BMC in the Media
As the staff works hard to get out there and organize folks, the press and media covers the work.
Inside City Hall
July 2, 2020
“Yes, the budget has been passed and many of us are more than disappointed at how it turned out, but in many ways, this is just the beginning of a new conversation. And what I’d like to see is not only the conversation…on how we defund from the police, but how do we reimagine public safety and the protection of our community, making it community-centered?” Griffith said. “That’s what I really look forward to over the next year.”
New York Daily News |Mark Winston Griffith
July 1, 2020
Defunding the police is not a radical notion to run from, but an invitation and opportunity to embark on a new self-loving future for black communities.
New York Times | Dana Rubinstein and Jeffery C. Mays
June 30, 2020
“He’s really just moving money around, and he’s not really meeting the demand of the campaign,” said Anthonine Pierre, the deputy director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, who has joined protesters in front of City Hall to demand Police Department cuts.
Father of police shooting victim Saheed Vassell asks state attorney general to launch investigation.
New York Daily News, Elizabeth Elizalde and Leonard Greene, February 27, 2019
“Not only have departmental charges not been filed, but also none of the police who have been involved in this have been put on modified duty,” said Anthonine Pierre of the Brooklyn Movement Center. “They’re still walking the same streets where they killed Saheed. We would like to see accountability from the mayor.”
Father of police shooting victim Saheed Vassell asks state attorney general to launch investigation.
New York Daily News, Elizabeth Elizalde and Leonard Greene, February 27, 2019
“Not only have departmental charges not been filed, but also none of the police who have been involved in this have been put on modified duty,” said Anthonine Pierre of the Brooklyn Movement Center. “They’re still walking the same streets where they killed Saheed. We would like to see accountability from the mayor.”
Castanea Fellows Rethink Justice in Food and Economy
Katherine Walla, June 2019
Mark Winston Griffith, Executive Director of Brooklyn Movement Center, who wants to unite producers, distributors, and farmers across New York State.
Five Years After Eric Garner, Activists Still Fight for ‘Another Day to Live’
WNYC, Yasmeen Khan, July 17, 2019
“What actually erodes communities’ faith in the NYPD, their trust in the NYPD, is this idea that even if police do something wrong, they won’t be held accountable,” said Anthonine Pierre, deputy director of the advocacy organization Brooklyn Movement Center. “That sends a message to communities that the NYPD and the government doesn’t actually care about them.”
Seeing Race, Class & Power Through Brooklyn Schools
WNYC, Brian Lehrer Show, October 17, 2019
Mark Winston Griffith, the executive director of the Brooklyn movement Center, and journalist Max Freedman, co-producers and co-hosts of the podcast “School Colors,” talk about its examination of the way race, class and power shape American cities and schools through a deep-dive into those issues in Central Brooklyn and preview the next episode about how school choice has played out.
New Central Brooklyn Food Co-op Aims to Nourish and Empower Locals
The City, Claudia Irizarry Aponte, October 17, 2019
But the Central Brooklyn co-op has a mission that’s as much social as culinary: It seeks to empower people who have suffered through years of economic disinvestment in their neighborhoods — yet are now facing the threat of displacement as wealthier outsiders move in.
After Years of Planning, Central Brooklyn Moves Closer to Launch of Food Coop
BK Reader, Keishel Williams, October 29, 2019
The idea of a food coop started six years ago during one of Brooklyn Movement Center’s community Grub parties, during a discussion about the effects of gentrification on the food economy in the Central Brooklyn. Already considered a food desert-– an area that has limited access to affordable and healthy food– Central Brooklyn, with gentrification, witnessed the problem worsening, as the newer food businesses opening in the areas were not affordable to the residents.
A Coop Grows In Brooklyn
Forbes, Diana Hembree, October 29, 2019
“As black people in a predominantly black neighborhood that has been hit for such a long time, that was struggling economically, food became a symbol—a symbol of what we did not have and what we lacked,” said Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, the organization incubating the CBFC.
NYPD Arrests Another Subway Churro Vendor, Inflaming Outrage Over Cuomo’s ‘Quality Of Life’ Crackdown
Gothamist, Emma Whitford, November 12, 2019
“I want to know: is this safety?” asked Anthonine Pierre of the Brooklyn Movement Center, speaking on behalf of Communities United for Police Reform. “When hard working immigrants get handcuffed while trying to make a living: is this safety?”
Names of officers who killed Saheed Vassell leaked, father and community call out NYPD
Amsterdam News, Stephon Johnson, August 2, 2018
Mark Winston-Griffith is executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a grassroots community organization in central Brooklyn that has worked closely with the Vassell family to seek justice for Saheed. Read more.
Eric Vassell Calls for Prosecution of NYPD Officers Who Killed His Son Saheed
Black Star News, July 29, 2018
“The NYPD should have immediately released the names of all the officers responsible for killing Saheed Vassell back in April, instead of releasing selectively edited video meant to criminalize Saheed and justify the killing,” said Mark Winston-Griffith, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a grassroots community organization in central Brooklyn that has worked closely with the Vassell family to seek justice for Saheed. Read more.
In Legal Papers, Activists Demand More Reforms in Stop-and-Frisk, Claim Under Reporting
Black Star News, July 9, 2018
“The decrease in the overall number of stop-and-frisks being reported by the NYPD is inaccurate and presents a false picture of reality on the ground in communities,” said Mark Winston-Griffith, a spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform and Executive Director of Brooklyn Movement Center. Read more.
