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Neighborhood Conversations [clear filter]
Tuesday, October 13
 

10:30am

Neighborhood Conversations Part 1: Gowanus A - Promoting Community Engagement in Green Infrastructure

Option A: Promoting Community Engagement in Green Infrastructure 

The Gowanus Canal, one of the most heavily polluted waterways in the United States at the center of a rapidly redeveloping neighborhood, has become a focus of resident-led education, advocacy, and improvements in recent years. On this tour, we’ll go to the banks of the Gowanus to learn from Andrea Parker, Executive Director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, which activates over 1,000 local volunteers each year in its mission to transform the Gowanus into a clean, living waterway. Leif Percifield, self-proclaimed mad citizen scientist and founder of the Don’t Flush Me project, will discuss how he uses technology to educate residents of their personal water-use impacts on the Gowanus, and his experiences crowdfunding his work and finding support within a community of makers. We’ll conclude the visit at one of the neighborhood’s most active community gardens to hear from Judy Janda, President and Co-Founder of Greenspace on Fourth, who will discuss the green infrastructure work undertaken by her group and other self-organized, resident-led groups.

 

(Includes about 15-20 minutes of walking total; seating will be provided at discussion sites.)


Speakers
avatar for Judy Janda

Judy Janda

President and Co-Founder, Greenspace on Fourth
Judy Janda engaged in negotiations for almost 20 years with Community Board 6 and NYC Department of Environmental Protection to access the GreenSpace on Fourth Community Garden space on a watershaft location for Water Tunnel #3 as a native plant garden. She has been active with the Park Slope Civic Council’s Forth on Fourth Avenue Committee, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, two nearby community gardens and a local garden land... Read More →
avatar for Andrea Parker

Andrea Parker

Executive Director, Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Andrea Parker has a passion for regenerating urban green infrastructure through civic engagement. As the Executive Director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, she works to empower a community of environmental stewards and design advocates in the rapidly changing urban ecology of the Gowanus. Previously, as a landscape designer, she focused on urban and community resilience while working on the NYC's Special Initiative for Rebuilding and... Read More →
avatar for Leif Percifield

Leif Percifield

Mad Citizen Scientist and founder of the Don’t Flush Me project
Leif Percifield is the creator of DontFlush.Me, a project that provides realtime sensing and alert systems for water pollution and Visualight a wifi enabled lightbulb capable of displaying information as colored light. Before completing a MFA at Parsons, in Design and Technology, he worked as a media developer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has worked as creative technologist at Incredible Machines in Brooklyn, where he was responsible for... Read More →


Tuesday October 13, 2015 10:30am - 12:00pm
Gowanus Neighborhood Conversation The Conversation will be in Gowanus, Brooklyn, but depart from Brooklyn Historical Society

10:30am

Neighborhood Conversations Part 1: Gowanus B - Innovating Advocacy: Biking, Placemaking and Transit in NYC

Option B: Innovating Advocacy: Biking, Placemaking and Transit in NYC 

This conversation begins with local resident transit activist Grace Freedman, past leader of the Fix this Public Space! ioby project, who will discuss how she has paired creative re-envisioning with traditional grassroots advocacy with the Fourth on Fourth Avenue Committee. We’ll stop by the Old Stone House, a historical site and cultural, to discuss creative advocacy around NYC’s biking and transit. The innovative leaders behind the Biking Public Project and Bikesplorations will join us for the conversation.

(Includes about 10 minutes of walking total; seating will be provided at discussion site.)


Speakers
avatar for Grace Freedman

Grace Freedman

Resident Transit Activist, Forth on Fourth Avenue Committee


Tuesday October 13, 2015 10:30am - 12:00pm
Gowanus Neighborhood Conversation The Conversation will be in Gowanus, Brooklyn, but depart from Brooklyn Historical Society

