RIBBON-CUTTING FOR CLIMATE-SUSTAINABLE SCHOOL YARD: The newly renovated schoolyard at the Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn was officially opened last Friday, June 10 with a ribbon-cutting celebration. Made possible through a partnership with Brooklyn Nets & New York Liberty Foundation, Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, the schoolyard is part of a Trust for Public Land’s New York City Playgrounds Program, which aims to transform asphalt playgrounds into vibrant city parks open to the community.
The space, which includes an outdoor classroom, basketball courts, a turf field, running track, trees, permeable pavers, play equipment, fitness equipment, game tables, benches, color seal art, recycling center, and a drinking fountain, also incorporates sustainable elements, such as permeable pavers and a turf field that will help capture 840,000 gallons of stormwater each year, and in turn, prevent flooded streets and overwhelmed sewer systems.
ORTHODOX UNION PRAISES BIPARTISAN EFFORT TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE: The leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox Union) — the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization –welcomed the agreement from a bipartisan group of 20 U.S. Senators on their framework for legislation designed to reduce gun violence. Rabbi Moshe Hauer, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union stated: “American society has become so terribly divided, preventing leadership from addressing our society’s most critical challenges. It is, therefore, heartening to see this group of Democratic and Republican Senators reason and work together to find common ground to propose real progress on an issue so deeply concerning to all Americans.
The senators are being commended for finding common ground in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the supermarket shooting in Buffalo, N.Y. and many other horrific incidents involving guns.
CUNY SCHOOLS IN NEW SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM: Medgar Evers College, Kingsborough Community College and Brooklyn College, all in this borough, are among 12 in the City University of New York system to be part of a new major scholarship program, thanks to a new partnership between CUNY, now marking its 175 year, and Ponce Bank, the community banking institution founded in 1960. Undergraduate students who live in economically disadvantaged communities, identify as members of a minority group and attend any of 12 CUNY senior and community colleges in four boroughs are eligible to apply.
The scholarship program will begin in Fall 2022, and funds will total $60,000 annually with individual awards of between $1,000 and $2,500 per student.
HAITIAN CULTURAL PERFORMANCES AT BROOKLYN COMMONS: Haiti Cultural Exchange comes to Downtown Brooklyn for two spectacular musical performances in one day. This Thursday’s (June 16) pop-up entertainment at Brooklyn Commons features three prominent artists from the Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX), an organization that develops and promotes the cultural expressions of Haitian people.
Starting at noon, Tatiana Desardouin will perform dualis, excerpts of pieces by Jessica St. Vil and KaNu Dance Theater, and Nanm, a Robenson Mathurin Dance Company. Later, at 5 p.m. HCX presents singer/songwriter Obed Jean-Louis and his trio, whose music fuses reggae, jazz, pop, and gospel with traditional Haitian rhythms, during Albee Square Happy Hours.
BROWNSVILLE COMMUNITY MURAL UNVEILING: The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and Trinity Financial on Monday, June 13, unveiled a mural at the Van Dyke III apartments showcasing community leaders whose roots are in the Brownsville neighborhood. Designed in 2021 and installed on June 6, 2022, by artist William “GoodWill” Ellis, who painted 17 of Brownsville’s most inspiring role models throughout modern Brooklyn history, including civil rights activist Rosetta Gaston, actor/author Bern Nadette Stanis, chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley and boxing champions Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.
The formal unveiling of the 60-foot by 20-foot mural – located at the northeast face of the building – was part of a daylong community celebration that also featured the ribbon-cutting for a newly renovated outdoor basketball court.
UPCOMING COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIR: Brooklyn Community Board 2 is joining forces with Friends of Commodore Barry Park, and The Brooklyn Hospital Center for a community health fair on Saturday, June 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fair will offer free COVID testing, yoga, healthy eating tips, blood pressure testing, on-site medical professionals, general health planning, music, giveaways, children’s story time and puppet show, and a panel discussion on maternal health in communities of color.
Expected speakers at the 11 a.m. welcome and greetings ceremony include Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-08/Flatbush); Assemblymember Phara Souffrant Forrest (D-57/Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill and parts of Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights) Borough President Antonio Reynoso and City Councilmember Lincoln Restler (D-33/Downtown Brooklyn)
DUMBO PLATFORM ARTIST SERIES: A group of eleven Brooklyn-based artists, representing a diversity of cultures from across the borough, were chosen by a panel to participate in full-day residencies on a 6’ by 6’ platform on Washington Street in DUMBO — one of New York City’s most iconic blocks — following an open call for works. All Six- Foot Platform programs are on Saturdays through Labor Day weekend, from 1- 8 p.m. at the intersection of Washington and Water Streets, starting on Saturday, June 25 with Hannah Lillevoy And M I C C A | Sun Dae Day Daze, an interactive dance installation spreading radical joy through ice cream and summer vibes.
Residencies span across artistic disciplines including music, dance, sculpture, performance art, puppetry, painting, poetry and more. In the event of inclement weather, a contingency plan will be announced on Instagram, @Dumbo_Brooklyn.
MORE PRAISE FOR BIPARTISAN EFFORT ON GUN CONTROL: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-12/northern Brooklyn) chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, praised a bipartisan group of senators who have reached an agreement on reforms to address gun violence. “I am encouraged that Democratic and Republican Senators have announced a tentative bipartisan framework for new commonsense gun safety regulations, including provisions to crack down on gun trafficking and straw purchasers — a reform I have championed for more than a decade,” said Maloney. “This framework does not include everything we need to end gun violence, but it is a first step in the right direction.”
Maloney added that, in the meantime, “the Oversight Committee will press forward with our investigation to hold the gun industry accountable for the dangerous weapons-of-war it sells.”
IPS NEWS: LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE TO PROTECT ABORTION RIGHTS: Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a nation-leading legislative package to immediately protect the rights of patients and empower reproductive health care providers in anticipation of a final decision by the Supreme Court on abortion access. A comprehensive six-bill package protects both patients and providers in several ways, such as establishing a cause of action for unlawful interference with protected rights; providing legal protection for abortion service providers; and prohibiting misconduct charges against health care practitioners for providing reproductive health services to patients who reside in states where such services are legal.
The legislation takes specific actions to address a variety of legal concerns unleashed by the Supreme Court’s leaked opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson, which would overturn the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade on the eve of its 50th anniversary.
IPS NEWS: FEMINIST GROUPS ENDORSE REP. MALONEY: U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-12/northern Brooklyn), and chair of the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Reform, who is running for re-election but in the newly-drawn 12th District, has received an endorsement from Eleanor Smeal, president of Feminist Majority and former president, National Organization for Women. “Whether introducing the nation’s first domestic partnership bill as a New York City Councilmember, championing the Equal Rights Amendment or leading the ongoing fight for reproductive freedom to keep abortion accessible, safe and legal, Carolyn has always been on the frontlines, taking on issues that others think are impossible or too hard – and she wins.
Smeal added, “Each day, she uses her clout to fight for women’s rights and gender equality for New York City, throughout the nation and around the world. New York needs Carolyn. Congress needs her. The nation needs her. I urge you to vote for Carolyn Maloney.”