After Slaying, Neighbors Honor #TheRealSaheed As City Remains Silent
Forbes, Janet Burns, May 21, 2018
Six weeks after Crown Heights resident Saheed Vassell was shot 10 times and killed by police on a busy corner in his Brooklyn neighborhood, community members are still waiting for the city and NYPD to release key facts about the shooting, as well as officers’ names, according to the nonprofit Brooklyn Movement Center. In the meantime, they’re also setting the record straight on social media about who the 34-year-old father of one really was, and how ‘official’ narratives are getting it wrong. Read more.
Video Series Examines “#TheRealSaheed,” Condems NYPD Propoganda
Patch, Kathleen Culliton, May 17, 2018
Advocates from the Brooklyn Movement Center are producing a series of video interviews with locals who knew Vassell — the bipolar man shot down by police on April 4 by police officers who mistakenly believed he had a gun — in an attempt to preserve the memory of #TheRealSaheed. Read more.
Won’t Back Down: Protestors Return to site where cops killed man holding pipe to demand transparency from city
Brooklyn Paper, Colin Mixon, May 7, 2018
“This is classic victim blaming,” said Anthonine Pierre, the director of a Bedford-Stuyvesant–based group of community organizers, the Brooklyn Movement Center. “What we know is four officers came out of nowhere and started firing, we need to see what actually happened and the public needs a sense of what actually went on.” Read more.
Brooklyn Community Demands Names of police who Killed Saheed Vassell
Liberation, Steven Powers, May 5, 2018
The community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, gathered at the intersection of Montgomery and Utica on May 2 to rally and march in support the family of Saheed Vassell, and the demands they are making of the New York Police Department. Read more.
Saheed Vassell Shooting: Name Killer Cops
Amsterdam News, Nabaya Arinde, April 19, 2018
“An unmarked car pulled up in the middle of the day and both plainclothes and uniformed officers jumped out and shot Saheed Vassell in cold blood,” said Anthonine Pierre, a representative for Communities United for Police Reform and deputy director of the Brooklyn Movement Center. Read more.
Saheed Vassell’s Family Calls for More Transparency About Killing
Patch, Noah Manskar, April 12, 2018
The Police Department last week released a series of videos showing Vassel brandishing the metal pipe like a gun at people on the street. That’s part of the NYPD’s “non-stop PR campaign to justify the officers’ actions” and put Vassell under a microscope instead, said Anthonine Pierre, the deputy director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, an activist group. Read more.
Saving the Next Saheed Vassell
NY Daily News, Erroll Louis, April 10, 2018
“Despite the mayor and First Lady touting their mental health initiative, they continue to be silent about the repeated killings of people in emotional distress by police, which now totals at least 11 in the past four years,” said Anthonine Pierre, deputy director of the center. Read more.
NY Attorney General to Probe Police-Involved Shooting Death in Brooklyn
Observer, Madina Toure, April 5, 2018
Anthonine Pierre, director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, which is part of Communities United for Police Reform, said initial reports falsely claimed Vassell had a gun and blasted the use of new terms like “shooting stance” and the “selective release” of photos and information. She also said Schneiderman’s probe should be “swift, thorough and transparent.” Read more.
Rally Planned for Saheed Vassell, Brooklyn Man Killed by NYPD
Metro, Kristin Toussaint, April 5, 2018
“If Saheed Vassell experienced emotional distress, it is deeply disturbing that he has become another New Yorker failed by the city and killed by its police department. Despite the mayor and first lady touting their mental health initiative, they continue to be silent about the repeated killings of people in emotional distress by police, which now totals at least 11 in the past four years,” Read more.
New Bill Bans Cops from Having Sex with Detainees
Amsterdam News, Stephon Johnson, April 5, 2018
Anthonine Pierre, a representative for Communities United for Police Reform and deputy director of Brooklyn Movement Center, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, families of people killed by police and other New Yorkers will gather at the same spot and then march to the 71st Precinct at 421 Empire Boulevard. Read more.
March for Our Lives: The Game-Changer Must Honor the Long Game
Our Times Press, Maitefa Angaza, March 30, 2018
Mark Winston Griffith, founder and director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, reflects on the underlying issues that characterize this long-standing crisis. Read more.
Women Trailblazers Honored
Caribbean Life, Nelson A. King, March 28, 2018
Brooklyn Council Member Jumaane D. Williams and Deputy Chief of Staff Farah Louis on Friday evening, March 23, hosted the 5th Annual Shirley Chisholm Women of Distinction Celebration. Read more.
At Crossroads of Policing and Murder, a Long Push for Accountability
Christian Science Monitor, Harry Bruinius, February 16, 2018
“I think the term and the concept has been exploited, and I think it’s been used by others outside to paint us as savages,” says Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of Brooklyn Movement Center, a community activist group.” Read more.
All NYPD Officers on Patrol Will Have Body Cameras by End of 2018
Observer, Madina Toure, January 21, 2018
“Body-worn cameras (BWCs) don’t equate to police accountability and transparency on their own, and the mayor and NYPD are too eagerly seeking to claim they do to compensate for their poor record on police accountability and transparency,” Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of Brooklyn Movement Center and a spokesman for the coalition, said in a statement. Read more.
Why Does Crime Keep Falling in New York City?
Gotham Gazette, Samar Khurshid, January 8, 2018
Police reform advocate Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, believes it’s a dubious claim. “Crime was going down before quote-unquote neighborhood policing,” he said. “I don’t see how [de Blasio] starts drawing this direct line between that and the reduction of crime. I don’t believe it passes the smell test.” Read more.
Neon, Spectacles, and Bright Lights Lure Eaters in the Age of Instagram
PBS, Corinne Segal, December 17, 2017
Mark Winston Griffith, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, said that as new residents began moving into his neighborhood of Crown Heights, “There started to be a lot more [food] options around us, but the places that were popping up were not marketed to, were not designed for, were not intended for the long-term residents and people who had been here historically. It was clearly being marketed to newcomers,” he said. “You know it when you see it.” Read more.