10:30am

Neighborhood Conversations Part 1: Gowanus C - Public Housing Voices in a Rapidly Changing Neighborhood
The Gowanus/Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn is an intensely contaminated community that is simultaneously undergoing multiple processes of environmental remediation and gentrification. The 4,500+ public housing residents of this neighborhood face unique challenges including environmental racism; poor housing conditions and disproportionate impacts from extreme weather associated with climate change. In this Neighborhood Conversation, we’ll explore these dynamics and the challenges and opportunities posed by the Gowanus Canal Superfund Clean Up, neighborhood combined sewage overflow (CSO) issues, the remediation of several manufactured gas plant sites, the rapid disappearance of commercial establishments and services that are affordable to low- and moderate-income households and the recently announced housing authority plan to build market-rate apartments in the parking lots of Wyckoff Gardens. Attendees will also learn about the Turning the Tide initiative, a multi-neighborhood effort that focuses on building social and environmental resiliency in five Brooklyn public housing developments. The Conversation will be hosted by staff and members of FUREE (Families United for Racial and Economic Justice), who organize low-income families to fight for a seat at the decision-making table, mobilize voters around community-identified demands, and win economic justice battles for residents of Gowanus-area public housing. FUREE leaders will be joined by staff of the 5th Avenue Committee, a community development corporation with a long history of community organizing that works to advance economic and social justice, advocate for affordable housing, and combat displacement caused by gentrification.

Speakers
avatar for Sabine Aronowsky

Sabine Aronowsky

Campaign Manager of the South Brooklyn Accountable Development Initiative, Fifth Avenue Committee
Sabine Aronowsky joined Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) in 2013 and is the Campaign Manager of the South Brooklyn Accountable Development Initiative (SBADI). SBADI engages low- and moderate-income residents in local public processes to ensure accountability by government and private sector actors to assure that our neighborhoods are more affordable, inclusive, equitable and resilient. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from... Read More →
avatar for Beverly Corbin

Beverly Corbin

Activist, FUREE
Beverly Corbin resident of Wyckoff Gardens for 30 years and FUREE activist for 12 years
avatar for Theresa Davis

Theresa Davis

Activist, FUREE
Theresa Davis is a resident of the Gowanus Houses and a FUREE activist.
avatar for Michael Higgins, Jr.

Michael Higgins, Jr.

Community Organizer and Gowanus resident, Families United for Racial and Economic Justice
Michael Higgins Jr. is a member turned organizer at FUREE, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality. A native of Fort Greene, Michael works with public housing tenants in developments around Downtown Brooklyn, building power in low-income communities around issues of accountable development, environmental justice and municipal governance.



Tuesday October 13, 2015 10:30am - 12:00pm
Gowanus Neighborhood Conversation The Conversation will be in Gowanus, Brooklyn, but depart from Brooklyn Historical Society
 
Wednesday, October 14
 

1:00pm

Neighborhood Conversations Part 2: Option A - Local Movement Building and System Change: Community Gardens and Racial Equity in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

Option A: Local Movement Building and System Change: Community Gardens and Racial Equity in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

Visit the 462 Halsey Community Garden in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn to hear from the garden’s co-founder Shatia Strother on why she founded the garden and how it has been resourced, including her experience securing seed-funding from neighbors through an ioby campaign. She’ll also discuss how a small-scale project that promotes neighborhood connection and food justice connects to the Black Lives Matter movement. Arif Ullah, Program Director of Programs at Citizens Committee of NYC, will discuss his organization’s model for delivering resources to neighborhood groups. We’ll then be joined for a conversation with Ms. Strother’s fellow activists from the Brooklyn Movement Center and Black Alliance for Just Immigration, who will discuss issues of race and equity in Brooklyn. We’ll walk to the Central Bainbridge Street Community Garden, established in 1978, where we will meet with the garden’s leaders and learn more about the history of food justice in Bed-Stuy.

 

(Bus to site; Includes about 15 minutes of walking total; seating will be provided at both discussion sites.)


