As a civil rights organization whose focus is on public policy analysis, evaluating efforts to combat discrimination and to help with the unlearning of stereotypes, the New York Civil Rights Coalition is a resource to the media, to schools, and colleges, to civic organizations, and leaders and grassroots community organizations, in the strategies for transforming our thinking and habits about “race” and for ending skin color prejudice.
We seek to accomplish our purposes through issue identification; fact-finding; report preparation; media relations; public information; consultation with community leaders and decision makers; monitoring governmental agencies; intervention, whenever desirable; and non-partisan advocacy. Through the provision of analysis, information, and feedback on race relations, civil rights, and public policy issues, NYCRC is an on-going resource for the media, parents, students, and citizens, and, in particular, for public-interest, community-based, professional, and civic organizations. Whenever possible, NYCRC works in concert with individuals or groups “in coalition” to foster intergroup understanding and to counteract racial violence, prejudice, and ethnic polarization.
NYCRC exists to reorder the Civil Rights Movement; that is, to supply fresh perspectives and intelligent evaluation of governmental and non-governmental efforts that purport to remedy racial isolation and invidious discrimination. Those who associate with the New York Civil Rights Coalition use only non-violent, lawful and educational methods to lessen ethnic and racial tensions,
During the course of any year, NYCRC employs a core staff and engages scores of volunteers to carry out its objectives. A key educational effort is our Unlearning Stereotypes project, which recruits, trains and assigns volunteers to senior and junior high schools to team-teach our unique Unlearning Stereotypes: Civil Rights and Race Relations course. Each team (usually comprised of lawyers and law students, as well as civic and community leaders) visits the same class each week for an entire semester, to engage students in candid discussions of racial, religious, ethnic and other kinds of stereotypes and prejudices. Through Socratic teaching, mock trials, role playing and open-discussion, students examine their own attitudes—as well as those of their classmates—thereby learning about themselves and each other.
NYCRC counters outbreaks of hate with Stop the Hate campaigns, including rallies, and unity walks, and holds consultations, conferences, and community forums. We serve as a catalyst for action on several fronts, on behalf of equal opportunities and protection of civil rights. NYCRC’s program is to give crisp analysis and to insist on rational discussion of controversial questions about race, stereotyping and prejudice. However, mere dialogue or “protest” is not a suitable avenue for NYCRC. Initiating appropriate action to remedy particular problems that impede social progress is our focus. Public information and education are important strategies for bringing attention to discreet problems; these are coordinated with direct intervention techniques to promote citizen involvement and participation with solutions. Hence, “coalition” is NYCRC’s process, not its structure. NYCRC, through its staff, guided and supported by its governing board, and board of advisers, speaks and acts independently, and sets its own course in pursuit of positive social change.