FUREE’S MAY/JUNE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER- SUMMERTIME MADNESS!

  

Feel the burning desire to donate & support FUREE/FYAH work?! Well you can do just that here:

Fifth Avenue Committee/FUREE NYCharities Page
**Make sure to type ‘FUREE’ or ‘FUREEous Youth’ in the box under: ‘Designate your donation to a specific program or fund’

“There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from… Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it.” 

Margaret Atwood, A Handmaids Tale

Summer has officially and finally arrived!

Or at least we think it has, but we’ve been fooled once or twice before over the past 2 months! Luckily we know how to bring our own heat to this city and things have really been on FYAH lately especially with our youth and their FUREEous Youth Art House! As you read through this month’s newsletter issue, you’ll get exciting highlights of all the things they’ve been up to from the FYAH Open Mic Series that launched this past January and wrapped for the season this month (we’ll be back in September, so don’t fret!), to our 8-week Hero Genesis Comic Universe Workshop Series using the transformative powers of the comic universe for social justice!

You’ll also get some great snippets of what the amazing local housing initiatives and work our adult folk have been throwing down and powerful trans-local plans we’ve got on the horizon through our national work with Right to the City Alliance’s Homes for All Campaign. 

For a large part the life that grows from the dirt of the earth, ‘resiliency’ is a pretty basic strategy of cyclical and prolonged survival as plants struggle to make it through the varied environments and elements that each season brings with it. For the plants we now see emerging and blooming through the spring and summer months, the harshness of winter requires the preservation of energy as they retreat underground and prioritize the nourishment of their roots in order to thrive yet another year. Fall is a time for preparations, renewing of sturdy foundations and grooming the dead weight of old growth in order to make way for the fresh new growth to take their place spreading further and stronger each year.

This process of nature isn’t all that dissimilar to some of the core concepts found in the mapping of the ‘Hero’s Journey’and we ourselves are all familiar in some way to the challenges of struggle and survival, crossing thresholds to reach eventual revelations, transformations through death and rebirth as well as the powerful sense of achievement we can reach once we’ve found our way to atonement and returning.

 The Hero’s Journey, facing conflict, grappling with multi-layered identity and other related concepts have been the central themes for discussions we’ve engaged our youth in, as they embark on an ambitious project to build their own comic-zine platform as a vehicle to amplify their voices and their power to tackle issues of oppression, injustice and more… Specifically NYCHA’s Permanent Exclusion policies that unnecessarily increase homelessness, tear families apart and increase the risk factors youth in public housing already face. We see this inhumane excuse in the name of ‘safety and security’ echoed on a much grander and insidious scale from the current administration with the current immigration policies being callously and devastatingly enforced!

These issues and all of the others that oppress peoples and families are exactly why the need for us to amplify our stories and harness our individual superpowers to change the world. This is why FUREE and our FUREEous Youth have spent so much time contemplating the influential forces that manifest themselves through the shaping of narratives, usage of symbols and iconography, weaving and proliferation of storytelling themes, as well as the building of universally accessible bridges through the comic medium.

It is through these channels of creative strategy and community building that we plan to transition and evolve beyond the freedom to’ combat and dismantle negative but popular narratives and stories that continue to marginalize us and serve as easy excuses for our oppression… and establish our ‘freedom from’ these negative and narrow perceptions of who we are that have shaped the way the world engages us, as we wrestle control of our stories and build our own universe to more truly reflect our identities and realities!

We don’t need the world to rewrite the reflections of our lives, we can and we WILL do that for ourselves!

– Tia Strother, FUREE Program Coordinator


YOU CAN ALWAYS FIND OUR EVENTS AND MEETINGS
POSTED TO OUR WEBSITE’S CALENDAR PAGE

WWW.FUREE.ORG/EVENTS

AND ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA!

Facebook.png@FUREEous     Twitter.png@FUREEous    Instagram.png#GetFUREEous

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*JUNE* MONTHLY GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING:
TUESDAY, JUNE 26TH 6PM – 8PM
621 Degraw St. (corner of 4th Ave., Brooklyn)

For more info and/or to RSVP, contact: Michael Higgins Jr. michael@furee.org (917) 704-6994 or FUREE’s Steering Committee FUREEsteer.comm@gmail.com

*JULY* MONTHLY GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING:
TUESDAY, JULY 17TH 6PM – 8PM

LOCATION TBD- STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES
Or check our calendar/events page at: www.furee.org/events

For more info and/or to RSVP, contact: Michael Higgins Jr. michael@furee.org (917) 704-6994 or FUREE’s Steering Committee FUREEsteer.comm@gmail.com

That burning desire to donate & support FUREE/FYAH work didn’t hit the first time?! Maybe the second ask’s a charm!  And you can do so easily here:

Fifth Avenue Committee/FUREE NYCharities Page
**Make sure to type ‘FUREE’ or ‘FUREEous Youth’ in the box under: ‘Designate your donation to a specific program or fund’

STATE FUNDING FOR NYCHA & NEXTGEN INITIATIVES

NYCHA FUNDING/OVERSIGHT: FUREE leaders, housing advocates, community housing justice groups and supporters took the trek to Albany and demanded inclusion of NYCHA funding in the FY19 budget to address the growing deficit and gap between capital needs and available funds. Our descent on the state capital prompted exciting headway!

