FUREE’s June Newsletter

 

 

don’t believe in the wagons that bring bread to humanity. For the wagons that bring bread to  humanity, without any moral basis for conduct, may coldly exclude a considerable part of  humanity from enjoying what is brought, so it has been already!

– Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot

Happy Summer FUREE Community!

Each season bears its own identity and each season evokes unique feelings according to its nature.  Winter nudges us to cuddle in warm seclusion while fall directs our gaze to the majesty of color that its dying leaves display.  Spring bursts forth with the promise of new growth and hopefulness, but it is the rebel swagger of summer where we find our sense of rightful freedom and escape from inhibition.

Every year summer fills the void with an explosion of activity, allowing us to explore the world beyond our routines and overly familiar couches. The spontaneous combustion of angst and sedentariness we embrace through the freeze of winter and chilly rains of spring, into a fireball of summer vivacity… is a powerful force we have yet to fully wield! These precious short months ahead hold a depth of potential and renewal of spirit necessary for us to pull our collective self from the shadows of injustice and oppression.  Let the bass jump to the rhythms of our liberation in the streets, let the sand seep between our toes to feel the weightlessness of our freedom, and let the minty libations sooth our throats as we throw forth the shouts of resistance for all to hear!

None of us are new to the struggles passed down in an unbroken chain of heartache but the past year has released something different in the air, that’s only intensified in the past six months.  A sour worry and bitter anxiety that has us scrambling to rid ourselves of the sensation, it has burned our tongues yet has sparked an ambitious flame.  This elusive ‘moment’ when the ‘sweet spot’ reveals itself and the perfectly aimed strike can put a final end to a long-fought battle, can be easily lost if we fail to recognize it and act with focused urgency.

I am both inspired and concerned every day as I watch the collective awakening take shape and grow, and at the same time witness our ritualistic adherence to habit in our response to the current moment. We must not be afraid to snatch the impossible, shake our fear of power, and do what we must to graduate from surviving to thriving!  What will they say of us when it’s time to look back and learn from a distant past?  Will they question how we failed to identify our opportunities to win or will they be inspired by our ingenuity and adaptability? Will they frown at our replication of ineffective tactics or will they marvel at the ingenuity we pulled from ourselves?

Will our descendants know that we built a sustained energy so strong it changed the patterns of history, and that their lives are a result of a movement long waged and finally won?! Only time will tell…

– Shatia Strother, Program Coordinator


UPCOMING EVENTS- HIGHLIGHTS

THURSDAY, JUNE 29TH 6PM-9PM
F.I.R.E.D UP WORKSHOP 3: ‘TALK THE TALK’
(EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION & MEDIA MESSAGING)
LOCATION: TO BE FINALIZED
(WILL BE ANNOUNCED TO ALL PARTICIPANTS WHO APPLIED)

This workshop teaches how to effectively communicate their visions and goals for campaign work, build confidence and savvy for engaging media, as well as develop messaging tools to build public support.  This workshop also includes tips and tools for various communication needs such as effective emails/announcements, support and funding letters as well as face to face interpersonal engagement for conflict mitigation and the fundamentals of planning press conferences and similar public events where media is involved!

CONTACT FOR MORE INFO & TO RSVP:
Shatia Strother – Program Coordinator (
shatia@furee.org  718.715.1352 ext. 201)

TUESDAY, JULY 11TH 6PM – 8PM 
FUREE’S JULY GENERAL MEMBER MEETING
(MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES & ACCOUNTABILITY)
LOCATION: TO BE FINALIZED AND ANNOUNCED

Details of meeting topics and themes indicate mandatory for all membership but open to new/potential members and the public. Briefly outline goals, plans and moving forward for remainder of 2018. Add other relevant details…

CONTACT FOR MORE INFO & TO RSVP:
Michael Higgins Jr. – Lead Organizer (michael@furee.org  718.715.1352 ext. 202)

SATURDAY, JULY 15TH 10:30 AM – 3 PM
F.I.R.E.D UP WORKSHOP 4: AGE OF RISING FASCISM
(COMMUNITY ORGANIZING, SELF DEFENSE & KYR)
LOCATION: TO BE FINALIZED
(WILL BE ANNOUNCED TO ALL PARTICIPANTS WHO APPLIED)

Fascism isn’t new and it isn’t going anywhere! We will delve into strategic ways to organize/mobilize our communities for both sustained resistance and reclaiming power for our liberation, as well as how to defend our communities in the face of threats physically, philosophically, legally and economically/politically. –Support networks/safe houses, physical self-defense (non-lethal force), techniques for survival in various environments, natural healing techniques etc.)

CONTACT FOR MORE INFO & TO RSVP:
Shatia Strother- Program Coordinator (shatia@furee.org  718.715.1352 ext. 201)



NOCUTS COALITION NYC HUD ACTIONS
On Thursday, July 6TH Public housing residents, voucher holders, seniors, and others will hold assemblies in their communities to demand that members of Congress say no to these cuts and fully fund HUD.

Stop the cuts to HUD, which will harm millions of poor people while allowing private equity firms and Wall Street to profit. Kick off a national campaign against private equity’s role in dictating housing policy in the Trump administration and in driving inequality in the housing market. 

TENANTS MARCH ON WASHINGTON
On Wednesday, July 12TH 
thousands of tenants marching on Washington, DC with our progressive allies in Congress.The march will begin with a large rally at a church or outdoor space, and then march to a government office and to an office of a Wall Street firm, literally connecting the targets in the fight.

