#BBQBecky, #PermitPatty…Now Meet #MeritlessMary

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Parents, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized

According to a recent lawsuit, #MeritlessMary – Mary R. Watson a dean at The New School university in New York City – helped have a Black woman professor fired. Allegedly, the termination was in retaliation for reporting Watson’s racist actions. #MeritlessMary appears to be much less qualified as a professor than the Black woman, award-winning filmmaker and scholar Dr. Robin J. Hayes.

New York Post Features Dr. Robin J. Hayes and “Black and Cuba”

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Authors, Parents, Scholars, Students, Teachers

“The discrimination has done “long-term” damage to her career and left her “humiliated,” reports The New York Post.

Dr. Robin J. Hayes

The widely read New York City paper detailed Dr. Hayes’ discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against The New School. The legal action also targets as individuals some of the highest ranking officials at the university including: President David Van Zandt, Labor Relations VP Keila Tennent-DeCouteau, Provost Tim Marshall, Deputy Provost Bryna Sanger, and Executive Dean Mary Watson. Hayes, producer and director of the award-winning documentary Black and Cubais African American and openly lesbian.

“The New School only hired her as a token of diversity to stem complaints about its mostly white staff,” the article states.

Read the complete New York Post piece here.

New Video Argues The New School Shields Accused Rapist

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Parents, Scholars, Students, Teachers

According to a new film short by Progressive Pupil released via social media, the university’s leadership refused to fire psychology Professor Emanuele Castano, despite receiving repeated complaints about his sexual misconduct. According to a lawsuit and report in the New York Post, a student alleged Castano raped her at least ten times.

In contrast, according to the video and a recent lawsuit filed by Progressive Pupil’s founder Dr. Robin J. Hayes, The New School’s provost Tim Marshall terminated Hayes after she reported enduring years of discrimination including unequal compensation, harassment, and breach of her contract.

Castano is a heterosexual White man. Hayes is a Queer Black woman.

See the video below.


Support Dr. Hayes

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Field Notes, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized





While Robin was a tenure track professor at The New School, she directed the award-winning documentary Black and Cuba, produced the prize-winning play 9 GRAMS, and collaborated with community-based organizations throughout the US, Great Britain, and Germany. The lawsuit her attorneys filed today alleges the university’s senior leadership subjected Robin to years of harassment, disparate treatment, and inequitable compensation because of her race, gender, color and sexual orientation.

After she reported this discrimination to Human Resources, she was fired.

With this action, The New School destroyed Robin’s future prospects for tenure as well as her ability to teach and mentor students full time. Since Progressive Pupil was also headquartered at the university, the organization’s community engagement and creative work has been negatively impacted by the loss of office space and other administrative and academic support.

Unfortunately, Robin’s lawsuit is just the most recent in a string of discrimination allegations against the The New School. The New York Post reported that university administrators refused to investigate or fire a straight White male professor who was accused of repeatedly raping and kidnapping students. No, we’re not exaggerating. Recently via Twitter, an African American student claimed administrators at The New School pressured her to leave the university after she was attacked by white supremacists on campus.

The university claims to be a bastion for social justice and dissent, while its senior officials repeatedly refuse to address discrimination within its ranks.

This hypocrisy is The New School Hate. Don’t let them get away with it.

  1. Share graphics from this link – http://bit.ly/SupportDrHayes – on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook with the hashtags #TheNewSchoolHate #SupportDrHayes Tag @TheNewSchool @davidvanzandt.
  2. Tell university president David Van Zandt to Stop The New School Hate and Support Dr. Hayes  dvz@newschool.edu  212-229-5656 
  3. Share this post with a friend.

You can read the complete lawsuit at http://progressivepupil.org/thenewschoolhate/.