De Blasio Backs Revised Right to Know Act
WNYC, Brigid Bergin, December 12, 2017
“The bill version that the mayor is supporting has these huge loopholes that would make it so that a large majority of police interactions would actually be exempt from this,” said Anthonine Pierre of the Brooklyn Movement Center and member of the steering committee of the Communities United for Police Reform. Read more.
Brooklyn Lawmakers Take Part in Council Speaker Forum
Brooklyn Eagle, Paula Katinas, December 11, 2017
The forum was presented by the following organizations: Girls for Gender Equity, Women of Color for Progress, Brooklyn Movement Center, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, PowHer NY, Planned Parenthood of New York City, National Organization for Women-NYC. Read more.
City Council Speaker Candidates, All Men, Promise Gender Equity if Victorious
Gotham Gazette, Samar Khurshid, December 9, 2017
Hosted by a coalition of 14 organizations, at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute in Manhattan, the forum capped off a post-election month that has seen the candidates appear at more than a dozen issue-focused debates and discussions on everything from criminal justice to government transparency and accountability. Read more.
The Right to Know Act and the City Council Speaker Race
Gotham Gazette, Samar Khurshid, November 9, 2017
“Our primary concern with the [next] speaker is really making sure that they’re going to be a person who supports these reforms and future reforms and make sure that New Yorkers are having interactions with police that make sense and don’t violate their rights,” said Anthonine Pierre, deputy director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a nonprofit that is a member of the Communities United for Police Reform coalition. Read more.
Fate of NYPD Officer who Tackled James Blake will be Kept a Secret
Gothamist, Jake Offenhartz, September 26, 2017
“The CCRB seeking only to take away vacation days from an NYPD officer who used excessive force against James Blake undermines the agency’s purpose of pursuing meaningful accountability for police brutality and misconduct,” said Communities United for Police Reform spokesperson Anthonine Pierre. Read more.
Beyond Light Bulbs: How the BQDM Can Jump-Start Energy Retrofits in Central Brooklyn
Our Times Press, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, Eddie Bautista, and Mark Winston-Griffith, September 21, 2017
How many millions of dollars does it take to change a light bulb? While energy wonks have praised the innovation of Con Edison’s Brooklyn Queens Demand Management (BQDM) program, low-income communities and communities of color in the BQDM catchment area have seen little improvement to their daily lives from the $200 million program so far. Read more.
Bullet Holes and Rose: Exploiting Black Pain for Profit
The Root, Ashley Velez, September 20, 2017
“There’s a way of discarding what people want out of their neighborhoods, invalidating that and saying it’s not important,” Anthonine Pierre, lead organizer at the Brooklyn Movement Center, told The Root. “There’s a way that that is absolutely anti-black, it’s anti-brown, it’s anti-people of color and it says, ‘Actually I’m just here for the cheap land,’ or ‘I’m just here to economically profit from your suffering and not to actually celebrate and build new things with you.’” Read more.
New Yorkers Rally to Tell Schumer: Save the EPA!
Food and Water Watch, September 19, 2017
A broad coalition of groups across New York are calling on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to draw a line in the sand against any Republican efforts to slash the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency. Read more.
Can Anyone Defeat Eric Gonzalez for Brooklyn DA?
Gotham Gazette, Rachel Silberstein, September 8, 2017
Unlike when Thompson was running, and there were very clear distinguishing features, there’s no one who makes many of the folks I know want to run out and embrace a particular candidate,” said Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, who noted that each candidate has issues with his or her campaign. Read more.
Is Airbnb Turning NYC’s Brooklyn White? Airbnb Responds
The Root, Michael Harriot, June 27 , 2017
The Brooklyn Movement Center, a community-organizing group dedicated to self-determination and empowerment of central Brooklynites, has combined data, analytics and investigative journalism to highlight how Airbnb is changing the BK landscape. The Root decided to use BMC’s data and resources to figure out how Airbnb has bleached Brooklyn. Read more.
Brooklynites Tackle Gentrification with ‘Brooklyn Deep’
Colorlines, Samee Rao, May 31, 2017
Brooklyn Deep began in 2013 as a community media project of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a grassroots advocacy organization in the predominantly Black—but rapidly gentrifying—Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. Its projects include the podcast “The Third Rail” (named after a colloquial term for politically controversial topics) Read more.
Great Charitable Organizations in NYC, and How to Volunteer to Help Them
NY Curbed, Emily Nonko, March 15, 2017
Headquartered inside a stately, freestanding mansion in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the Brooklyn Movement Center seeks to engage with area residents as well as those in nearby Crown Heights. “We saw there was a real need for a staffed nonprofit to be doing movement-building work,” says Anthonine Pierre, BMC’s lead community organizer. Read more.
Get Organized, Brooklyn
NY Curbed, Ellen Freudenheim, February 27, 2017
Here’s one model of community mobilization for progressives across the nation. It can be adapted by faith communities, local officials, and citizens. It relies on face-to-face community gatherings, and uses social media not to drive, but to support, sustain and communicate real world, three-dimensional action. At its heart, it’s about weaving together bonds of community. To start, bring together concerned citizens in a church or local library, someone’s basement, any place where people can meet, even a bar. Read more.
Park Slope Talks Back to Trump
The Brooklyn Ink, Jill Bosserman, November 28, 2016
At the meeting, advocates from Planned Parenthood, the New York Immigration Coalition, 350 Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Movement Center shared their responses to the election. They urged community members to educate their neighbors, volunteer their services and resources to organizations and causes they care about, and resist what they called the normalization of “Trumpism.” Read more.
