

“In every school community, it’s important to reflect on the value of kindness and respect, while celebrating diversity and inclusion, and that’s exactly what Respect for All Week achieves,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “This year, as we see a troubling rise in hate crimes in our City, it’s more important than ever that we make our schools welcoming learning environments, and I applaud all schools that are participating.”

“During Respect for All Week, we highlight the great work that schools do every day of making students feel safe, welcome and supported,” said Deputy Chancellor for the Division of School Climate and Wellness LaShawn Robinson. “This week is an important reminder that students are most successful when their identities are affirmed, celebrated, and reflected in their schools and classrooms. I want to thank school leaders, teachers and all school staff for the work they do during this week and year round to ensure a supportive environment for every child.”

Launched in 2010, Respect for All Week provides schools across the city the opportunity to highlight and build upon ongoing programs to help students, staff, and communities gain a better understanding of diversity. Schools may also start new initiatives that promote respect for diversity and focus on preventing bullying, intimidation, and bias-based harassment. Each day is dedicated to a different theme:

  • Monday: Celebrating Kindness/Be an Ally
  • Tuesday: Anti-Bullying/ Cyberbullying
  • Wednesday: Respect for Diversity, Religious Acceptance and Racial Diversity
  • Thursday: Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation and LGBTQ pride and acceptance
  • Friday: National No One Eats Alone Day

Schools are encouraged to promote acceptance and understanding through theme-based lessons and activities including:

  • Celebrating kindness through “kindness grams” and affirmations
  • Assemblies and small group meetings focused on anti-bullying
  • Field trips to historical and cultural sites throughout the city
  • Assemblies on gender identity, sexual orientation and LGBTQ pride and acceptance
  • Showing school pride by wearing school colors

“Respect for All is an important part of the NYC Department of Education’s plan to make our schools safe places for all students,” said Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm. “As a former NYC public school teacher, I know the positive impact a welcoming classroom can have on a child’s education. I am pleased that the Department is prioritizing this important program and will continue to work alongside Chancellor Carranza on this vitally important effort.”

This year, Respect for All Weeks is a key component of the DOE’s efforts on hate crime prevention. Last month, the DOE announced an expanded partnership with the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The DOE is working closely with principals in Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and Borough Park to send all eighth- and tenth-grade classes, totaling 14,000 students, in these neighborhoods on field trips to the Museum. In addition, all New York City public schools’ families can visit the Museum free of charge. This Wednesday, to honor Religious Acceptance and Racial Diversity Day, four schools are planning field trips to the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

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