Episode 5: The Disappearing District
School Colors · 60 minutes ·

Episode 5: The Disappearing District

Since 2002, the number of students in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 has dropped by more than half. There’s no single reason why this is happening, but the year 2002 is a clue: that’s when Michael Bloomberg became the Mayor, abolished local school boards, and took over the New York City school system.

In this episode, we’ll meet parents trying to reassert collective power and local accountability in District 16 after years of neglect from the Department of Education; parents trying to save their school from being closed for persistently low enrollment; and parents trying to do what they believe is best for their children by leaving the district altogether.

In a Black community that has struggled for self-determination through education for nearly 200 years, what does self-determination look like today?


Producers / Hosts: Mark Winston Griffith and Max Freedman

Editing & Sound Design: Elyse Blennerhassett

Production Support: Jaya Sundaresh, Ilana Levinson

Music: avery r. young and de deacon board, Chris Zabriskie, Blue Dot Sessions

Featured in this episode: Kamality Guzman, NeQuan McLean, Natasha Capers, Felicia Alexander, Clara Hemphill, Dr. Lester Young, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Faraji Hannah-Jones, Andre Farrell, Kayann Stephens, Dascy Griffin, Crystal Williams, Leonie Haimson.

School Colors is a production of Brooklyn Deep, the citizen journalism project of the Brooklyn Movement Center. Made possible by support from the NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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