What to Do If You Experience or Witness Post-Election Acts of Hate
Brit + Co, Courtney Clift, November 11, 2016
The Brooklyn Movement Center has created a super useful infographic on how to handle harassment. It offers key actions and things to say if you are being harassed on the street. A few key takeaways: Name the behavior and make a command (“You are harassing me. I don’t appreciate it. Stop.”). Continue asking, “What?” until they become “annoyed by their own voice” and similarly, repeat everything they say back to them very loudly. Read more.
Video: Police Reform from the Debate Stage to New York City Hall
City Limits, Jarrett Murphy, September 28, 2016
Police-community relations are once again among the top stories nationwide, from Charlotte to Tulsa to Columbus to the presidential debate stage, where Donald Trump spoke passionately, if very inaccurately, about stop-and-frisk in New York City. (Hillary Clinton was less than precise in describing the legal history of the issue, but the Republican nominee’s deviations from fact were larger by an order of magnitude). Read more.
Councilmembers Ladner, Williams Host Town Hall to Address Racial Injustice, White Privilege
The Brooklyn Reader, Brooklyn Reader, September 16, 2016
“As a Black-led organization, BMC will always show up in proud solidarity with our neighbors who are bold enough to examine their privilege and committed enough to champion racial justice,” said Mark Winston-Griffith, executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center. Read more.
At Press Conference, Jeffries Says Officer That Killed Eric Garner Should Not Receive Pay Increase, Should be Fired
The Brooklyn Reader, Tiffany Owens, September 14, 2016
But Mark Winston-Griffth, the director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a Bed-Stuy based non-profit community organization, emphasized that the protest was about more than the money. “They need to be held accountable,” he said referring to the police officers. “They need to be disciplined; they need to lose their jobs.” Read more.
Council to Hear Bill Mandating Publication of NYPD Patrol Guide
Gotham Gazette, Samar Khurshid, September 7, 2016
A bill introduced by City Council Member Dan Garodnick to require the NYPD to publish its patrol guide online will be heard for the first time by the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety next week. The hearing, set for Thursday, September 15, follows shortly on the recent controversy over the right to Know Act, a package of police form legislation that Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito put on the backburner in favor of related changes the NYPD agreed to implement through training and its patrol guide. Read more.
Wake Up!!! Early Morning Dance Party Raises Money for Social Justice in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy
The Brooklyn Reader, Anju Muthiah, September 1, 2016
The Wake Up, an early morning, all-ages dance party and fundraiser event for the Brooklyn Movement Center was a great example of how to party with a purpose and without a drop of alcohol!
The “dry” party, organized to raise funds for BMC, a grassroots social justice organizing group based in Bed-Stuy, was held at C’mon Everybody who donated the space for the event. Read more.
Mark-Viverito Defends Choice to Block Vote on Police Reforms Bills
New York Daily News, Erin Durkin, August 17, 2016.
Anthonine Pierre of the Brooklyn Movement Center, which is pushing the police bills, blasted Mark-Viverito’s comments. “It’s shocking that Speaker Mark-Viverito believes New Yorkers should accept her private verbal deal with the police commissioner to subvert the democratic legislative process as a replacement for laws the Council was elected to pass,” she said. “Even more troubling is her assertion that unilaterally blocking legislation with support from a majority of her members is the normal functioning of democratic process. Read more.
A Changing Crown Heights Marks 25 Years Since Brooklyn ‘Pogrom’
Arizona Jewish Post, Debra Nussbaum Cohen, August 16, 2016
And today, Crown Heights’ blacks and Jews share a common adversary: gentrification.
“What people would consider an ;invading’ population is still white but it’s not just the Hasidim,” said Mark Winston Griffith, 53, executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a community organizing group focused on issues of police and gun violence. “The tensions are no longer bilateral.” Read more.
As Mayor Touts ‘Neighborhood Policing,’ Questions Remain About What It Is
DNA Info, Jeff Mays, August 8, 2016
But for many who have been pushing for reform of the NYPD, it’s unclear what neighborhood policing is or how it can change the troubled relationship between police and the community.
“I’m not going to say it’s terrible or isn’t going to work because I don’t know what it actually is,” said Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Read more.
Change of Commissioner Spotlights De Blasio’s Record on Police Reform
Gotham Gazette, Samar Khurshid, August 5, 2016
“The recent administration workaround to go around the Right to Know Act shows that [Mayor de Blasio is] committed to a cosmetic fix but not necessarily accountability at the root causes of issues with policing,” said Anthonine Pierre, lead community organizer at the Brooklyn Movement Center. Read more.
RIOBAMBA And Tygapaw Organize Benefit Concert for The Brooklyn Movement Center
The Fader, Luna Olavarria Gallegos, July 26, 2016
This Wednesday 27 July, a host of New York artists including serpentwithfeet, Sadaf, and LSDXOXO will play a benefit at Trans Pecos to raise funds for Brooklyn Movement Center, an organization that campaigns for police accountability, as well as a number of other crucial community issues. Read more.
Can Training Programs Help Improve Police-Community Relations?
The Atlantic, Kia Gregory, July 20, 2016
The Brooklyn Movement Center has hosted a handful of Know Your Rights trainings over the last two years. It also recently created a police accountability group and cop watch program. The vision, said Mark Winston Griffith, the organization’s executive director, is “the police cannot act with impunity in our neighborhood, that they know they are being watched, that they know their behavior is being monitored and that we are not just going to stand idly by, passively by as the people’s rights are being violated and people are being abused.” Read more.