Can a Documentary Change the World?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Black Resistance Screening List, Scholars


Black and Cuba director Robin J. Hayes discusses “Socially Engaged Art as a Tool for Social Justice” at UnionDocs Socially Engaged Documentary Art Seminar Sunday June 21, 2015 10:30am 322 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211. For filmmakers, artists and cultural producers, the seminar offers vital information about the theory and practice of documentary making with a purpose. Tell them Progressive Pupil sent you and get 20% off conference registration with promocode SEDA15. Learn more at http://www.uniondocs.org/socially-engaged-documentary-art/.  Share with a friend who wants to make films for their communities.

Kara Walker At The New School

Posted 8 CommentsPosted in Artists, Uncategorized
“Event Horizon” Kara Walker 2005. Photo Courtesy of Rob Corder.

When I first walked into Arnold Hall on 55 West 13th St, one of the first things that caught my eye was the fluid motion of black and white shapes on the wall near the staircase. Upon closer inspection, I immediately recognized these forms as animated figures falling down a long tunnel. A site-specific creation, Kara Walker’s Event Horizon was her first public art installation commissioned by The New School as part of a commitment to create new art within its public spaces in 2005. It is a piece that takes up the left and right walls of the staircase entirely and provides visual movement as the viewer walks up and down.


Leadership Development Program

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Artists, Scholars, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized

Progressive Pupil’s New Leaders for Social Change Program is off to a great start this year thanks to a grant from the New School for Public Engagement’s Civic Engagement Grant Fund. Made possible by the generosity of Board of Governors member Judith Zarin and the vision of Dean David Scobey, the grant supports New School faculty civic engagement and public programs. The fund’s mission is to build a community of practice among faculty, staff and students that serves the public interest.

Progressive Pupil is a project founded by Milano professor Dr. Robin J. Hayes. The organization’s core mission is to make Black studies for everybody through film and other media projects. The New Leaders for Social Change Program invites students from across the university who aspire to careers in non-profit management, documentary filmmaking and interactive design to commit to promoting diversity in those fields. Program participants receive mentorship and hands-on experience which compliment the interdisciplinary academic training they receive at The New School. This 2013-2014 academic year, the program’s eight participants are pursuing Masters degrees in Urban Policy Analysis and Management, International Affairs, Non-Profit Management and Creative Writing.

Some of our excellent Leaders reflect on the opportunity to work at Progressive Pupil and how it directly relates to their academic interests, experiences and ideals:

Justyn Richardson, a resident of the Bronx, remarks, “I wanted to work with Progressive Pupil because I knew I would be able to make a positive change, while gaining hands-on experience that relates to my program.” Richardson came to Progressive Pupil from Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy and technology consulting firm in Washington DC. He assisted in creating the contract that helped pass President Obama’s Health Care Reform policy.

Xiomara Pedraza, a native of East Harlem, states, “I wanted to work here because it gave me an opportunity to work with people who are passionate about social justice and African diaspora studies. Building awareness is part of making change and policy, which I study here at The New School.” Before Progressive Pupil, Pedraza worked at “A Place Called Home,” a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles. There, she served as coordinator for a youth after-school and summer program.

Lynda Nguyen, a native of Washington DC, explains, “I wanted to take what I learned from past experiences, as well as my own story, and see how initiatives among Asian descendant communities are similar to the work that Progressive Pupil does in terms of Black studies.” Nguyen came to Progressive Pupil from Asian American LEAD, a non-profit organization based in DC that mentors and provides specialized after-school programs to low-income underrepresented Asian American youth. She worked in their development and communications department.

All of our leaders exemplify the mission and values of Progressive Pupil, and this year, they hope to further meaningful social change, justice and knowledge of the African diaspora.

by Claudie Mabry, M.S. Candidate in Urban Policy Analysis and Management, 2014

Black History Metropolis

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Field Notes
Jet Magazine, February 10th, 1986 pg. 14

Black History Month is in full swing and we have been enjoying all that New York City has to offer.  If you haven’t had the chance to check out some BHM events around the city, it’s not too late.  Here are some of the events we recommend (whole calendar after the jump). All events are free unless otherwise noted. If you know of any events to add, send us an e-mail at progressivepupil@beautifulmes.com.