Stuyvesant Community Discussion on Race: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future

Recent events have spurred intense discussion about enduring inequities and recurring acts of violence that disproportionately impact BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Americans.  The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on minority communities, the death of George Floyd and the growing Black Lives Matter movement renewed examinations of how racism persists in varied forms within a range of American institutions, from law enforcement, health care, technology, small and large businesses and education, among others.

Stuyvesant High School and the Stuyvesant Alumni Association are proud to co-host this virtual community discussion to talk about racism and inequality in many of America’s institutions.  This event will provide an opportunity for Stuyvesant alumni and current Stuyvesant students to share their experiences, opinions and questions on how systemic racism and bias manifest, recent events and the lessons they teach us, as well as how positive change can start within our own community.  The shared recognition of this moment in history inspires the Stuyvesant community to start this conversation and look within and across generations to learn and find our way to lead and act for much needed change.

This event will be held on Thursday, June 25 at 7pm ET. The Zoom link will be shared after registering.

The panelists include:

Jeaurel Wilson, Stuyvesant’s Associate Director of College Counseling, will be the moderator. Principal Eric Contreras and SHSAA President Soo Kim ’93 will give opening remarks.

Scroll down for bios of the panelists and moderator.


This event is free for all. However, registration does not guarantee entry. There are a limited number of spots to view this event, and admittance is on a first come, first serve basis. If you are unable to attend, we will be sharing a recording on our video archive next week.

Current students interested in attending, please email [email protected].

Please note: You MUST log into MyStuy to reserve a ticket. One ticket per alumnus/a.

Panelists and Moderator Bios

Dr. Brenda Clark ’76 grew up in the East New York section of Brooklyn, New York. She is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York with dual degrees in psychology and music. As a student at Stuyvesant High School, she presented a full-length program on WNYC’s Young American Artists series presenting piano works of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. After completing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology, she had a private practice in Manhattan as she served as a Treatment Team Leader in a NYS forensic hospital. Dr. Clark is active in voting rights and diversity efforts. She is currently an administrator in a Long Island school district coordinating programs for special needs children in seven schools.


Jamil Ellis ’95 is currently the Chief Technology Officer of Bright Power, a provider of energy and water management services for real estate owners, investors, and operators. He has 18 years of experience developing software and hardware solutions for tech-enabled businesses. Before joining Bright Power, Jamil led technical teams at BlocPower, HBO, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, and the NFL. He also performed with the comedy troupe, Experimental Troupe Comedy, started by six Stuyvesant grads in 1994 and continues to perform as a solo artist in NYC and produce podcasts. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Columbia University.


Emeka Patrick ’98 is a creative and strategist from New York City. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, a graduate degree in Branding from the School of Visual Arts, and has regularly attended NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) summer camp to explore his strong interest in creative uses for technology. Currently, Emeka freelances as a writer and/or brand strategist for a number of clients and agencies in the experiential, advertising, and product spaces.


Candice Morgan ’00 is the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Partner at GV, the venture capital investment arm of Alphabet Inc. She creates inclusive strategies for GV and its portfolio companies, and helps the firm expand diversity across the entrepreneurs it funds. Candice was the first Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Pinterest, where she spent over four years leading strategy and programs to drive diverse talent, policy and product outcomes. Prior, Candice spent a decade honing her expertise in diversity strategy and practice at Catalyst, based on Wall Street and in Zurich, Switzerland. Her clients were F1000 global organizations across a range of industries (from technology, professional and financial services to healthcare, oil & gas, and consumer goods). Candice was awarded Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and The Root’s 100 Most Influential African-Americans of 2017. Candice holds a B.S. in Psychology and Business from Carnegie Mellon University, and a M.Sc. in Cross-Cultural Psychology from Brunel University in London.


Gordon Ebanks ’20 is the President of the Stuyvesant Black Students League and is a graduating senior. He is also a founding-member of the NYC Department of Education’s Welcoming School Climate Initiative, which focuses on fostering increased diversity in NYC’s specialized high schools.


Bryan Monge Serrano ’20 is a current senior at Stuyvesant. He will be traveling to Chengdu, China in Sichuan Province on an academic scholarship from the Department of State’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth for the 2020-2021 school year. He plans to use his time in China to expand his cultural understanding of the region and to acquire proficiency in Chinese (he has no prior experience in the language). This desire to study Chinese comes from his experience of having grown up in Flushing, Queens, a predominantly East Asian neighborhood, and being exposed to a mixture of cultures outside those fostered in his household. He is someone constantly desiring to learn about the world and himself, which is why he joined ASPIRAxBSL and StuyUnity and has been a part of several talk circles around race discussions. He has also worked to bring the ASPIRA of New York organization to Stuyvesant’s chapter, has collaborated with the Hispanic Federation, and plans to use his time over the summer to work with the Minkwon Center to further his advocacy efforts.


Sarai Pridgen ’21 is a rising senior at Stuyvesant and is a Vice President of both the Black Students League (BSL) and the Hispanic Student Association (ASPIRA). This past year Sarai founded a nonprofit mentoring service called R.I.S.E. (Ready to Inspire Scholastic Excellence) that helps Black and Latinx seventh graders prepare for the High School Admissions process by providing free test prep, application resources, and extensive guidance throughout the application and admittance stages. She has been named a recipient of the Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement and expresses her passion for educational equity through her Welcoming School Advisory Council work at the Department of Education as well as through student advocacy work she does at Stuyvesant via the Race Roundtables initiative.


Melissa Lopez ’21 is a rising senior at Stuyvesant High School. She is currently Vice President of ASPIRA, and participates in a number of extracurricular activities, including RISE (tutoring at a nonprofit organization), soccer, and SING!. As VP of ASPIRA, she works towards helping their members gain a sense of belonging in the community, while educating them on the current political climate and helping the incoming freshmen/sophomores adapt to this entire new culture at Stuyvesant. She is currently working towards including more Hispanic/Latinx Literature in the Stuyvesant English Department’s curriculum, and intends on branching out ASPIRA’s connections this upcoming year.


Ms. Jeaurel Wilson has been employed with the Department of Education since 2000, where she began as a middle school math teacher in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Ms. Wilson then transitioned into school counseling and has been a member of various schools’ advisory boards; most recently a member of CUNY’s Advisory Board and was a member of the Government Relations Committee for the New York State Association for College Admission’s Counseling.

At Stuyvesant since 2011, Ms. Wilson is an Associate Director of College Counseling and a co-advisor for the Black Student League, and has organized Stuyvesant’s first Historically Black Colleges and Universities overnight trip, which included tours of Howard University, Frederick Douglass House, and the National Museum for African American History and Culture.

Principal Contreras's Statement on Stuyvesant's Commitment to Equity


Many thanks to Ms. Dina Ingram, Stuyvesant’s Director of Family Engagement, and Mr. Angel Colon for coordinating with the Alumni Association staff and the Membership, Reunions & Events Committee to put together this event.


If you have any questions, reach out to [email protected]. The Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association office is currently unable to take phone calls to our main line. Please email us to schedule a phone call. 


Support our Diversity Initiative

Donate to the Stuy Fund to help us grow one of our most important programs, StuyPrep. StuyPrep is a free SHSAT test-prep and mentoring program sponsored by the Alumni Association to help students from underserved and underprivileged neighborhoods throughout NYC gain admission to the specialized high schools.

You can read more about StuyPrep and the impact it has had in our news archive.