Brooklyn Unites Against Gun Violence

Video highlights from the Unity March against gun violence in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

The event, organized by State Senator, Jesse Hamilton, is in response to the relentless gun violence in the US, especially after Alton Sterling and Philando Castilo in Baton Rouge, LA and Falcon Heights, MN and five police officers in Dallas.

Mother and daughter protest gun violence, Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Mother and daughter protest gun violence, Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Featured speakers in the video are Public Advocate Letitia James and Assemblywoman, Diana Richardson and State Senator, Jesse Hamilton.  The woman featured at the end with her young son is LaSandra.

Police Officer Clears Street For Protestors
Police Officer Clears Street For Protestors

The event started at the 77th Police Precinct in Crown Heights and the police and demonstrators marched peacefully for about 10 blocks on Utica Ave.  Most people appreciated the event, and were glad to participate, but one man next to me, who did not want to be identified, huffed off after hearing a couple of the politicians speak and said, “This is bullshit. Another person is gonna get killed tomorrow and then what?”

But as Assemblywoman, Diana Richardson said, “It’s important to take action and get involved.”

Protestors March Peacefully on Utica Avenue, Brooklyn
Protestors March Peacefully on Utica Avenue, Brooklyn

To learn more about becoming a member of the United Against Violence Task Force click here.

Despite Death Threats A Gay Leader Emerges In Afghanistan

After the shootings at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, by Omar Mateen, a U.S. resident of Afghan descent, we can’t help but revisit a past interview with Afghani gay activist, Nemat Sadat.  His intelligence and honesty on what it means to be gay in Afghanistan is extremely insightful.

All eyes are on the upcoming run off of the Afghanistan presidential election between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani in mid June. But millions of Afghans are talking about a new emerging leader not on the ballot, Nemat Sadat, who happens to be gay.   Continue reading Despite Death Threats A Gay Leader Emerges In Afghanistan

Brownsville Media Lab Screens Films On Identity, Poverty and Police.

The Brownsville Community Justice Center and Reel Works screened films from the recent piloted Brownsville Media Lab program.

The screenings took place at the
New York Institute of Technology Auditorium
1871 Broadway @ 63rd St.

The filmmakers tackled tough issues they are grappling in their young lives like identity, beauty, race, police, violence, poverty and grief.  They felt a great sense of accomplishment and a stronger connection to the community by sharing very personal things they thought only they grapple with.

When asked what was the key thing he learned from the filmmaking process, Ray Graham said, “Patience.  I wanted to quit the lab two times because I didn’t think the film was coming together.”

Judging from the audience’s supportive response, Graham’s patience and the gamble to open up paid off, they learned they are not alone with their feelings and perceptions about living in Brownsville Brooklyn in these volatile times.

The Brownsville Media Lab runs simultaneous with other tracks that include the Young Adult Entrepreneurship track, Community Benefits Projects track and the Mark Morris Dance Group track. All tracks are to develop our youth and provide new career opportunities that at one time seemed unimaginable.

Missed the screening? Check out the videos below.

Continue reading Brownsville Media Lab Screens Films On Identity, Poverty and Police.

Dispatches From a U.S. Tourist: Iran’s Greatest Asset? Its People

Iran.  What it conjures in the American mind.  When well meaning friends and family learned I was “vacationing” in Iran, they assumed I would be jailed or beheaded by ISIS or kidnapped by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. These western impressions could not be further from the reality.   Continue reading Dispatches From a U.S. Tourist: Iran’s Greatest Asset? Its People

NYC MBAs Head West To Scope Out The Tech and Energy Scene

Every year a group of intrepid Columbia Business School MBAs head west to Seattle and the Bay Area to check out companies, meet recruiters and get a sense if the location and opportunities in the tech, startup and energy industries are something they want to pursue. Continue reading NYC MBAs Head West To Scope Out The Tech and Energy Scene

Patrick Kerr On Why He Is Having A Blast Rehearsing For “You Can’t Take It With You”

We spoke with actor, Patrick Kerr, on his new role as Mr. DePinna in the Broadway revival of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s  You Can’t Take It With You, and why he is having a blast with the star-studded company. Continue reading Patrick Kerr On Why He Is Having A Blast Rehearsing For “You Can’t Take It With You”

Kara Walker’s Sublime Sphinx Exposes Our Complicated Sugared Past

The line stretches over two city blocks, and for a Friday afternoon, just after 5 p.m., it was said by many a friend to be the best time to go.  What is causing this must-see frenzy at the abandoned asbestos-laden Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg’s Water’s Edge? Continue reading Kara Walker’s Sublime Sphinx Exposes Our Complicated Sugared Past