Council Speakers Right to Know Position Not Sitting Well with Activists
New York Amsterdam News, Stephon Johnson, July 21, 2016
“This powerful coalition of over 200 organizations is going nowhere, and the speaker’s efforts to prevent the democratic process from advancing meaningful police reform in this moment of national crisis has only broadened and strengthened out support,” said Anthonine Pierre, a spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform and lead community organizer for Brooklyn Movement Center, in a statement. Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks to Preserve Recording of Police Activity Without Retaliation
New York Amsterdam News, Stephon Johnson, July 14, 2016
“Observing and documenting police activity, known as Cop Watch, and expanding its use, are central features of out police accountability campaign,” Communities United for Police Reform spokesperson Mark Winston Griffith in a statement. “Cop Watch is a critical tool of community safety and civic transparency, particularly given the systemic failures of the NYPD and other police departments to hold their officers accountable for abuse and misconduct in our communities.” Read more.
Mark-Viverito Comproise With NYPD Over Searches Comes Under Fire
DNA Info, Jeff Mays, July 13, 2016
A decision by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to allow the NYPD to implement changes to how police interact with the public – instead of passing legislation to mandate it – is wrong and will be challenged, City Council members and police reform advocates say.
Mark-Viverito announced that after a year of negotiations with the NYPD, provisions of the “Right to Know Act” would be added to the department’s patrol guide instead of pushed into law. Read more.
The Unnatural (and Possibly Doomed) Symbiosis Between Bills de Blasio and Bratton
The Village Voice, Ross Barkan, June 28, 2016
Last month, shortly before the start of a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza, gunfire rang out. One man was killed and three others, including the rapper Troy Avenue, were wounded as more than a thousand panicked fans scattered at the Union Square music venue. A day later, speaking on the radio, New York City’s police commissioner thought he knew the real problem: All rappers are thugs. “The crazy world of the so-called rap artist, who are basically thugs that are basically celebrating the violence they lived all their lives. Unfortunately that violence often manifests itself during a performance, and that’s exactly what happened last evening,” Bill Bratton said. Read more.
Council to Hear One of Two Police Accountability Bills
Gotham Gazette, Samar Khurshid, June 27, 2016
BMC is a member of the Communities United for Police Reform coalition, which has been pushing for more extensive legislative reform, particularly the Right to Know Act. Under that act, police officers would be required to identify themselves, let people know the reason for stopping or questioning them, and inform them of their right to deny a search where probable cause does not exist. Griffith believes that should be the priority rather than the Williams and Garodnick bills, which are politically “easier and safer,” but not necessarily designed to have a critical impact. Read more.
Council To Hear One of Two Police Accountability Bills
Gotham Gazette, Samar Khurshid, June 7, 2016
Following on the heels of passing the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which diverts the prosecution of a number of low-level nonviolent offenses to civil rather than criminal avenues, the City Council will hear a bill on Tuesday that also addresses criminal justice reform, but this time by targeting bad actors within the NYPD. Read more.
Vote on NYC Bag Fee Delayed Until May
Brooklyn Patch, John V. Santore, April 21, 2016
Last Wednesday, environmental groups, lawmakers and local school children rallied at City Hall in support of the bill.
“The point is to make sure plastic bags go the way of the subway token,” said Mark Griffith, the executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a Bed-Stuy-based organization focused on quality-of-life issues. Read more.
Manhattan Times, Natasha Soto, April 20, 2016
Organizers repeatedly stressed the need for greater involvement from community stakeholders. “We are always looking for solutions that jointly address [a] range of social and economic issues, including climate change, food sovereignty, energy security, and local economic development,” said Mark Winston Griffith, Executive Director of the community organizing group Brooklyn Movement Center. Read more.
Proposed NYC Plastic Bag Charge Spawns Rallies at City Hall
New York Daily News, Chauncey Alcorn and Reuven Blau, April 13, 2016
“This is going to have a negative impact on people that cannot afford it,” Councilman Rory Lancman said at an earlier City Hall press conference. “We’re going to encourage people to adopt certain behaviors by inflicting financial pain on them.”
Environmental activist Mark Winston Griffith of the Brooklyn Movement Center trashed that argument. “The idea is not to make sure people pay five cents. The point is to make plastic bags go the way of the subway token in New York City,” he said. “Climate environmental justice is not the sole domain of gentrifiers.” Read more.
The Policy Goals of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement
WNYC, The Brian Lehrer Show, August 21, 2015
Hillary Clinton challenged Black Lives Matter activists to work toward change by working to change the law. When it comes to racial justice: What’s your proposal for changing policy? Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, joins to talk about how emotion can meet public policy. Listen Here.
Catcallers to be Challenged by Anti-Harassment Cyclists
DNA Info, Camille Bautista , June 26, 2015
Community organizing group Brooklyn Movement Center is launching its first “Anti-Street Harassment Bike Patrol” in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights aimed at calling out people who hassle women on the street.
Once a week, volunteers will bike in groups of four to intervene in situations sparked by unsolicited remarks.
“We want to work on community building and make people more aware of these issues,” said Carina Arellano, an organizer with BMC’s No Disrespect team. Read More.
New York City Mayor Faces Dilemma on Size of Police Force
Wall Street Journal, Josh Dawsey, May 20, 2015
Mark Winston Griffith, who leads a Brooklyn group part of a larger organized effort to force change at the NYPD, said many wanted the mayor to do more to change what they see as the NYPD’s aggressive tactics.
If Mr. de Blasio adds more officers, “he is responding to political forces. He’s not being true to what he said he was going to do,” Mr. Griffith said. Read More.
