Anthonine Pierre, Lead Community Organizer
As BMC’s Lead Organizer, Anthonine works to bring people together and transform the capacity for social and political change in Central Brooklyn. Since 2011, she has been working on this transformation through BMC’s parent organizing, police accountability, anti-street harassment and grassroots fundraising 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, and is a 2015 participant of Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD).
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. Contact Anthonine at [email protected]
Veralyn Williams, Communications Organizer
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. Prior to coming to BMC, Veralyn spent 6 years as a Multimedia Freelance Journalist, producing and reporting stories for WNYC’s Radio Rookies. Her work has also been featured on NPR, Bedsider.org, WBAI, BronxNet Television, and on her personal blog, VeralynMedia.com. Veralyn is a Board Member and Co-Founder of Telem Center for the African Child, a nonprofit providing cultural, educational and recreational programs for children of African descent to explore and celebrate their heritage. Born in Sierra Leone and raised in the Bronx, Veralyn found her way to BMC’s doors after moving to Crown Heights in 2012… and she never left. Through all of her endeavors she aims to give a voice to perspectives that are often forgotten or marginalized in the media. Contact Veralyn at [email protected]
Mark Winston Griffith, Executive Director
Prior to coming on staff at the Brooklyn Movement Center, Mark was on the Faculty of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and was most recently the field organizer for the MOVE NY campaign. A Central Brooklyn native, Mark Winston Griffith is the former Executive Director and Senior Fellow for Economic Justice at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, and the former co-director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project. In the early nineties he co-founded the Central Brooklyn Partnership and Central Brooklyn Federal Credit Union. He currently serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Center for an Urban Future, the Center for Working Families, Little Sun People and Free Speech TV. Mark loves spending time with his family, running the streets of New York like a steeplechase, and describing how he acquired the 18 inch scar that runs the length of his spine. Contact Mark at [email protected]
Rae Gomes, Food Sovereignty
Rae Gomes is a mother, writer and activist living in Central Brooklyn. After the birth of her son, her activism and writing got focused on creating a safer world for him. That concentration introduced her to the world of birth and reproductive justice, added police accountability to her focus, and deepened her commitment to food justice. Her work with Brooklyn Movement Center as a member ran the gamut of street harassment to food sovereignty. With the latter, she has been a volunteer organizer of the Central Brooklyn Food Coop (in formation) since the beginning of the process, over a year ago. She now sits on the Steering Committee and is a co-chair of the Outreach and Membership committee. Rae is currently pursuing a M.F.A in Creative Non-Fiction at Goucher College. Contact Rae at [email protected]
Carina Arellano, Anti-Street Harassment
Carina Arellano, the new Anti-Street Harassment Intern, is a rising junior at Duke University. She is on track to graduate with a double major in Women’s Studies and Global Health with a focus in Maternal and Child Health. At school, Carina volunteers at the Durham Crisis Response Center as a Crisis Line Advocate and Hospital Respondent. An Arizona native, Carina grew up with two older sisters who are very close in age, and attended an all-girl Catholic high school. Her father is an OBGYN and her mother is the strongest and most inspirational person in her life. The experience of women, especially women of color, has been one of the top topics of conversations in her life for the past 20 years. When not discussing the patriarchal binds of society or problems faced by women on a daily basis, Carina enjoys spending time with her family, watching mind-numbing television, and doing yoga. Contact Carina at [email protected]
Aida Alazar, Police Accountability and Environmental Justice
Originally a Bronx resident, Aida Alazar is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s and Medical degrees from Brown University in Rhode Island. Her dream is to become a doctor and serve in areas lacking adequate health care. In the last year, she’s worked alongside nonprofits to address the social determinants of health, such as finding safe, quality, and affordable housing, healthy and affordable food options, and access to clean water for her clients in Rhode Island. Aida recently traveled abroad to study public health and social justice in four different cultural contexts: D.C., Brazil, India, and South Africa. She is invested in issues of social justice like police accountability, because of what she’s learned inside political science classrooms and what she’s have experienced firsthand as a woman of color in NYC. Learning how to improve the health of communities and exploring new neighborhoods and foods are some of her interests. She is looking forward to getting familiar with Central Brooklyn communities and working together to implement changes they see fit for their neighborhoods. Contact Aida at [email protected]