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On the Corner With the Anti-Violence Crews Trying to Stem the Rise in Shootings

(Photos: Erin O’Brien)

As the sweltering July heat baked the streets of Bed-Stuy Monday morning, mourners dressed in black and white filed out of Pleasant Grove Baptist behind the three-foot-long, cartoon-covered casket of one-year-old Davell Gardner, Jr, who was shot and killed in Brooklyn on July 12. The procession, led by Rev. Al Sharpton, spilled onto Fulton Street with a visible weariness; the weariness of a community wracked by death, facing another loss so horrific it is difficult to even comprehend. More →

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Rev. Sharpton at Funeral of One-Year-Old Shooting Victim: ‘This Is a Disgrace’

(Photos: Erin O’Brien)

Davell Gardner Jr., the one-year-old boy who was shot and killed at a cookout on July 12, was laid to rest in Brooklyn yesterday, at a service presided over by Rev. Al Sharpton and Bishop Albert L. Jamison. In a somber ceremony, attended by members of the community and prominent New York politicians and public figures, speakers remembered the short life of Gardner, while calling for an end to gun violence in the community. More →

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As the Pandemic Continues, Urban Gardening Is Growing on New Yorkers

Samuel’s Food Gardens (Photo courtesy of Samuel S. T. Pressman)

Samuel S. T. Pressman had wanted to build a food garden on the rooftop of his Clinton Hill apartment for years. The artist and sculptor had lived on a farm when he was younger and had studied Sustainable Environmental Systems at Pratt. But in a city with a “time is money” mentality, he never found the right moment to start his passion project. More →

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Covid-19 and Racial Justice Movements Show It’s Time for Black Food Sovereignty in Brooklyn

Sandy Nurse (via @SandyforCouncil/Twitter)

Black and brown communities in Brooklyn face an inordinate concentration of food deserts, where people lack access to healthy, affordable grocery stores and other nutritious options. And the number of Americans who experience food insecurity is only expected to grow in the coming months, with low-income people of color to be hit hardest.  More →

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NYC Protesters Threatened By Federal Police Blitz: ‘We Will Not Be Silenced’

(Photos: Emmy Freedman)

As tensions come to a head in Portland, Oregon, where federal agents in military garb are putting protesters into unmarked vehicles and tear-gassing demonstrators, people on the other side of the country are throwing support behind the protesters. On the heels of President Trump’s announcement that he may send these same federal officers–described by one Oregon senator as an “occupying army”— into other Democrat-run cities such as New York, many are standing in solidarity with those in Portland and reminding elected officials that the movement is showing no signs of stopping. More →

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Meet the Young Activists Leading New York’s Black Lives Matter Protests

(Photo: Erin O’Brien)

Three weeks ago, Carlos had an internship in finance lined up for the summer and was planning to channel years of social activism, beginning in middle school, into a job in impact investing. But as protesters flooded the streets of New York, the 21-year-old Dartmouth student declined his internship offer and headed out to join them. Read more at NY Mag…

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‘It’s Heartbreaking’: Why So Much Homelessness in the East Village?

(Photo: David Shankbone via WikiCommons)

“The East Village has become unsafe,” tweeted @kernie_sanders in a message to Mayor Bill de Blasio in late June. “I have never seen such desperation.” 

Already estimated at over 1,000 prior to Covid-19, the homeless population in the East Village and Lower East Side has only grown since the pandemic began. The Department of Homeless Services and the Coalition for the Homeless haven’t yet calculated a number, but hope to generate more data in the coming months. In the meantime, East Village residents have noticed an uptick in the number of unsheltered individuals.  More →