2015 Projects
Creating More Equitable Learning Environments for New Parents at the New School and Universities in NYC
Kelsey Hood Cattaneo, Lauren Carll
The New School for Public Engagement, Milano, Urban and Public Policy (Graduate); Former New School Graduate and Communities for Kids Inc. Representative

The project goal is to develop, promote, and implement a New Parent Leave Policy at the New School and have ten universities in the NYC area to also pledge to create a maternity/paternity leave for students at all levels of study (undergraduate to postgraduate).

Completing a university degree; becoming a new parent – these milestones are separately difficult, but together they can seem impossible. The goal of this project is to support higher education students who are also new parents, culminating in a campaign for the adoption of a New Parent Leave Policy by 10 NYC universities. With the social media campaign #studentmaternityleave we will elicit students’ stories and requests, and increase awareness of the lack of support for pregnant and parenting students. Using this information we will formulate the essential elements of a New Parent Leave Policy. We then plan to work with social justice groups, women’s organizations, student organizations and schools around NYC to have the policy adopted by at least 10 Universities in NYC. By increasing awareness of pregnant and parenting students’ experience and building on research to address barriers these students face, we aim to create a more inclusive learning environment.


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