The immediate wins included:
**NYCHA will receive this year’s allocation of $250 million in addition to outstanding funding from $300 million earmarked from previous years.

**An independent emergency manager is to be selected within 60 days to oversee the development and completion of a comprehensive emergency remediation planMayor Bill De Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and president of the NYCHA Citywide Council of Presidents (CCOP) Danny Barber are to unanimously select an independent manager to oversee the necessary remediation within 60 days of the executive order issued by Governor Cuomo on April 2nd.

**On June 11th, a complaint published by the office of the Attorney General of Southern New York on NYCHA citing extreme health and safety violations and the mismanagement and lies that were used by NYCHA officials to cover it up, has prompted Mayor De Blasio to sign a consent decree, committing at least $2.2 billion for repairs. By signing the decree, the City avoids going to trial following the three-year investigation that revealed top housing authority officials put residents in harm’s way, and orchestrated a cover-up that involved lying to federal officials for years and devising a “how-to” guide for deceiving inspectors.

PUBLIC FORUM- NYCHA INFILL PLANS: FUREE, GOLES, St. Nicks Alliance and other partners, held a public community forum on NYCHA’s infill projects. To review and discuss projects currently underway and those pending/planned for the near future, provide information to PH residents and concerned neighbors, as well as brainstorming strategic responses and campaigns to mitigate the devastating effects of using public land to develop private housing projects. The forum included Councilmember Carlina Rivera, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer as guests who provided their own perspectives and comments on NYCHA’s NextGen initiatives and plans.


RIGHT TO THE CITY ALLIANCE ‘HOMES FOR ALL’ [HFA] CAMPAIGN

FUREE is a founding and currently active member of the national Right to the City Alliance and its ‘Homes for All Campaign’ formation which aims to build a replicable and nationally powerful housing movement, through collaborative translocal and regional grassroots organizing, shared political education and community-based empowerment.  We’re hyped for our national assembly coming up next month (July) where 300+ housing justice fighters will converge on the city of Atlanta, to talk 10-year Strategy Planning & Mapping, strengthen current bonds and forge new ones, as well as debut the roll-out of our long-anticipated DNA Greenbook! 

The manual was born from a recognized need to establish an easily accessible way to share and replicate the mission and principles that set the foundations for HFA’s vision of housing justice and mass movement building to achieve our goal of establishing Housing as an indisputable Human Right with equitable access for ALL!   

‘Homes For All’ Core Values:
**Housing Is A Human Right – Communities and People Before Profits!
**The People Most Impacted Must Lead!
**Land and Housing Should be Collectively Controlled by Communities and Sustained for Future Generations.

Want to join the Homes for All movement? Take the pledge here: www.homesforall.org/pledge

**RTC ‘HFA’ CAMPAIGN IN THE MEDIA**
MEET THE RISING NEW HOUSING MOVEMENT
THAT WANTS TO CREATE ‘HOMES FOR ALL’

By Jimmy Tobias, for The Nation- May 24, 2018 (Illustration by Curtis Merlo) 

Article Excerpt“A new formation of New York community groups called the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance senses an opportunity in this year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary fight, the alliance is pressing Governor Andrew Cuomo to take progressive action on housing issues. Among other things, they want Cuomo to establish just-cause eviction protections for all New York tenants—a cause his challenger, Cynthia Nixon, has already endorsed. They’re also gearing up to push for the expansion of New York City’s rent-regulation system to the entire state in 2019.”

Read article here: https://www.thenation.com/article/the-way-home/


FUREEOUS YOUTH ART HOUSE [FYAH] 

Videos of past FYAH Open Mics can be viewed on FUREE’s YouTube channel here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeYf8gIZ7GGnTtJjNrlBkcw

[EMBED YOUTUBE VIDEOS!!]

FUREEous Youth Art House [FYAH] Monthly Open Mic Nights

[INSERT PICS]

The FUREEous Youth Program’s FYAH Project completed this year’s inaugural Monthly Open Mic Night event series which ran from Jan-June this year with focused themes each month, launching the Friday before the MLK holiday weekend and continuing every 2nd Friday of each month.

