Are you doing anything special in August?
FUREE will be ramping up its voter engagement campaign here in Brooklyn with outreach at various public housing developments and community events. We will be tabling at AFROPUNK if anyone wants to visit us and sign up as a potential member or volunteer, or just want to visit us and learn more about our work!
We have 4 of our youth leadership workshops also happening in August on the 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd for youth 14-24 who are interested in becoming activists and community leaders. The series is centered on skills-building trainings that teach youth to identify and combat systems of oppression through political education that can be used to organize and mobilize their communities against inequality and exploitation.
What have you worked on in the past year that you're most happy with?
FUREE currently has 11 campaign projects that are all seeing growth and successes on varying levels, but our proudest moments have been:
- Wyckoff Gardens NYCHA NextGen Infill Campaign: In response to NYCHA’s announcement that parking lots of this development would be leased to private developers for 50% market rate/50% affordable housing as a means to generate revenue, FUREE launched a campaign to organize residents around ensuring their community remains intact and viable for the low and moderate income residents who would be the most impacted by the influx of new affluent residents. In the past 7 months, we’ve pulled off a 6-part Resident Empowerment series to educate folks on various public policy topics as well as understanding the state of public housing, the series culminated into a developed community vision that encapsulated resident priorities and demands as the project moves forward. Additionally, we successfully secured a binding agreements document with NYCHA to cement their commitments to residents, as well as resident/community orgs inclusion on key decision-making processes with NYCHA such as developer selection and capital needs prioritizing.
- FUREEous Youth Program: For the past 2 years, the once powerful FUREEous youth program has been dormant due to staff downsizing and lack of funding. This past year, we were successful in securing 2 separate grants to resurrect our youth program with funding allocated specifically to hiring a youth organizer to run the program. So far we have hosted 3 city-wide youth convenings and one of the 5 leadership workshops planned.
What can people expect from your conversation with Peter Moskowitz?
It's my hope that the audience walks away from the conversation with a deeper understanding of the intentional and systematic forces that drive gentrification in New York that might not absolve individuals of their contributions to it, but allows us to have a more measured and solution-oriented conversation instead of the defensive and misinformed ones we often have. I want to offer possible remedies for the divide that exists, insight to affluent residents who are looking to reduce their adverse impact on low-income communities of color, and proactive positions that everyone can take to secure their communities as vibrant and diverse sanctuaries for generations to come.