Spring is in the air fam!
…And so is the fantastical magic of the power that exists within the identities of our communities of color and especially our youth!
This year has thrown us some warmly welcomed left hooks to shake our historic experience with the cinematic universe’s role in how our identities translate into characters and stories on screen. February’s ‘Black Panther’ release offered us a dynamism of responses to oppression and power which lent to wide-sweeping ranges of perspective on what liberation means, what it looks like and what responsibility we hold in making sure everyone has the agency to get there.
Following strongly on its heels as a fitting complement to that was March’s release of ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ and while it doesn’t claim distinct blackness, the carefully chosen and colorful faces of its characters have a different but just as important purpose. As the story addresses grappling with deeply traumatic personal adversity as a youth while the adults tasked with caring for you render you and your pain invisible, it also spends just as much time serving as a mirror for the audience constantly reminding us that we indeed have a place in universal human themes and storytelling.
Centuries of oppression, mischaracterization, erasure and psychological terrorism make it necessary for us to uplift, highlight, tell and keep alive stories of blackness from all corners of the world-wide diaspora, from all epochs of human history as well as from all angles of experience!
We have to reinforce our importance, our worth and our deserved right to carve out space in this world or no one else will.
But it is just as true that we need constant reminders that our ‘separation’ and ‘difference’ is a social construct created to keep us marginalized and unrecognizable to others. It’s a tool with which our foreheads are marked, our marginalization established and our separation from the rest of humanity made tangible. We have to reinforce the fact that our blackness and the all the uniquely distinct strings attached to it does not negate our connection to universal human stories.
We have to reinforce and remember our belonging to, our contribution to and our relationship with the deeper human themes that have existed before living memory and tie the world together with universal threads of love and heartache, family and lonely isolation, of adversity and triumph, of journeys and questioning…
This year has been everything I hoped it would be and I can’t wait to see what else is in store!
In loving community and strength,
Tia Strother- Program Coordinator
FUREE MARCH MONTHLY GENERAL MEETING
Fri, 04/06 (5:30PM – 7:30PM)
FAC (621 DEGRAW ST. & 4TH AVE. – BROOKLYN)
Our next general meeting will focus on steering committee elections, reviewing the 2018 plans & schedule/timeline from our annual strategic planning retreat as well as restructuring committees for our areas of work.
RSVP to Michael Higgins Jr.- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (917) 704-6994
FUREEOUS YOUTH ARTS HOUSE (FYAH) OPEN MIC NIGHT-
(NATIONAL POETRY MONTH- SONGS OF FREEDOM)
Fri, 04/13 (7PM – 9PM)
BK COMMONS (388 ATLANTIC AVE. – BROOKLYN)
The Open Mic Series is a monthly Arts & Social Justice series which highlights the various challenges to young people in public housing and beyond; topics such as suicide prevention, police harassment & brutality, gun and domestic violence, and more… After each monthly performance of poetry, music, dance, and/or video/film FYAH company members will facilitate a youth panel discussion to address the issues presented each evening.
RSVP to Mo Beasley- Email: email@example.com Phone: (646) 322-7121
FUREE APRIL MONTHLY GENERAL MEETING
Tue, 04/24 (6:30PM – 8:30PM)
LOCATION TBD- STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES!
Our April general meeting will focus on establishing an understanding of FUREE’s inclusion and involvement in various social justice formations, alliances & coalitions locally, state-wide/regionally and nationally with our members and community base. We are hoping to build more consistent active engagement between our members and these spaces in order to continue the building of strong and powerful partnerships for the long term!
RSVP to Michael Higgins Jr.- (See above for contact)
(Click on the header above for our crowdrise fundraising campaign)
The FUREEous Youth Art House (FYAH) in partnership with HeroGenesis plan to use the power of comics to rewrite narratives, redraw pictures, reflect the true stories of public housing residents, and support our communities through pivotal struggles toward social empowerment and agency!
“People who live in poor communities and public housing are all lazy, refuse to work and are living off welfare provided by tax-paying citizens! If they want better conditions they should work to improve things for themselves rather than depend on us to support them!”
Sadly this common myth is enthusiastically expressed by media messaging and thoughtlessly absorbed by us, without thinking more deeply about the people we label with this dangerous narrative. We have a responsibility as a community and as individuals to stop spreading these negative stereotypes!
It’s an excuse to increase homelessness among youth through ‘Permanent Exclusion Eviction & Exile’ policies in NYCHA housing, an excuse for elected officials to avoid eradicating substandard living conditions for residents, an excuse for us to see our poor and public housing neighbors somehow separate from our community.
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Many of us grew up reading comics wishing to see those superheroes reflected in our mirrors and their powers becoming our own. The hidden narratives that exist in the media and public put our communities in danger!
But don’t worry, we’ve got our FUREEous Youth heroes who have the superpowers needed to lead us in keeping this danger in check!
With guidance and skills-building of the HeroGenesis Project as well as the generous donations of supporters like you, we can band together and uplift our new crop of heroes as they take on the work of changing the world.
Help us raise enough money to support this amazing 8-week workshop series that takes our youth group through the process of understanding the transformative powers of the comic universe, learning to harness it’s ‘secret’ language and using it to develop their very own comic-zine publication as a platform for social change!
FYAH MARCH OPEN MIC
Our third Open Mic themed “Women’s History: #MeToo #TimesUp!” featured performance pieces from FYAH founders and cooridinators Frantasia Fryer and Me’Khai Lewis. There was a panel talk afterward on what does women empowerment look like for their generation, and the inadequacies of mainstream feminism for black women.