Brooklyn Academy of Music [BAM] Student artists from their Arts & Justice and Black Male Achievement Programs joined FY in April, focused on art as a leading medium in today’s Freedom Movements.  BAM and FUREE are hoping to establish a long-term Arts & Culture partnership on the heels of this collaboration so we hope you all will stay tuned for future FYAH coming your way!

We ended this first season with a bang on Friday, June 8th with a lineup of powerful youth performances centered on the theme of Queer Pride’ and FUREEous youth-led post-show panel discussion. We celebrated the success of our first season and commemorated its finale with an After-Party Fundraiser, which hosted the largest audience and guest list to-date!

Stay tuned for updates from the funds raised during the after-party, special donor and supporter shout-outs as well as highlights and clips of the night’s events (including Karaoke turn-up!), but for now we’d like to thank the following Brooklyn vendors and businesses for their generous contributions and donations towards our raffle prize giveaways which our guests LOVED (and almost went to blows over!):

** Blow Beauty Bar (Gift certificate for blowout and makeover)
http://blowbeautybars.com/

** York Cellars (Bottle of French Chablis white wine)
https://www.instagram.com/yorkcellars/

** Emerald Gem Exchange (Hematite Bracelet and Turquoise Earrings) 
http://egex-dumbo-showroom.business.site/

** Henry & Jaki Florsheim (Hosted date for Sunday Bluegrass Brunch at Superfine) 
http://www.superfine.nyc/

** Glam on Front- Glam Expressway (Yoga Mat)
https://www.shopglamexpressway.com/


Hero Genesis and FYAH have teamed up to change the world for good!
Using the transformative powers of the comic universe!

  

We have helped the FUREEous Youth to learn the secret language of comic books and comic book culture. They have taken this secret language to create new urban mythos based on their lived experiences and their campaign work. Now they have the ability and the cultural tools necessary to build urban mythology for critical awareness and to use art to challenge the attacks on their communities. Our story is building and our zine is coming soon! 

STAY TUNED FOR MORE FUREEOUS YOUTH FYAH, AND THE DEBUT OF THEIR COMIC-ZINE PUBLICATION!


GOWANUS NEIGHBORHOOD REZONING-
GNCJ COALITION & ‘BRIDGING GOWANUS’

Over the past 2 years, FUREE along with Fifth Avenue Committee, other community based organizations, businesses and local residents as part of the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice (GNCJ) have engaged with the city on a plan to rezone the area around the Gowanus Canal, known as the Gowanus Places Planning Study.

After a number of stakeholder meetings on such issues as housing, economic development, resiliency and sustainability, public realm, and arts and culture, the Department of City Planning has published their framework for the rezoning that may be approved as soon as next year. You may read the full document at this linkJoin us for an open house the Department of City Planning is hosting Wednesday, June 27th at P.S. 32, 317 Hoyt Street FROM 5 – 8 pm.


POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN & CHICAGO FREEDOM MVMT

FUREE’s lead organizer Michael Higgins Jr. facilitated a workshop on April 6th in commemoration of Dr. King’s assassination. The topic of the conversation, the Poor People’s Campaign and Chicago’s Freedom Movement, highlight the long standing work of the civil rights movement to fight for the dignity of Black communities and other people of color for fair housing and economic power that FUREE frames its work within today.


POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT & EMPOWERMENT

FUREE and its member-leaders are currently working through the development of our official political platform and the community engagement process of aligning it with the most pressing concerns and priorities our communities are focused on. In preparation for the 2018 Congressional, Gubernatorial and Legislature elections we hope to promote and push powerful demands on our elected officials and governing bodies who we strongly believe need to be held accountable to the constituents who elect them!

Congressional primaries for this year’s is next week on Tuesday, June 26th. Find your polling site here!


FOUNDING MEMBER-LEADER BEVERLY C.
IS HONORED WITH AWARD AT FAC ANNUAL GALA

On May 22nd, FAC hosted its 40th Anniversary Benefit & Awards Reception at the Brooklyn Museum. One of FUREE’s founding members and long time leader Beverly Corbin received the ‘Rise Up’award for her tireless and ongoing work to build, impart wisdom on and uplift the power of her community as well as other communities who face the daily struggles of oppression and marginalization!

We’re so proud of you Beverly and we love you!

FUREE [FAMILIES UNITED FOR RACIAL AND ECONOMIC EQUALITY]
BROOKLYN COMMONS- 388 ATLANTIC AVE. 2ND FL. BROOKLYN, NY 11217
(718) 852-2960    —–      www.furee.org   

 [Tia S. Ext. 201  shatia@furee.org] * [Michael H. Ext. 202  michael@furee.org] *  [Mo B. Ext. 203  mo@furee.org]

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