Amanda Cisse


Amanda Cisse, a senior at the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in New York City, serves as president of the student government and the Black student's league. Despite having more than 3,000 students, Stuyvesant has been long spotlighted for accepting only around 10 Black students annually. To foster a more inclusive environment and support her peers, Amanda spearheaded the "Respect for All" advisory class to teach first-year students how to have respectful conversations around race, bias and identity. Over the past three years, she recruited around 90 students to help present lessons she created on foundational concepts such as implicit bias, stereotyping and avoiding slur usage. Each class sets aside 20 minutes for students to engage in respectful dialogue surrounding their feelings and experiences related to race. These lessons have reached 2,490 students over three years and will continue annually. Additionally, Amanda created and presented the first student-led professional development lesson for all of Stuyvesant's 180+ staff, focusing on race in the classroom. She helped train teachers on how to handle sample scenarios and shared Black and Hispanic student anecdotes. Subsequently, Amanda participated in Stuyvesant's first Restorative Justice training for a select group of 15 staff and students in August 2023. Furthermore, Amanda serves as the New York City Department of Education's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion representative. In this role, she regularly updates Black and Hispanic parent groups and participates in citywide conferences to discuss DEI progress and ideas.