THE CENTER'S PUBLIC PROGRAMS offer community leaders and other participants the opportunity to meet powerful players in and around government, and to learn about the context, the influential organizations and other factors that define the policy making landscape in New York City and urban America.

Join us at our upcoming events

Recap the Center’s Past Events

Preventive Service in NYC: Past, Present, & Future

The forum held at The New School ( will explore how preventive services have transformed the child welfare system and review the status of current preventive practices in combination with evidence-based interventions that will shape future services. Join us as we reexamine our shared goal in Preventive Services in Child Welfare, to "make it as safe as possible for parents and families to seek and obtain the help that they need to protect children and stabilize families."

Panelists include: David Hansell, Commissioner, ACS; Eric Brettschneider, 1st Deputy Commissioner, ACS; Dr. Jacqueline Martin, Deputy Commissioner, ACS; James Purcell, CEO, Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies; Dr. Julia Jean Francois, SCO, Center for Family Life; Karen Dixon, ED, Harlem Dowling; Nancy Fortunato, Rise; Norma Martin, former ED, Brooklyn Community Services; Sister Paulette LoMonaco, ED, Good Shepherd Services; Ron Richter, CEO, Jewish Child Care Association; Sharmeela Mediratta, Vice President, Graham Windham;

Co-sponsored by the Center for New York City Affairs and the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies

InsideSchools High School Search Tool Launch

Watch the Oct. 1st demonstration of our new high school search tool for 8th graders, their parents and guidance counselors. With this tool, 8th graders can answer a few questions and get a list of good options for high school. Rather than merely directing students to the most selective and popular schools, we identify lesser-known schools that do a good job with students who may not have top test scores.

We have identified "staff picks for special education," schools that serve a significant number of children with disabilities and graduate them on time.

We also display the most selective schools, but we will note the high number of applicants they receive to give students a realistic sense of their chances of admission.

Tough Calculations: What is College Worth? (2018)

Choosing the right college has never been easy. But today the stakes feel higher than ever. College cost and debt is rising. Many schools have poor graduation rates or do little to help students find jobs. And the economy is changing at a breakneck pace. How can students and families decide which institution will offer the greatest return for their hard-earned tuition dollars?

What factors should students consider in developing a college list? Are on-line sites and rankings helpful? And how can all of this information be used to make our higher education system more responsive to the needs of students?

Opening remarks by David E. Van Zandt, president, The New School

Keynote Presentation by Kaitlin Mulhere, special projects and college rankings editor, Money Magazine

Speakers include: David Helene, co-founder of Edquity, an on-line college financial planning tool; Angie Kamath, university dean for continuing education and workforce development, CUNY, Sonia Szymanski, co-director of college inquiry, College Access: Research and Action

Moderator: Kim Nauer, education research director, Center for New York City Affairs, The New School

School Choice and Integration in NYC (2018)

Forty percent of New York City kindergartners are enrolled in schools other than their zoned neighborhood schools. What does this mean for them, and what does it mean for the schools they leave behind?

The Center for New York City Affairs' senior research fellow Nicole Mader will present our research findings, based on student-level zone assignment data for 700,000 pupils over 10 years.

School choice has allowed thousands of children to leave low-performing schools for higher performing schools, often outside their neighborhoods. But it has also resulted in higher concentrations of poverty and shrinking enrollments and budgets in the schools they leave behind, making it ever harder for those schools to serve their neighborhoods well.

Speakers include: Betty Rosa, chancellor, NYS Board of Regents; Maya Wiley, New School professor and co-chair of the city's School Diversity Advisory Group; Dennis Morgan, PTA president of PS 180 in Harlem and a member of the Community Education Council for District 3.; Allison Roda, Molloy College professor and author of Inequity in Gifted and Talented Programs: Parental Choices about Status, School Opportunity, and Second-Generation Segregation.; Ujju Aggarwal, New School professor and author of the forthcoming book The Color of Choice: Raced Rights and the Structure of Citizenship

Moderator: Clara Hemphill, director of education policy and editor of

What's Next for Children's Behavioral Health Care? (2018)

One in ten children in New York State has a serious emotional disturbance. But the system designed to serve them is chronically overwhelmed: Sick kids sit on waitlists. Mental health and substance abuse clinics struggle to hire pediatric specialists. And providers lose money on Medicaid-funded programs.