Check out videos of the monthly series here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeYf8gIZ7GGnTtJjNrlBkcw
PH FUNDING LOBBY DAY- ALBANY, NY
On March 12th, FUREE members descended on the capital to demand allocations to NYCHA capital projects in the 2019 fiscal state budget. Leaders met with the honorable Senator Velmanette Montgomery about not only securing long term commitments to the housing authority but strategies of how to make sure the funding is spent responsibly and in ways that will most benefit the quality of life of NYCHA residents. We thank the Senator for hosting us and her ongoing support to safe, healthy and affordable public housing in Brooklyn.
JP MORGAN CHASE FINANCIAL LITERACY WORKSHOPS
JP Morgan Chase has conducted 2 workshops of a FREE 3-part series on Financial Literacy for our FUREEous Youth in March, with topics around strategic banking, preparing for homeownership and investments as a way to let your money work for you! We’re building economic power for our communities starting with our youth!
FUREE’s monthly newsletters are scheduled to publish every third Friday of the month in print, email blast and website blog form. If you wish to include announcements, updates, etc. regarding particular events/meetings, community initiatives, etc. please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than the third Monday of the month to have them included here in our community announcements section.
Make sure to include all relevant information/web links, pictures/graphics (jpeg or png files acceptable) as well as contact info for the public and for us to follow up with questions if necessary.
PDF flyers will not be accepted as we then have to take additional time to convert the file for formatting!
FAIR FARES RALLY- CITY HALL STEPS-
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11TH (10AM – 11AM)
The Fair Fares campaign is fighting for half-priced MetroCards for Low-Income New Yorkers so everybody can afford to get on the subway and bus. Join Community Service Society and Riders Alliance for a rally to tell Mayor de Blasio to fund discount MetroCards for low-income riders in this year’s budget!
INVISIBLE WATER, INVISIBLE WATERSHEDS
BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY (128 PIERREPONT STREET- BROOKLYN HEIGHTS)
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18TH (6:30PM – 8PM)
As city dwellers walk paved streets, below their feet run streams and water. While invisible, this water is hardly benign. Join us as we use the Gowanus Canal as a case study for a discussion of urban ecology, stressed city ecosystems, and innovative design solutions. Eric Sanderson, senior conservation ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and director of the Manahatta Project; Kate Orff, MacArthur Award-winning landscape architect whose firm, SCAPE, has designed a visionary plan for the Gowanus Canal; and Andrea Parker, executive director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy are moderated by Jarrett Murphy of City Limits.
THE RED HOOK TEA
RED HOOK PUBLIC LIBRARY (7 WOLCOTT STREET)
SATURDAY, APRIL 21ST (11 AM – 2 PM)
Friends of the Red Hook Library and the Turning the Tide (T3) Environmental Justice Collaborative are hosting an open mic event for community residents, business and other stakeholders to provide updates on their projects and proposals for the Red Hook Community.
For more information and to RSVP, contact Karen Blondel, T3 Organizer at email@example.com or (718) 809 – 2070
TURNING THE TIDE (T3) GOES TO ALBANY
BUS DEPARTING FROM FIFTH AVENUE COMMITTEE (621 DEGRAW STREET)
AT 7 AM SHARP – MONDAY, APRIL 23RD
In a time of record-shattering hurricanes and with our federal government bought and sold by the fossil fuel industry, states like New York must step up and fight climate change. But Governor Andrew Cuomo is effectively all talk and too little action.
Get on the bus with us as we fight for a climate justice agenda from the Governor as he seeks reelection.
**For more information and to RSVP, contact Karen Blondel, T3 Organizer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 237 – 2017 x171
NYCHA INFILL CONVENING
GOUVERNEUR HOSPITAL (227 MADISON STREET- F TRAIN TO EAST BROADWAY)
SATURDAY, APRIL 28TH (11AM – 2PM)
Urban Justice Center (UJC) in collaboration with Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) is putting together a public forum on the policy of new market rate and affordable housing within current NYCHA developments scheduled across the city. Majorities of residents at all current sites for additional market rate development at Holmes Towers (Upper East Side), Wyckoff Gardens (Boerum Hill), Cooper Park (East Williamsburg) and LaGuardia Houses (Lower East Side) have shown disapproval in their communities but how do we build a massive force to not only oppose this plan but to fight to the funding and autonomy that NYCHA residents deserve? Join us in this discussion for a better vision for public housing in the city of New York.
**For more information, contact Julian Morales, Lead Organizer at GOLES at email@example.com or (646) 930-1518
MAYDAY FESTIVAL OF RESISTANCE
MARIA HERNANDEZ PARK (M TRAIN TO KNICKERBOCKER AVE., L TRAIN TO JEFFERSON ST.)
SATURDAY, APRIL 28TH (2PM – 7PM)
The Mayday Festival of Resistance is a free concert and party in Bushwick, Brooklyn at Maria Hernandez Park that celebrates the powerful movements working towards positive transformative social change. Through art, dance, and music we are creating a joyous event that shows inclusive, empowering political culture. The festival will lift up the people and organizations fighting for a more equitable NYC in the face of our xenophobic, racist and sexist political climate. We will showcase inspiring artists-activists that are using music to spread messages of hope and resistance. **This year’s lineup includes artists such as Nitty Scott, M.A.K.U* Sound System, Bushwick Jarocho Collective, NECIA, and DJ Sabine Blaizin (Oyasound).