Honoring Emma Gonzalez

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that our beloved colleague Emma Gonzalez has passed. Emma, a gifted educator and artist, helped steer Morningside’s course for over 35 years.

Emma Gonzalez


It is with very heavy hearts that we share the news that our beloved colleague Emma Gonzalez passed away on July 28.  Emma, a gifted educator, thinker, and artist, has helped to steer Morningside Center’s course for over 35 years.

Emma’s impact on our organization cannot be overstated. She was among the first staff to be hired at Morningside, and for a time she was our Associate Director. Throughout her decades at Morningside, she was a treasured trainer, coach, and mentor. Most recently, she served as a dedicated board member.

From the very beginning until her last days, Emma was a persistent and passionate advocate for putting student voice and equity at the center of our work. She was endlessly inventive, and took her lead from young people themselves. She co-created with students our Peace Helpers and Diversity Panels programs. (To get a glimpse of these remarkable projects, see videos about Peace Helpers and Diversity Panels.)

For many years, she partnered with Brooklyn’s PS 24 to help make that school a showcase for what is possible in education when we attend to every child’s capacity to create, to collaborate, and to lead. 

Emma greatly influenced Morningside as we deepened our focus on racial justice. She was relentless in her efforts to ensure that our curricula and programs reflect and honor the cultural and linguistic diversity of our students and their families.

Emma was skilled in facilitating difficult conversations and in creating a welcoming and supportive place for such important exchanges to happen. She was a gifted practitioner of conflict resolution and mediation, and enabled many young people to become gifted practitioners of these skills as well.

Emma Gonzalez will always be with us.  


A Glimpse of Emma's Work in Action