The State passed a new budget that offers hope for real reform, expanding Medicaid services designed to catch problems early, serve kids in their communities, and keep them out of institutions. Now it’s time to talk about what’s next.

Speakers include: Donna Bradbury, Associate Commissioner, Division of Integrated Community Services for Children and Families, NYS Office of Mental Health; Marnie Davidoff, Assistant Commissioner, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygien; Gail Nayowith, Principal of 1digit LLC and Chair, NYCDOHMH Community Services Board; Jennifer Havens, MD, Director and Chief of Service, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Bellevue Hospital Center; Kenton Kirby, Director, Make it Happen and Director, Clinical and Trauma Support Services, Crown Heights Community Mediation Center; and Tonia Spence, Senior Director, Early Childhood Services, The Jewish Board

Future of New York City's Health + Hospitals (2017)

On November 15, 2017, The Center for New York City Affairs at The New School and the New York State Nurses Association jointly sponsored a forum on critical issues surrounding the public hospitals of NYC: The Future of New York City's Health + Hospitals Corporation--Preserving and Expanding Access to Care for All New Yorkers.

The forum featured leaders from New York City's hospital and healthcare community. There was a brief presentation by the authors of the new report, "On Restructuring the NYC Health + Hospitals Corporation," by Barbara Caress and James Parrott.

Speakers include: James Knickman, former President of the NYS Health Foundation; Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, former Deputy Mayor and former board chair NYC H+H; Andrea Cohen, NYC H+H Vice President; Jill Furillo, NYSNA President, Jeff Kraut, Northwell Health, Exec. VP.

Tale of Two Cities: Public Housing and Family Poverty in New York and Chicago (2017)

Chicago tore down its high-rises, but what did the city do to build up the people who lived there? The New York City Housing Authority has done better than most in providing decent, affordable homes, yet many residents live in deep poverty. Join us for a discussion about public housing and the needs of resident families and children. Panelists will discuss the structural challenges of inequality and racial segregation that continue to isolate public housing communities and efforts to connect residents to opportunity. 

Speakers include: Michael Kelly, General Manager, New York City Housing Authority; Susan J. Popkin, Senior Fellow and Director of the Program on Neighborhoods and Youth Development, The Urban Institute and author of No Simple Solutions: Transforming Public Housing in Chicago; Aixa Torres, President, Alfred E. Smith Resident Association; Alex Schwartz, Professor, The New School; Talib Hudson, PhD student, The New School/Milano; David Garza, Executive Director, Henry Street Settlement

How to Make Our Schools More Integrated (2016)

InsideSchools and the Center for New York City Affairs present findings and recommendations for better socio-economic integration of the city's public elementary schools, with a particular focus on neighborhoods where integration is possible without busing – that is, economically integrated neighborhoods where the schools are segregated. Why have some schools seen their enrollments plummet while others have long wait lists? What can be done to make all schools attractive to a range of parents? A panel of elected officials and Department of Education administrators will respond to our recommendations.

Speakers include: Joshua Wallack, deputy chancellor of strategy and policy, NYC Department of Education; Brad Lander, council member, New York City Council; Voyka Soto, organizer, Power to Harlem Parents; Nicole Rodriguez Leach, head of education, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation; Shino Tanikawa, president, District 2 Community Education Council; David Van Zandt, president, The New School. The panel was moderated by Clara Hemphill, director of education policy and InsideSchools.

Growing Up NYC (2016)

Growing Up NYC is the City’s first comprehensive policy framework for children and young adults. Deputy Mayor Richard Buery presents the City's agenda, which aims to better coordinate services for young people while also providing clear metrics to measure the risks and well-being of New York City's three million children. Young people, educators, and community leaders will provide their assessments of how children are faring in NYC and what more we can do to ensure the well-being of children and youth.

