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Jalise Burt

2014, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Jalise Burt

Jalise Burt

Name of Host Organization: New York Civil Liberties Union
City, State: New York, New York
Issue area: Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Gay/Lesbian Rights
Sponsors: Kramer Levin

The Project

Jalise provided representation to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and gender nonconforming students in New York City facing school suspensions, and advocated for their equal access to education.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Too often, the heightened visibility of LGBTQ and gender nonconforming youth attracts unjustified negative attention. In schools, this negative attention can manifest in destructive bullying situations and in teachers’ biases. Both circumstances can lead to increased contact with school discipline and school police, which can ultimately lead to dropping out. Additionally, because students in NYC schools are overwhelmingly youth of color, many of these LGBTQ/GNC students occupy a doubly marginalized status. The 40,000-100,000 LGBTQ students in NYC public schools need an advocate to stand up, for their rights and to end policies that lead to disproportionate discipline and the school-to-prison pipeline.