End Housing Inequality Now: Stop Giveaways to Wall Street Landlords, Fully Fund Public Housing & People’s Housing Programs!


Last Year, Homes For All coordinated the first Renters Day of Action a national day of trans-local action declaring a Renter State of Emergency and uplifting grassroots solutions to the national housing crisis. The actions were coordinated by a 17 member coordinating committee made up of HFA partners and housing justice organizations who threw down with support from RTC’s national staff to build out the trans- local infrastructure, direct action toolkit, website and messaging.

The RDA was a powerful success, mobilizing thousands of people, sparking mass interest in renter-led organizing and getting national & local media coverage. 52 cities in 19 states took action using coordinated messaging & 4 common targets to center renters as a political force, uplift HFA’s analysis, and make connections across movements. Through the RDA we emerged a national action toolkit and national demands, which we will build on in 2017.

AS A HOMES FOR ALL MEMBER, FUREE HELD A FUNERAL PROCESSION FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING DURING LAST YEAR’S RENTERS DAY OF ACTION.  WE HAD GREAT CROWDS IN THE STREETS OF BROOKLYN, AND OUR PRESENCE COULD NOT BE IGNORED!

THIS YEAR WE PLANNING TO SHOW OUT BIGGER AND LOUDER WITH A VARIETY OF HYPER LOCAL COMMUNITY EVENTS/ACTIONS AS WELL AS A BROADER CLIMAX ACTION TO WRAP UP THE WEEK OF POWER!

WHO’S JOINING FUREE THIS YEAR?!


We are forever grateful to the people who donated, purchased tickets, volunteered, and partied with us! You all made all the blood, sweat and tears we put into this fundraiser WORTH EVERY DROP!

We’re still recovering over a month later but we promise you that personal thank you’s, video clips, highlights of the night and more will be coming your way soon! Stay tuned, but for now enjoy a few pictures!

    



FUREE kicked off its annual F.I.R.E.D UP Academy (FUREE Institute of Resistance, Equality & Determination) this month on June 6th with our first workshop Capitalism’s Curse: Oppression and Inequality and for those of you who didn’t attend, you missed an exciting and energetic experience! 

Our participants got to learn about the social and economic history of Europe that helped to bring forth capitalism, and how our current inequalities are a direct legacy of those structures. We had people battle it out with each other over territories, militaries, assets and power, and then we played a game of  corporate wage discrimination where people were given weekly paychecks based on their identities and prejudices attached to them!  Folks had so much fun we had a hard time reining them in!

You can find out more about the academy on our website’s event page at: www.furee.org/events, and if you don’t want to miss the upcoming workshops, make sure you apply


Turning the Tide is a campaign that works to amplify the voices of low-income South Brooklyn Public Housing residents in implementation and policy decisions about environmental cleanup and climate adaptation. We’re working to ensure that Public Housing residents in South Brooklyn can weather the next big storm. This campaign holds NYCHA accountable for making the necessary changes like fixing leaky roofs and moving mechanical equipment out of flood-prone basements. 

The Mold Licensing Bill: The bill, introduced by CM Ritchie Torres in October 2015, is getting closer to passing into law. The legislation would create a new system of training, licensing and job standards for elimination of mold. Current state certification requirements for mold abatement work exempt public properties like NYCHA developments. There are at present no city standards for mold abatement and the bill would obligate anyone advertising or performing mold assessment or abatement services to obtain a license and instruction from the Department of Consumer Affairs. It would also obligate the licensee to create a plan for both eliminating the mold and for addressing its underlying causes and submit to the landlord and the city before beginning work, and to keep the plan on premises for the duration of the project.

 

 Donald Trump and Paul Ryan are threatening to cut $6 billion in HUD funding and plan to eliminate the CDFI fund. These housing programs support low income people across the country. These cuts will further drive run-away housing inequality and target low income people – especially people of color and immigrants living in public housing or receiving rental subsidies in places like New York and California. 

Cuts are leveled at public housing, but also at popular programs like Housing Choice Vouchers, CDBG, and HOME that poor people in both rural and suburban areas rely on. Treasury’s CDFI fund that helps low income people become homebuyers is eliminated in Trump’s budget. Programs that support privatization and add debt to Public Housing such as RAD will remain whole and likely be deregulated further to allow for more abuse. We’re fighting our own local battles here in NYC, but building a national movement is vital if we want to really bring about housing justice for the long term, rather than repeating these battles from administration to administration! Stay tuned for ways you can pitch in!



Right To The City Alliance
10-Year Anniversary Celebrat10n
Friday, June 23, 2017
6-9pm at Judson Memorial Church

The Right To The City Alliance is proud to celebrate its 10-year anniversary of building a national movement for municipal power, human rights and democracy.  This historic celebration will be a fun event for all ages, with a short and inspiring program, delicious food, a cash bar and great music!

FUREE was one of the founding members of Right to the City Alliance and we’re excited to celebrate 10 years of growing this national grassroots formation!  RTC unites cities in a common fight against gentrification through trans-local strategy and the leadership and vision of resident-led organizations and we’re so glad FUREE has been there from the beginning.

More info: please email sam@righttothecity.org or call (347) 688-9312.  Or check out the Event page

Till next time!

FUREE (FAMILIES UNITED FOR RACIAL AND ECONOMIC EQUALITY)
388 ATLANTIC AVE, 2ND FLOOR BROOKLYN NY 11217
OFFICE: 718. 715. 1352


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