In June, 2006, the Black Brooklyn Empowerment Convention brought together over 1000 community leaders and residents representing Central Brooklyn to address the alarming disparities in education, employment, health, housing, and quality of life that impact a large segment of Central Brooklyn residents. The Education Cluster of the convention concluded that:
“The most pressing challenge facing Brooklyn’s public schools is ensuring that all its children meet the standards needed to live, learn, work, communicate and be productive citizens in their community and the world community. Although there have been some educational, economic, and social gains for the borough’s Black population as a whole, it is equally clear that progress toward educational parity for most of Central Brooklyn students of African descent has slowed and, in many cases, come to a complete halt.”
Regardless of this reality, education remains the most effective road to success. Removing the barriers that prevent students of African descent from accessing a high quality public education is an essential first step to achieving access to the economic, social, and political resources that are needed to support strong families and a truly democratic society.
A major recommendation that was ratified during the convention was the need for an organized and independent effort to address the school achievement disparities that exist for Central Brooklyn’s students of color. This recommendation led to the formation of the Adelaide Sanford Institute (ASI). The ASI honors the life and work of the nationally recognized educator, Vice Chancellor Emerita, Board of Regents University of the State of New York, Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford.
The Adelaide Sanford Institute (ASI) was established on September 28, 2006 and became incorporated as a 501(c) (3) non-profit education organization in the state of New York on December 18, 2008. It is funded by donations from individuals, community institutions, corporations, and annual dues paid by the ASI membership. Currently, there are no staff members employed by ASI.