Citywide Fast & Prayer on behalf of NYC's Public Schools

We thank you for your interest in joining us in our powerful, prayerful mission and for helping us to spread the word within your circles of influence.

Please review the details below about the citywide Fast and Prayer on behalf of NYC's public school children.  

Your comments and suggestions are invited and we look forward to communicating and praying with you. 


In respectful solidarity of purpose,

- The Ambassador Moms 

(Identified alphabetically)
Benita Rivera
Brenda Walker
Carla Phillip
Charmain Phillip
Indigo Washington
Khem Irby
Monica Major

Seven "Ambassador" mothers have said ENOUGH to the politicking around governance of our children's public educations and schools.
Like hundreds of thousands of others, we know that the policies governing the standards of education delivered to NYC students, are insufficient-- particularly true for Black and Latino children, English Language Learners and those with Special Education needs. 

  The law granting mayoral control SUNSETS on JUNE 30th
and we are asking everyone of faith to join us as we:

• Fast & Pray for an END to undemocratic Mayoral Control

• Fast & Pray for an END to the School-to-Prison Pipeline

• Fast & Pray for an END to unfair closings and privitization of schools

• Fast & Pray for an END to military recruitment in our schools

• Fast & Pray for NYS legislators to heed our concerns and establish a New Education System

A high quality education is the only equalizer in this dual society of have's and have-not's.  Dictatorial control of our city's school system is not designed to restructure this imbalance of economic power.  Mayoral Control is completely oppositional to all human rights protocols and supports blatantly undemocratic policies and practices.  (Author Jonathan Kozol writes of it being likened to a system of apartheid).  Driven by corporate greed over NYC's $20 billion educational budget, we have witnessed 7 years of powerful businessmen self-identify as primary stakeholders of our public schools.  We ardently and urgently disagree.  We, with the most at risk, are parents; and in business-speak, represent "majority investors" who have been forced into a social experiment in educational reform, gone awry.  We hereby refuse to be marginalized by this unjust system of governance any longer.  Our children deserve excellent public schools that will nurture their critical thinking skills, respect them as unique human beings with varying learning styles and abilities, and will nonetheless, provide them with the intellectual tools to free them of the bondage of racism and poverty that historically undermines individual success, encourages divisiveness between racial and economic lines, and keeps them from having families who can achieve even a glimmer of the American dream. 

We call upon all parents, grandparents, guardians, concerned communities of color and communities of conscience, as well as ALL faith-based residents of NYC to stand firm in righteous indignation-- and recognize that saving the intellectual lives and futures of our own children is a battle of David & Goliath proportion.   

A new system of school governance is needed; one that is equitable and democratic, honors children, parents, community, and differing cultures; addresses the racism that demeans families and criminalizes children; ends high stakes testing; and provides excellence in educating the whole child-- and that by obeying the law, will teach culturally relevant curriculum's in clean, safe, adequately supplied, eco-healthy school buildings with small classes throughout every neighborhood in New York City-- regardless of its income, race or ethnicity.

Thus-- we,
of multi-faiths and varied religious beliefs, call upon the LORD (by whatever name comfortable), and seek HIS/HER/UNIVERSAL influence upon our NY state legislators to change AND REPLACE the current law granting autocratic control over our children's public schools and educations.  

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." - Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

We will Fast & Pray from 11:59 pm on Friday, May 29th to (sunset) at 8:19, Saturday, May 30th. 

Suggestions on the "How:" 
1).  Choose a prayer partner or organize a small group of family, friends and neighbors.

2).  To identify ourselves as prayer partners and to exhibit solidarity in the purity and sanctity of our children, please dress in all white attire.
3).  Congregate in prayer at 7 pm on Saturday evening.  Consider pre-selecting biblical passages to read/recite aloud.  Perhaps decide to culminate your prayers with selected hymns of praise.     

4). At exactly 8:19 pm, break the fast in unison by sharing a cup of juice or water.  (We recommend that juice, water and paper cups be purchased by one prayer partner but reimbursed by all.  Please remember not to litter by disposing of the remnants responsibly). 

5). Please join thousands of others across the city by singing "We Shall Overcome." (Lyrics below)       

We suggest that YOU decide upon a conveniently located, outdoor meeting place to congregate in prayer at 7 pm on Saturday evening.   

• Please email us at: and let us know the location chosen so that we may direct others in your neighborhood to you! 

• Our hope is to identify many different location sites and perhaps, one central location in each borough.  At the present, we are seeking support from a variety of houses of worship and researching the necessity of having to obtain permits.  Any suggestions or help you may be able to offer in this regard is most needed and appreciated. 

We are mindful that because this event pertains to anti-mayoral control, large groups of prayer partners may find themselves harassed if they lack "official" permission to congregate in public, outdoor spaces.  We absolutely want to avoid this from occurring, and again, seek the Lord's blessing in protections for this peaceful and prayerful gathering across the boroughs of New York City.      
Suggestions for Possible Locations by Borough

Note: None are confirmed as yet because we need your input. 
Please help us to organize through your place of worship and/or local community!

- Entrance to Prospect Park at Grand Army Plaza ?
- Behind Borough Hall (the open area walkway on Court Street) ?

- Uptown:  Marcus Garvey Park ?
- MidtownTimes Square ? (To Be Determined = TBD) 
- Downtown: Union Square?
FDR Park ? City Hall Park ?

Van Cortland Park ?
Other sites TBD

Flushing Meadow Park ?
Forest Park ?
Roy Wilkens Park ?
Other Sites TBD ?

Staten Island:
TBD ? 


Lyrics and history of the song, "We Shall Overcome": 
Lyrics derived from Charles Tindley's gospel song "I'll Overcome Some Day" (1900), and opening and closing melody from the 19th-century spiritual "No More Auction Block for Me" (a song that dates to before the Civil War). According to Professor Donnell King of Pellissippi State Technical Community College (in Knoxville, Tenn.), "We Shall Overcome" was adapted from these gospel songs by "Guy Carawan, Candy Carawan, and a couple of other people associated with the Highlander Research and Education Center, currently located near Knoxville, Tennessee. It was taught to and popularized by folk artist / activist Pete Seeger, and also recorded by Joan BaezIt is generally considered to be the major anthem of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.    

We shall overcome, we shall overcome,
We shall overcome someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall overcome someday.

The lord will see us through, the lord will see us through,
The lord will see us through someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall overcome someday.

We're on to victory, we're on to victory,
We're on to victory someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We're on to victory someday.

We'll walk hand in hand, we'll walk hand in hand,
We'll walk hand in hand someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We'll walk hand in hand someday.

We are not afraid, we are not afraid,
We are not afraid today;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We are not afraid today.

The truth shall make us free, the truth shall make us free,
The truth shall make us free someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
The truth shall make us free someday.

We shall live in peace, we shall live in peace,
We shall live in peace someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall live in peace someday.

Name Price
Fast & Prayer Free

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