The New Brooklyn Machers: A Very Short List of Change Agents and Wavemakers
Observer, The Editors, May 13, 2015
As the executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, the cerebral Mr. Griffith is at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement in New York City—and unafraid to hold fellow liberals’ feet to the fire over reform of the NYPD and gentrification. Read More.
With Baltimore Unrest, More Debate Over ‘Broken Windows’ Policing
NPR, Joel Rose, May 5, 2015
Activists like Mark Griffith of the Brooklyn Movement Center say that drives a wedge between the people and the police.
“We all want a better quality of life,” Griffith says. “What we’re saying is the approach to it — the tactics that are used to arrive at that — are overly aggressive, and are ultimately on some level counterproductive to the very goals you’re trying to achieve.” Read More.
Stop & Frisk… Again
BRIC, BK Live, April 22, 2015
An update on Stop and Frisk in Brooklyn with Salema Davis (The George Walker Jr. Community Center), Candis Tolliver (NYCLU), and Mark Winston Griffith (Brooklyn Movement Center). Read More.
Participatory Budget Voting begins for some Council Districts, but not all. Why?
Our Time Press, Staff, April 16, 2015
The NYC Council website explains that “Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which residents decide how to spend a portion of the city’s budget. It gives real power to New Yorkers who have never before been involved in the political process and can result in better budget decisions – because who better knows the needs of our community than the people who live there?” Read More.
City Council Speaker Draws Ire of Allies on Police Hiring
New York Times, Nikita Stewart, April 15, 2015
“We consider the speaker an ally on most issues, but the point of the letter was to push back and to try to reframe the issue here,” said Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center. “Folks would like to think that before you put more police officers on the street, you change the culture of police.” Read More.
NYS Education Fight
BRIC, BK Live, Mar 25, 2015
Mark Winston Griffith (Brooklyn Movement Center) joins us via Skype to talk about why his organization has changed their mind about the Education Investment Tax. Read More.
Panel Analyzes Twists and Turns in Special Election for Brooklyn’s 43rd Assembly District
NY1, Errol Louis, Mar 18, 2015
Errol Louis analyzed the unusual twists and turns in the special election for Brooklyn’s 43rd Assembly District with a special panel: DNAinfo’s Rachel Smith; Steve Witt from Kings County Politics; Mary Alice Miller from Our Time Press; and Mark Winston Griffith of the Brooklyn Movement Center. Read More.
After Cop Murders, Police Reform Movement Ponders Next Steps
Observer, Ross Barkan, Jan 05, 2015
“I’ve been part of this stuff for a long time. Was I surprised? The night [the murder of Ramos and Liu] happened, it was our office party and several of us looked at each other and said, ‘Oh boy, here it comes,’” said Mark Winston Griffith, the executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a community organizing group. “This certainly doesn’t help, I can tell you that much. I don’t think we have taken the temperature just yet.” Read More.
The Mayor and The Protestors
WNYC, The Brian Lehrer Show, Dec 23, 2014
BMC’s executive director, Mark Winston Griffith and Board Member, Monifa Bandele, the senior programs & outreach manager at The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, join Opal Tometi, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter and executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Josmar Trujillo of New Yorkers Against Bratton to respond to Mayor Bill De Blasio’s call for a “temporary pause in protests in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of two NYPD officers.” Read More.
Black Organizer Series: Anthonine Pierre & Maurice Mitchell
New York Foundation, Kevin Ryan, Oct 23, 2014
This year, we are marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by looking forward. What do Black leaders have to say about where we stand today? In this series, these leaders talk with Program Director Kevin Ryan about how they developed as community organizers, and share their ideas for building a deeper, stronger Black organizing infrastructure. Read Anthonine’s interview. Read Maurice’s interview.
A New Co-op Organizing Effort Is Taking Root in Central Brooklyn
Line Waiters Gazette, Frank Haberle, Oct 16, 2014
Taking a hands-on approach to address health equity issues, longtime residents of the Central Brooklyn neighborhoods are coming together to develop a new food cooperative with an aim to make fresh, healthy food more accessible and affordable for longtime community residents of Central Brooklyn. Local residents of these communities now have the opportunity to express their ideas and interest in the new co-op through an on-line community survey, available now through mid-November 2014. Read More.
Businesses Return to Bed-Stuy Mansion After Bread Love Fire
DNA Info, Paul DeBenedetto, July 11, 2014
After a passionate debate a few days before the official vote to decide the food co-op model for our neighborhood, members of the Brooklyn Movement Center stood thoughtfully around a sheet of paper titled, “Suggestions for Name.” Few members took turns writing their ideas down, lingering around the warm room in a historic brownstone mansion, explaining what their name meant and why they thought it amply defined the efforts of the group so far, and expressed their hope for what a co-op in central Brooklyn would look like. Read More.
#YouOKSis? It’s Time For Men To Be Proactive In Helping Women Fight Street Harassment
News One, Terrell Jermaine Starr, Jul 7, 2014
Veralyn Williams, the communications organizer at the Brooklyn Movement Center, said that her organization’s anti-street harassment working group, No Disrespect, has spent the last year discussing their experiences with street harassment and has recently launched a new Central Brooklyn initiative. In the future No Disrespect wants to create male groups that can serve as allies to help spread the anti-street harassment message. Read More.
What’s In A Name? Food Co-op Organizing In Central Brooklyn
Brooklyn Reader, Rae Gomes, June 23, 2014
Businesses that used to be housed in a Bed-Stuy mansion that was badly damaged in a fire in May have started to move back in. Both Ancient Song Doula Services and central Brooklyn nonprofit the Brooklyn Movement Center recently returned to their offices in the 375 Stuyvesant Ave. building after the fire started in the cafe Bread Love and spread to the rest of the building, representatives from both organizations said. Read More.
