News from Pratt Center: December 2020
This extraordinarily difficult year has made clear just how much we need the support of one another in our work for a more just city, and similarly, just how much communities are upheld and kept safe through their own organizing and action. So, in that same spirit of mutual interdependence and solidarity, we want to end the year by highlighting organizations whose work our staff have been following closely and/or actively supporting throughout the pandemic. These are just a handful of the frontline groups providing essential support to communities that we would love to see finish the year strong.
Immigrant Justice Corps→
“This year I became a new American after having lived in this country for 20+ years. I waited a long time because it affected my life so little to become naturalized. That is in stark contrast to the experiences of my fellow immigrants who face significant challenges in attaining what is by right theirs and for whom American citizenship would mean safety & security, life or death, for themselves and their families. Immigrant Justice Corps mobilizes quality legal counsel to meet the needs of immigrants nationwide. Through their fellowship program, they identify promising lawyers and advocates passionate about immigration, place them with legal services and community-based organizations where they can make the greatest difference and support them with training and expert insights as they directly assist immigrants in need.”
Let Us Breathe Fund→
at the Northstar Fund
“The Let Us Breathe Fund is the only NYC-based fund led by and for Black activists organizing around police reform and building Black liberation. Begun in 2015 following the death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD, it is a powerful commitment in Northstar’s funding model to fuel grassroots organizing and to direct funds to communities who have consistently been ignored in mainstream philanthropy, through a process led by representatives of impacted communities.”
Arab American Association of New York→
“If you’ve been surprised by news of BLM marches and a growing movement for social justice in the traditionally red neighborhood of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, it’s the transformative work of this group that deserves the credit. They formed in 2001 to advocate for New York’s Arab community in the wake of heightened police surveillance and discrimination, and in recent years have been organizing for immigration reform and to end police brutality against Black, Brown and immigrant communities. Their advocacy efforts are rounded out by a range of educational, social and mental health support services.”
East Brooklyn Mutual Aid→
“Our communities would have been completely decimated if not for mutual aid - neighbors coming together and pooling resources to help one another. East Brooklyn Mutual Aid branched off from Ocean Hill-Brownsville Mutual Aid when a need arose in neighboring East New York and Cypress Hills. They make food deliveries twice a week and as food insecurity and economic hardship grows with little government assistance, groups like EBMA are vital to providing emergency food to our most vulnerable.”
Coalition for Educational Justice→
They are an organization led by parents advocating for equity in education. They stepped into the void to help parents suddenly having to be teachers and by advocating for equitable education strategies for kids who are suddenly stranded.
Brooklyn Community Services→
“Although BCS holds a very special place in Pratt Center’s heart because their CEO is our amazing former colleague Janelle Farris, we also really appreciate the work BCS does to provide vital services to our neighbors—the children, families and adults that make Brooklyn the incredible borough that it is. From early childhood services to mental health and wellbeing to the Mobile Care Unit that provides showers on wheels for those who need it most—BCS is doing the important work to ensure all Brooklyn residents have access to the services they need in a caring and dignified way.”
“Playground Youth spun out of Playground Coffee Shop and is a community based organization that has created safe spaces for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ youth in Bedford-Stuyvesant by organizing events, mutual aid, community fridges and more. Earlier in the year, Pratt Center's Made in NYC initiative collected masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, and snacks from local manufacturers to help Playground create Black Lives Matter protest kits for local BIPOC youth.”