Speakers
avatar for Mark Winston Griffith

Mark Winston Griffith

Brooklyn Movement Center
Prior to coming on staff at the Brooklyn Movement Center, Mark was on the Faculty of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and was most recently the field organizer for the MOVE NY campaign. A Central Brooklyn native, Mark Winston Griffith is the former Executive Director and Senior Fellow for Economic Justice at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, and the former co-director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project. In... Read More →
avatar for Demetrice Mills

Demetrice Mills

Community Leader and Board President, Brooklyn Queens Land Trust
Retired Business System Analyst of JPMorgan Chase where he worked for 25 years in the Corporate Trust Division (Information System). A member of Brooklyn Queens Land Trust since 2006, BQLT owns, operates, and steward 34 community gardens in Brooklyn and Queens. BQLT also lease 2 garden properties. one from Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), and one from Housing Preservation Development (HPD). BQLT mission is to Ensure the conservation and... Read More →
avatar for Shatia Strother

Shatia Strother

Founder, 462 Halsey Community Garden
Shatia Strother is a Bed-Stuy native and resident who's life passion is maintaining the history and culture of communities of color through activism in social, food and environmental justice issues. Her role as mother and wife has lead her towards a path of intentional radicalism and self determination with the hopes that she can raise her children and encourage communities to champion the causes they find important to them. In 2011, Shatia... Read More →
avatar for Arif Ullah

Arif Ullah

Director of Programs, Citizens' Committee for NYC
Born in Bangladesh and raised in Queens, Arif is a typical immigrant New Yorker. He manages Citizens Committee's programs, including grants, workshops, and project planning. He is on the boards of Farm School NYC and the Brooklyn Food Coalition. Prior to Citizens Committee, Arif worked as an immigrants rights community organizer with American Friends Service Committee. He is committed to various issues of social and environmental justice.


Wednesday October 14, 2015 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Bed-Stuy Neighborhood Conversation The Conversation will be in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, but depart from Brooklyn Historical Society

1:00pm

Neighborhood Conversations Part 2: Option B - Option B: Resourcing the Grassroots: Food Justice and Public Health Work in East New York

Option B: Resourcing the Grassroots: Food Justice and Public Health Work in East New York

In 2011, Aida Castillo was an engaged resident who helped raise start-up funds for the People’s Garden, via the Pollos del Pueblo ioby campaign. Now the Community Garden Coordinator for the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC), overseeing multiple East Brooklyn community gardens, Aida will share what she’s learned about initiating and sustaining new programs in low-income communities, and the potential of crowdfunding as a tool for connecting low-income project leaders with resources outside their neighborhood. Joined by other CHLDC staff, the discussion will touch on the complex, multiple impacts of community gardening and urban farming projects, and the challenges of quantifying those impacts within traditional evaluation tools used in the grantmaking community. We’ll travel to East New York Farms! farmers market to hear from Daryl Marshall, Community Organizer and Youth Leader with, a cornerstone of Brooklyn’s urban farming food justice movement. East New York Farms, a program of United Community Centers, runs multiple farm sites, two-successful markets, and a local CSA, providing employment and education opportunities along with affordable local produce. United Community Centers staff will also discuss their role as a hyper-local grantmaker and how they catalyze and support an active, extensive urban gardening community in the midst of one of the most economically challenged areas of the New York City.  

 

(Participants bused between three sites; seating will be provided at the last site, standing for 15-20 minutes may be required at others, but seats can be provided needed.)


Speakers
AC

Aida Castillo

Community Garden Coordinator, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
avatar for Daryl Marshall

Daryl Marshall

Community Organizer and Youth Leader, East New York Farms
Daryl Marshall joined East New York Farms (ENYF!) in April 2011 as their Community Organizer and Youth Worker, after being involved as a market vendor and volunteer for two years. Daryl works directly with the ENYF! Youth Program, and has spearheaded their newest program area, through which he has developed a steering committee of residents to solicit, review, and award small grants for local projects to increase access to fresh healthy food.


Wednesday October 14, 2015 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Bed-Stuy Neighborhood Conversation The Conversation will be in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, but depart from Brooklyn Historical Society

3:00pm

Neighborhood Conversations Part 3: Creative Partnership for Creative Placemaking

Only Option: Creative Partnerships for Creative Placemaking in Flatbush 

Visit Parkside Plaza in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to hear from community member Sonya Rocvil on how she and her neighbors leveraged citizen philanthropy from within the neighborhood for a new public open space through the NYC Department of Transportation’s Plaza program. Laura Hansen from the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership will join us for a discussion about equity and public space. She will explain how she has worked with ioby to support a cohort of leaders from around the city working to make their neighborhood plazas safer, cleaner and more enjoyable. ioby has invited a representative from the NYC Department of Transportation to discuss its Plazas program and how they are working with the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership to bring the program to neighborhoods where there the amount of private investment available for public space is limited.

