The Problem

Over-policed schools and neighborhoods

Decades of over-policing have torn at the fabric of our communities. Translatina women and youth of color experience unwarranted and unwanted encounters with police on a regular basis. Students, including elementary-school children, face harsh, unnecessary disciplinary measures. Schools have more police officers than guidance counselors, and metal detectors at the entrances force youth to wait in blocks-long lines just to enter school.

Immigrants and New Yorkers of color are sick of getting caught up in a criminal justice system ill-equipped to uphold their basic rights.

See the Solution
The Solution

Ending police brutality and the school-to-prison pipeline

Make the Road New York leads the way to ending the over-policing and brutality that target our communities. We’ve led coalitions that have won victories impacting millions of New Yorkers, like the passage of the Community Safety Act, which dramatically reined in biased “stop and frisk” policing. Our approaches serve as a model for cities across the country.

In 2016, MRNY youth and our allies won an amendment to the NYC Student Safety Act, requiring detailed incident reporting that is helping to shape school discipline policy. We continue to push for an end to stop-and-frisk practices, and advance policies that increase police accountability and protect the rights of New Yorkers in police encounters.

Our TGNCIQ members build networks of safety and support in our neighborhoods to prevent homophobic hate violence, and fight to end discriminatory police practices. We conduct hate violence response training to ensure community members are equipped to support survivors of anti-trans violence, and provide local police with trans sensitivity training and education.

of trans people
report being stopped by the police in Jackson Heights, compared to 28% of non-trans survey respondents.
Fast Facts
  • More than a decade of organizing has resulted in reductions of suspensions by 32%, arrests and summonses in school by 27%, and suspensions for insubordination by 81% in New York City schools.
  • Our work secured $2.4 million for a restorative justice initiative including 25 schools, built from our design.
  • Our Know Your Rights trainings reach 1,000 youth each year.
  • We successfully advocated for the passage of the Community Safety Act which has significantly decreased the rate of stop-and-frisk in New York City.
Meet Isaiah Quiñones (IQ)

IQ helped organize a peaceful walkout at their high school to protest a cell phone policy. The school called its NYPD officers who aggressively interrogated and harassed IQ and cited them for disorderly conduct. This was later dismissed but the experience stayed with them. “I felt scared and alone, infuriated with the violations of my rights. Fortunately, through the skills and knowledge Make the Road had given me, I was able to advocate for myself, and in turn, help others advocate for their own rights.”

Last year, Isaiah’s high school awarded them its first-ever community leader award for their organizing work with our Youth Power Project. IQ is now attending Hunter College, and plans to become a geologist.

Help us end discriminatory policing in our communities.

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