Gural Scholars Program
The Jeff Gural Academic Achievement and Opportunity Scholars Program is a selective opportunity for students who demonstrate a significant commitment to social justice before arriving at Lang. Over the four years of their Lang experience, Gural Scholars work closely in cohorts to develop community-based projects focused on social justice at local, national, and international levels.
- Bridge theory and practice through year-long courses focused on social justice issues
- Build community with one another and outside of The New School through critical reflection and ethical engagement and activism
- Connect with Lang faculty and staff through one-on-one advising, monthly gatherings, annual program retreats, and events on and off campus
First year Gural Scholars work closely with the faculty director on a field-based community project that addresses a social justice issue in New York City. As sophomores, the scholars design and implement more extensive projects that examine and respond to social justice issue within the United States. During junior year, the scope of the project is extended to include a global trip; sponsored by the program, Gural Scholars travel to outside of the United States to undertake a project and/or field-based work in another country. As seniors, Gural Scholars complete individual senior capstone projects and a group project that represents the legacy of their class to The New School.
THEORY AND PRAXIS: THE GURAL SCHOLARS TRAVEL TO COLOMBIA
In May 2016, the cohort of 2017 embarked on a 10-day journey to Colombia, traveling to various cities and meeting with local organizations to discuss issues affecting the Afro-Colombian community. Topics included gentrification and racism, and parallels were drawn between issues present in the United States and Colombia. Building off of past projects piloted by the cohort, the trip connected Scholars to the lives of activists fighting daily to preserve their communities and ancestral land.
HARLEM GROWN WORKSHOPS
For our 2015 project, the cohort of 2018 organized and ran a series of workshops called “Garden Palooza” at Harlem Grown, a nonprofit that provides access to healthy food and mentors local kids. Our workshops were created around skills that the kids wanted to learn, and how these each related to social justice. We brought in students from The New School who were knowledgeable and passionate about these fields to lead these workshops. The event consisted of four different stations: fashion design, zine-making, acting, and cooking (which, because of logistical issues, turned into a smoothie-making station).
"HELLO MY NAME IS GENTRIFIED"
Through a selection of curated readings, site visits to communities and interviews with New York City residents, the scholars engaged with the complex and interlocking socio-political history of gentrification in the city, Hello My Name Is Gentrified is a collaborative effort of the 10 scholars who conceptually created and visually curated an exhibition that tells the story of a few individuals' lived experiences with gentrification through photos and recorded interviews.