Feature
October 18, 2015

BMC Leadership Gets emBOLDened

We’re not just cultivating movements at the Brooklyn Movement Center, we’re growing Black leadership with Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity. BOLD believes investing in the leadership of Black directors and lead organizers is key to rebuilding the Black organizing infrastructure that is essential for our people’s liberation and progressive movement in this country. 

BMC Lead Organizer Anthonine Pierre, board member Maurice Mitchell, and member leaders Beatriz Beckford and Dara Cooper have been accepted into the 2015 BOLD’s Director’s Training. They will attend three retreats over the year to develop transformative organizing skills and build with 46 other organizers nationwide. Learn more about their leadership below!


Anthonine Pierre

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As BMC’s Lead Organizer, Anthonine works to bring people together and build the capacity for social and political change in Central Brooklyn. She is committed to transforming the world we live in into a free society for people of color, immigrants, women, low-income, queer and trans people, and everyone in between. Since 2011, she has been working on this transformation through BMC’s parent organizing, police accountability and anti-street harassment campaigns.

Prior to working at BMC, Anthonine was at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office where she was the community liaison responsible for Central and West Harlem. She has also held youth organizing positions with the Children’s Defense Fund and Prospect Park Alliance. Anthonine currently sits on the boards of Families for Freedom, the Advocacy Institute and the New York Social Justice Political Action Committee.

Anthonine is a lifelong Brooklynite, foodie and enthusiasm enthusiast. When she’s not working at BMC, she’s usually looking for the Wiz with her friends the Lion, the Tin Man & the Scarecrow.


 Maurice Mitchell

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Maurice is currently supporting the burgeoning movement for Black Lives that grew from the courageous actions of leaders in Ferguson following the death of Michael Brown Jr. He is supporting emerging and preexisting organizations and grassroots leaders dedicated to the issues of state violence, anti-black racism, domestic militarism, and the extra-judicial killing of Black people by police and vigilantes.

Most recently, Maurice held a position as the coordinator of the New York State Civic Engagement Table, a hub for progressive, grassroots organizations to collaborate and use technology to win social justice. Maurice previously served as the downstate organizing director for Citizen Action of New York. Maurice also spent seven years at the Long Island Progressive Coalition organizing a number of electoral and issue-based campaigns.

While studying at Howard University he led organizing efforts against police brutality, and divestment from private prisons and founded the local Amnesty International Chapter. Maurice has also been a member of Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s people’s self-defense campaign and Critical Resistance‘s New York Chapter.


Dara Cooper

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Based in Brooklyn, NY, Dara is the director of the NYC Food and Fitness Partnership at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. The Partnership works to address food and health access issues, creating model places where communities of color have equitable access to healthy, safe, clean environments with an empowered community that determines and participates in an accessible, equitable, affordable food system for all residents.

Prior to joining Restoration, Dara led the launch and expansion of an award winning mobile produce market with community health programming, which quickly became a nationally recognized model for healthy food distribution and community based self determination and empowerment. A former Uganda Bold Food Fellow (exchange program between professionals in the U.S. and East Africa), Kalamazoo Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Food Justice Fellow, and National Alliance Against Racist Political Repression Human Rights Awardee, she believes in the power of people organizing and investing in self-determining, sustainable communities worldwide.


Beatriz Beckford

Photo Apr 07, 1 25 27 PMBeatriz is a first generation Caribbean-American, with Puerto Rican and Jamaican ancestry who is committed to economic justice and racial justice work. She is unapologetically a black radical feminist and has been organizing for nearly 15 years at the intersection of youth, policing, food and number of other racial justice issues.

In her current capacity as the Co-Director of the Grassroots Action Network at WhyHunger, she is privileged to collaborate with grassroots partners and allies across the country to organize for the food justice and food sovereignty movements. Prior to joining WhyHunger, she served as the Director of Organizing and Policy Initiatives for the Brooklyn Food Coalition, where she was tasked with architecting the coalitions organizing efforts.

Most importantly, she is a proud mother to a beautiful little boy who nourishes her soul and always reminds her to play nice, that sharing is caring, or as she likes to say sharing is resistance, collective resistance leads to collective liberation, liberation is only achieved through revolution and revolution is love.

About this author

Veralyn Williams

Veralyn Williams

Veralyn Williams is an award-winning Journalist who has been tackling questions on identity, social norms, and community since she picked up her first microphone 10 years ago. She currently works to build power in Central Brooklyn as Communications Organizer at the Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC), a membership-led, direct-action, community organizing group. Through all of her endeavors she aims to give a voice to perspectives that are often forgotten or marginalized in the media. Follow her on twitter at @VeralynMedia.

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