Other speakers include: Cecilia Clarke, president and CEO, Brooklyn Community Foundation; Angel Diaz, student; Paul Forbes, director, Expanded Success Initiative; Leon Isaacs, student; Jeremy Kohomban, president and CEO, The Children's Village; Benita Miller, executive director, The Children's Cabinet; Kristin Morse, executive director, Center for New York City Affairs; David Van Zandt, president, The New School; and Anne Williams-Isom, CEO, Harlem Children's Zone.

Integration Success Stories (2016)

New York City has been called one of the most segregated school systems in the country, but some schools buck the trend and enroll a mix of children of different races and income levels. InsideSchools visited more than 80 racially and economically integrated elementary schools in the past year. We present our findings about what makes these schools successful, the challenges they face, and the lessons they offer for the rest of the city. A panel of school leaders discuss their experiences with successful integration.

Zipporiah Mills, former principal PS 261, Brooklyn; Victoria Hunt, founding principal, Dos Puentes Elementary School, Manhattan; Clarence Ellis, superintendent, District 17, Brooklyn; Joshua Bloodworth, PTA president, PS11, Brooklyn

Parks Without Borders (2016)

NYC Parks, the Center for New York City Affairs, and the Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School bring together thought leaders from a range of disciplines to explore the future of parks and public space.

Nature's Benefits - Climate Protection and Inspiration 

Jennifer Greenfeld, Nilda Mesa, Arturo Garcia-Costas, Timon McPhearson, David Seiter


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Hollywood in The New Cold War
The Perpetual Perpetrator: Contemporary Contexts (2016)

It has been twenty-five years since the Soviet Union dissolved and the Cold War ended, yet Russia remains a loyal enemy. Although America and Russia have been allies for the past two decades, these countries always force one another into formulaic cultural imaginations, and Hollywood is by no means innocent. Recent films such as the historical drama Bridge of Spies (2015) further exemplify how little the American perception of the “enemy” has changed. 

Women's Pay Equity: Getting Even (2016)

It is well known that women in the U.S. are paid, on average, 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns. We discuss what is the nature of the pay gap and why does it exist, who is affected the most, and what policy initiatives can be taken to close the gap?

Deborah J Glick, assemblymember, NY State Assembly; Brad Hoylman, senator, NY State Senate; Azadeh Khalili, founding executive director, Commission on Gender Equity, NYC Mayor's Office; Beverly Cooper Neufeld, founder, PowHer New York; Teresa Tritch, editorial board, The New York Times

Bringing It All Home: Problems and Possibilities Facing NYC's Family Child Care (2016)

In 2012, with the advent of EarlyLearnNYC, New York City imposed new quality standards on its licensed, subsidized family child care programs. Over three years in, how has this reform played out? 

Lorelei Vargas, deputy commissioner of early care and education, Administration for Children’s Services; Rhonda Carloss-Smith, associate executive director, Center for Children’s Initiative; Patrice Cuddy, Director of Early Childhood Parent-Child Programs, Westchester Jewish Community Services; Jessica Sager, director, All Our Kin; Sonia Vera, educational director, New Life Child Development Center; Natasha Lifton, senior program officer, children, youth and families, The New York Community Trust

Politics and Policy Series
The New Wild West: Money and the 2016 US Presidential Election (2016)

During the 2016 cycle, the campaign finance system finally and completely jumped the shark. Candidates raised hundreds of millions for SuperPACs which may have as much, if not more, influence over outcomes than the actual campaigns themselves. And yet, at the dawn of the primary season, all this money seemed to matter little. 

Zach Allen, Democratic fundraising consultant; Raj Goyle, Member, Obama 2012 National Finance Committee and former Kansas legislator; Christina Greer, Associate Professor of Political Science, Fordham University; Jack Oliver, Finance Chair, Right to Rise PAC, SuperPAC supporting Jeb Bush; Adam Smith, Communications Director, Every Voice; Ken Vogel, Chief investigative correspondent, POLITICO; Jeff Smith, Assistant Professor, The New School