The Rockland Clergy for Social Justice will hold an event April 8 to call for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to authorize “immediate fiscal and administrative oversight over the East Ramapo school district and revision of governance.”
The group is a newly formed grassroots group of rabbis, ministers, pastors and Muslim leaders from Rockland County and nearby communities.
Clergy members are hosting the event in conjunction with the Spring Valley NAACP. The group’s mission: “striving for the rights and survival of East Ramapo public schools,” according to Oscar Cohen of the Spring Valley NAACP.
If you go: Event starts at 12 p.m. April 8 at the First Baptist Church, 3 Hoyt St., Spring Valley.
Speakers include: The Rev. Weldon McWilliams IV, PhD, First Baptist Church Spring Valley; Rabbi Adam Baldachin, Montebello Jewish Center; Rabbi Ari Hart of Uri L’Tzedek (Orthodox for Social Justice); Pastor Joel Michel, French Speaking Baptist Church, Spring Valley, and Azeem Farooki, Islamic Center of Rockland.
Clergy members will address many of the issues that have sparked controversy in the community, and which The Journal News/Lohud.com has regularly reported on.
Among the discussion topics: Reduced services to the mostly black, Haitian and Hispanic public school students; multiple state and federal probes into the district’s fiscal problems; and the controversy surrounding the district’s high-profile lawyer, Albert D’Agostino, who continues to counsel the Board of Education despite the board’s promise to part ways with him after an explosive video angered parents and educators last summer. The video shows D’Agostino’s associate, Chris Kirby, ranting and swearing at parent activists on district property after a school board meeting.