Interview: The End of Tell Me More
On The Media, Brooke Gladstone, June 20, 2014
NPR recently announced that Tell Me More would be cancelled due to financial constraints. As journalist Veralyn Williams put it, it’s “The End of NPR’s Blackest Show.” Brooke talks with Williams and Keith Woods, NPR’s VP of Diversity in News and Operations, about the loss and what it means for diversity at NPR. Read More.
Fire Ravages Bread Love Cafe in Bed-Stuy After Two Days of Break-Ins
DNA Info, Paul DeBenedetto and Aidan Gardiner, May 14, 2014
A Bed-Stuy cafe was ravaged by fire early Wednesday morning after two days of break-ins, sources and officials said. The fire started inside Bread Love, a cafe and bakery in the stable house of the 375 Stuyvesant Ave. Mansion, around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, destroying the cafe, according to the FDNY and building sources. Read More.
Members of New Food Co-Op Vote to Model it on Park Slope Market
DNA Info, Paul DeBenedetto, May 6, 2014
A new central Brooklyn food cooperative will model itself on the famous Park Slope market when it launches next year, organizers said. Board members of the still-unnamed central Brooklyn food co-op, organized by Bed-Stuy nonprofit Brooklyn Movement Center, voted 10-7 in favor of adopting a model used by the Park Slope Coop and Clinton Hill’s Greene Hill Food Co-op, organizers said. Read More.
BMC Third Rail Podcast
BRIC, BK Live, February 28, 2014
Brooklyn Movement Center is an organization that helps with issues facing Central Brooklyn. Anthonine Pierre and Veralyn Williams, co-Hosts of their podcast Third Rail Podcast stop by BK Live for a discussion. Read More.
Brooklyn Podcast Brings Social Justice to the Airwaves
DNA Info, Paul DeBenedetto, February 11, 2014
A central Brooklyn activist group is bringing its social justice message to the airwaves with a new podcast designed to address issues surrounding Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights and other communities. The Brooklyn Movement Center’s “Third Rail” podcast, which launched on Thursday, features talks on subjects that are important to the organization, including education, health and street harassment. Read More.
Community Group Demands a Say in Central Brooklyn Budget Process
DNA Info, Paul DeBenedetto, January 9, 2014
The Central Brooklyn Participatory Budgeting Coalition, made up of education advocates and members of local nonprofit the Brooklyn Movement Center, called on Councilwoman Darlene Mealy and newly-elected Councilman Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. to declare their support for participatory budgeting in central Brooklyn. Read More.
High School Job Program Gives Kids Experience and a Paycheck in Bed-Stuy
DNA Info, Paul DeBenedetto, November 5, 2013
The work program at Boys and Girls High School guarantees a job for students with good grades and pays them a salary for three-to-six months at a local business… Jobs range from bagging groceries at the local Key Food and Foodtown, to working at WBAI radio station, or at a local nonprofit like the Brooklyn Movement Center. Read More.
The End of Bill Thompson’s Long Campaign
WNYC, Anna Sale, September 16, 2013
The longest campaign of any of the Democratic hopefuls has ended, as Bill Thompson conceded defeat and endorsed Bill de Blasio. Thompson’s campaign began four years ago, and didn’t stop — until Monday. Read More.
Interview: The Future of Identity Politics in New York
WNYC, Amy Eddings, September 13, 2013
Identity politics once played a decisive role in NYC elections. But the assumption that it always would appeared to have been turned on its head during Tuesday’s primary, when Bill Thompson, the only African-American candidate for mayor, did not get a majority of the city’s black voters. Read More.
Nonprofit Hopes to Recreate Park Slope Food Co-Op in Central Brooklyn
DNA Info, Paul DeBenedetto, September 6, 2013
A local nonprofit is looking to bring a new food co-op to central Brooklyn, with the help of a venerable Park Slope institution.
The Brooklyn Movement Center is organizing “the People’s Co-op” as part of its food justice campaign, which addresses how the food system in central Brooklyn affects its residents. Read More.
Tensions Flare at City Council Education Debate in Bed-Stuy
DNA Info, Paul DeBenedetto, August 13, 2013
The debate, sponsored by the Brooklyn Movement Center and moderated by Bed-Stuy Patch editor C. Zawadi Morris, worked in two parts, with the moderator asking prepared questions in the first half of the debate and the crowd submitting questions for the second half.
Many of the questions provided the candidates a clear opportunity to make their views known to the public. Read More.
Bed Stuy organization maps catcall patterns and talks back
Brokelyn, Katrina Casino, August 02, 2013
It’s been a pretty great year for street harassment in Brooklyn…unless, of course, you’re the one doing the harassing. From Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s much-discussed “Stop Telling Women to Smile” street art series, the Catcalls NYC Twitter, to the Harlow Project, a video campaign dedicated to telling stories of street harassment from around the world, women pretty much everywhere are making it clear that this street harassment bullshit ain’t cute. Read More.
Brooklyn Activists Map Out All the Different Types of Street Harassment on a Depressing, Useful Chart
Village Voice, Anna Merlan, August 1, 2013
There’s almost nothing that’ll ruin your morning faster than a disgusting kissy noise, emanating from the face of some idiot trailing you down the block. Or a “flattering” remark about a body part you possess, which quickly turns into the outraged yelling of “BITCH! LESBIAN!” when you don’t respond in quite the way he wanted. Read More.
Brooklyn Movement Center Looks to Increase Membership
Bed-Stuy Patch, C.Zawadi Morris, May 9, 2013
The Brooklyn Movement Center, a group of motivated residents who seek to build the capacity of their community around organizing and campaigning for social justice, is conducting a series of membership drives! Read More.