 

We’ll then walk along the edge of Prospect Park to the site of Spring Comes to the Flatbush Trees, where we will hear from Tim Thomas about how a group of neighbors came together to refurbish an unlikely community landmark. We will be joined there by the Sustainable Flatbush team to hear about how the neighborhood’s most engaged residents are taking the lead on reimagining public space.

 

(Public transportation to first site; conversations will take place at both sites; seating will be available.)

 


Speakers
avatar for Elena Callahan

Elena Callahan

Member, Parkside Plaza Committee
Elena Callahan has lived in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens/Flatbush neighborhood for 3 years.  She joined the Parkside Plaza Committee in April 2015 and has been helping to coordinate programming and fundraising for the Plaza. She has a background in community organizing, event planning, museum education and the arts.  She believes cities have the potential to be more sustainable, livable, and communal.
avatar for In Cho

In Cho

Designer, Parkside Plaza
In Cho is the Parkside Plaza designer and an architect.  She is also a 9 year resident of the Flatbush / Prospect Lefferts Gardens community and member of the Parkside Plaza Committee.  Along with other members, she continues to help sustain all aspects of vitality for the Plaza.  In Cho is co-founder of ChoShields Studio, a Certified Passive House Design architectural studio with a focus on making... Read More →
avatar for Sheryll Durrant

Sheryll Durrant

ioby Leader, Sustainable Flatbush
Sheryll Durrant is an urban farmer, educator and food justice advocate. She is the director of the urban farm and garden program for Sustainable Flatbush and is currently a 2014 certificate student in Urban Agriculture at Farm School NYC. Sheryll is a certified master composter through the NYC Compost Project, a 2013 WAAB Fellow, and in 2012 she received a Certificate of Achievement in Community Organizing from Citizens Committee For NYC... Read More →
avatar for Duane Joseph

Duane Joseph

Member, Parkside Plaza Committee
Duane Joseph has been a resident of Flatbush, specifically the Prospect Lefferts Gardens section, for 27 years and has been a member of the Parkside Plaza Committee from its inception.  Like his fellow committee members, Duane is committed to advocating for the plaza by supporting coordinated community based programming and community focused commercial partnerships on and with the plaza.
avatar for Sonya Rocvil

Sonya Rocvil

Community Leader, Flatbush Neighborhood
Sonya Rocvil is a 13 year resident of the Flatbush / Prospect Lefferts Gardens community and a member of the Parkside Plaza Committee. Sonya joined the Parkside Plaza Committee in 2011 and with the other members of the group, she has helped advocate for the plaza development in conjunction with NYC DOT and Neighborhood Plaza Partnership (NPP). Currently, Sonya and the remaining committee members coordinate programming and facilitate fundraising... Read More →
avatar for Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas

Leader, Spring Comes to the Flatbush Trees
Tim Thomas is a blogger, activist and active Community Board member in the Lefferts Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn. In a period of rapid change, some would say upheaval, he sees his role as a politically conscious middle-timer. That is, someone both old and new enough to the neighborhood to recognize the need for sensitivity and cultural discourse. He's a graduate of Brown University, but believes that formal education couldn't begin to prepare... Read More →
avatar for Courtney Whitelock

Courtney Whitelock

Project Manager, NYC Department of Transportation
Since 2012, Courtney Whitelocke has been the Project Manager for the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program and has assisted with Summer Streets, an annual celebration of NYC’s streets. In addition, she aids with representing DOT on Percent for Art projects working closely with the Department of Cultural Affairs. Prior to DOT, Courtney worked at the Westover School as an assistant archivist within the Alumnae Office, Louise... Read More →


Wednesday October 14, 2015 3:00pm - 5:30pm
Flatbush Neighborhood Conversations The Conversation will be in Flatbush, Brooklyn, but depart from Brooklyn Historical Society