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MVCSD holds first ever District-wide No Place for Hate Day

MVCSD holds first ever District-wide No Place for Hate Day

On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, the Mount Vernon City School District celebrated its first No Place for Hate (NPFH) Day.  Families throughout the community walked with their children to school to take a stand against hate. Everyone was encouraged to wear a white, maroon or a NPFH shirt to show unity.  

Student ambassadors at MVHA

Each school held activities to acknowledge the hard work, commitment, and dedication of students, teachers, staff, parents, and community leaders in support of acceptance, tolerance, allyship, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Schools have been participating in No Place for Hate activities throughout the year, and No Place for Hate Day served as the culminating event at all schools. 

“I think that this program is really good, especially for young kids,” said Arianna Mitchell, seventh grade student at Mount Vernon Honor Academy and one of the NPFH ambassadors at the school. “A lot of schools don’t teach the young kids this, so they grow up not knowing. We had a No Place for Hate ceremony in the middle of the school year, and we talked about the roots of No Place for Hate, what it's for, and how it is going to help us.” 

Students with No Place for Hate Day temporary tattoos

The Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) NPFH is a comprehensive program to build inclusive schools.  The program focuses on combating bias and bullying as a means to stop acts of hate and intolerance. Dr. Jamal Doggett, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Curriculum, Instruction & Administration, and School Social Worker Josephine Kirkland-Hudson first implemented the NPFH program at Rebecca Turner School in 2016 when Dr. Doggett was the principal.   

“This does make me feel supported by my school,” said Vera Wreh, eighth grade NPFH ambassador at MVHA. “It makes me feel like there’s more hope for people to change their ways from being hateful to being more friendly with each other without having to feel like they can’t do anything about it.” 

Last year, the program was expanded to all 16 schools and a District team was created under Dr. Doggett's leadership. In 2023, ADL named Mount Vernon the largest school District in Westchester County where every school received the designation as No Place for Hate.   

"Today's first NPFH Day signifies our school community continues to be energized throughout the District in a unified approach to improving school culture and climate,” said Ms. Kirkland-Hudson. 

Student wearing white and holding No Place for Hate stickers.

Now in its second year of District-wide implementation, the District is the largest school District in Westchester County where every school achieved a Gold Star No Place for Hate designation. Schools receive the gold star designation when they have gone over and beyond to complete more than the required NPFH activities throughout the year. These activities focused on diversity, inclusion, acceptance and allyship.   

“This creates a safe space for our scholars to excel academically and socially,” said Dr. Doggett. “We look forward to making this a yearly celebration of building a positive learning community of respect and inclusivity." 

Students wearing white and maroon for No Place for Hate
Pennington sidewalk with chalk for No Place for Hate Day
Students working on No Place for Hate Day activity.
 No Place for Hate rocks.
Parent and daughter on No Place for Hate Day
Two teachers wearing No Place for Hate shirts and holding sign.
No Place for Hate banners.
Students at No Place for Hate ceremony.
Students with NPFH Day project

Mount Vernon students and staff at the No Place for Hate ceremony in New York:

Lowes Moore Q+A

Lowes Moore, MVHS Class of 1976 graduate, is a former NBA basketball star and coach, and he served as Executive Director and Director of Development at the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon for 27 years. He now hosts a podcast and runs Lowes Moore Global Communications. 

View the Q+A with Lowes Moore here!

Students in a court room on steps.

Applications for the 15th annual Scales of Justice Academy (SJA) at Fordham University School of Law and The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University have been extended and are open until Saturday, June 15, 2024. The program will begin on Monday, July 22, at both locations. Legal courses will be taught by over 40 volunteer judges, lawyers, law professors, law students and elected officials. scalesofjusticeacademy.org

Click here for the Fordham University SJA Application (July 22-31)

Click here for the Pace University SJA Application (July 22-26)

Students playing games.

On Wednesday, June 6, 2024, members of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council came to the Education Center from across the Mount Vernon City School District to convene their last meeting of the 2023-24 school year. The Superintendent’s Advisory Council is comprised of a group of student leaders selected from every school in the district.

President Kirwan, Dr. White and Dr. Smith.

Two Mount Vernon City School District administrators, Pennington Principal Dr. Melissa White and Director of Humanities Marybeth Rhodes, were honored at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, June 4, 2024. Acting Superintendent Dr. K. Veronica Smith and Board of Education President Lorna Kirwan presented the awards. 

Logo for news post

Dr. K. Veronica Smith, Acting Superintendent of Schools: 

The Mount Vernon City School District is pleased to have reached two settlements of its dispute with the City of Mount Vernon regarding school taxes from the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years to the District.