Group fights to change catcalling culture in Bed-Stuy
Metro, Danielle Tcholakian, May 6, 3013
The Brooklyn Movement Center is taking on the streets of Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights to change the way women move through the neighborhoods — or more specifically, to change the way the neighborhoods interact with the women within them. Read More.
Bed-Stuy community group battles harassment of women with chalk-drawn messages in local park
Daily News, Rebeca Ibarra and Lore Croghan, April 18, 2013
Fed up with wolf whistles and creepy come-ons from strangers, a group of Bedford-Stuyvesant women answered their tormentors last week by scrawling scolding messages on Fulton Park’s pavement with bright-colored chalk. Read More.
Catcalls, Whistles, Jeers are a Form of Harassment Argue Protestors
The Brooklyn Ink, Tanay Warerkar, April 15, 2013
The Brooklyn Movement Center, a community organization representing Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights, for example, has been canvassing the neighborhoods and encouraging women to blog and share their stories of harassment on the center’s website. Read More.
The Debrief with David Ushery: Anti- Street Harassment Movement
WNBC, David Ushery, April 12, 2013
David Ushery sits down with Marly Pierre-Louis and Anthonine Pierre from the Brooklyn Movement Center to shed light on the movement they are starting up to combat street harassment against women. Watch!
Bed-Stuy Organizers Kick Off Anti-Street Harassment Week
DNA Info, Paul DeBenedetto, April 7, 2013
On a recent morning, on her way to work in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Marly Pierre-Louis was approached and followed by two separate cars.
The occupants didn’t explicitly threaten her, or get out of the car to attack her, she said. Instead, they offered unsolicited critiques of her appearance as she attempted to ignore them. Read More.
Be Our Guest: Ending stop-and-frisk abuses will help rebuild neighborhood trust in the NYPD
The Daily News, Mark Winston Griffith, April 1, 2013
While jogging down the street a few years ago, I suddenly found myself surrounded by at least three unmarked vehicles and several plainclothed white men with guns. They ordered me against a car, patted me down and, after a minute or so of undecipherable conversation between them, without any explanation, calmly walked back to their cars and drove off. Read More.
3 tips for launching a career as a community organizer
Idealist Careers, Allison Jones, March 29, 2013
This week, we’re sharing the advice and stories of a few people in various fields to help shine a light on the opportunities that exist in the social sector. Today, Anthonine Pierre—Lead Community Organizer at the Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC)—shares her tips for becoming a community organizer. Read More.
The District 16 Project
The Bed-Stuy Patch, C. Zawadi Morris, November 6, 2012
In March, 2012, School District 16 in Bedford-Stuyvesant was identified in an annual report by the Schott Foundation for Public Education as – once again – one of the lowest-performing districts in the city. Read More.
Poverty & Community Education Panel
City Limits – Conversation and Networking Series, October 3, 2012
Executive Director, Mark Winston Griffith was invited to serve on a panel as part of City Limits’ Conversation and Networking Series. This event focused on the connection between poverty and education.
Brian Lehrer’s CUNY TV Show
October 3, 2012
Mark Winston Griffith and other guests sat down with Brian Lehrer of WNYC to discuss the issues of importance of New Yorkers in the upcoming presidential election. Listen Here.
BMC Live on WBAI “Rise Up Radio”
August 17, 2012
BMC was invited to join host of WBAI’s Rise Up Radio, Veralyn Williams, live on air! Check out our very first live radio interview where we discuss everything from Evelyn and Ocho Cinco to education and police accountability. Listen Here.
New Coalition Aims to Sway 2013 Race Using Education Research
Gotham Schools/Geoff Decker, August 7, 2012
Indeed, New Yorkers for Great Public Schools hasn’t gained steam since its arrival on the scene. Its social media pages have been dormant for months, and its online pledge list has attracted only about 100 signatures, a far cry from the 100,000 that its website says is the group’s goal. Kest said he expected more pledges to come as a result of union organizing efforts. Read More.
With One Photo A Day, Citizen Journalism Project Rallies Community
Ijnet, Lindsay Kalter, July 19, 2012
Armed with cell phones, locals in some New York City neighborhoods are documenting the changes as they head to work, talk with their neighbors and play with their kids. Read More.
Central Brooklyn Organizers Mine Citizen Journalism for Photo A Day Project
DNAinfo, Sonja Sharp, July 19, 2012
In the kingdom of Bedford Stuyvesant, the stoop is a throne — at least, that’s what the locals say. “You call them stoops, we call them thrones,” tweeted resident @shannboogie, aka Shannon Washington, under an Instagram picture of brick-lane steps in Bed-Stuy. Read More.
Something’s Moving in Central Brooklyn
The Bed-Stuy Patch, C. Zawadi Morris, April 30, 2012
In Central Brooklyn, a movement has just kicked off by a handful of Bed-Stuy residents. The group is known as the Brooklyn Movement Center, and they are a coalition of some really smart, really motivated regular folks who seek to build the capacity of their community around organizing and campaigning for social justice. Read More.
Leadership Development Center Coming Soon
The Bed-Stuy Patch, Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, February 7, 2011
Set to launch this month, The Brooklyn Movement Center will aim to align residents around some of the biggest issues facing Central Brooklyn, giving them the tools and organizational support to effectively address them. Read More.
Power of the Powerless
Brown Alumni Magazine, Ben Muessig, January/February 2011
Griffith currently runs the Brooklyn Movement Center, a community organizing group and public-policy think tank founded in June. It is the latest step in Griffith’s 25-year-long career fighting for social and economic justice in the New York City borough where his family has lived for four generations. Read More.