PathMakers To Peace 2016

Several hundred friends and members of Brooklyn For Peace, Brooklyn’s largest and most active peace and justice organization, crowded into the historic Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights last night November 17, 2016. They were there to celebrate the organization’s more than 30 years of fighting the good fight. But also to attend this year’s PathMakers To Peace, the organization’s annual fundraising dinner, wherein those individuals who have led the fight for peace, equality and social and economic justice are honored.

This year’s honorees:

Frances Fox Piven, is a political science professor at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). Social theorist, welfare rights activist and political science professor Frances Fox Piven holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has been on the Graduate Center faculty since 1982.

An expert in the development of the welfare state, political movements, urban politics, voting, and electoral politics, she has been politically engaged with improving the lives of America’s poor since the 1960s.

Among her many books are the bestselling Poor People’s Movements (1977), one of six books she coauthored with Richard A. Cloward: Regulating the Poor (1971, 1993), The New Class War (1982); Mean Season: The Attack on the Welfare State (1987); Why Americans Don’t Vote (1989); Why Americans Still Don’t Vote: And Why Politicians Want It That Way (2000). She is also the author of The War at Home (2004), and Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America (2006). She has also been concerned with the impact of globalization on Left political parties, and in 1992 edited Labor Parties in Postindustrial Societies, a collection of essays on the subject.

In 2011, in the face of vicious life-threatening attacks and a hate campaign spearheaded by Glenn Beck and others on the right, the New Press published Piven’s Who’s Afraid of Frances Fox Piven? The Essential Writings of the Professor Glenn Beck Loves to Hate, which clarified the trajectory of her thinking over fifty years and her lifelong commitment to political democracy, reasoned debate, and social justice.

A recipient of numerous academic and public awards for her work, she was president of the American Sociological Association in 2007, has served on the boards of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Democratic Socialists of America, was founding board chair of the New Press.

Opal Tometi, is a Co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter. This historic political project was launched in the wake of the murder of Trayvon Martin in order to explicitly combat implicit bias and anti-black racism and to protect and affirm the beauty and dignity of all Black lives. Ms. Tometi is credited with creating the online platforms and initiating the social media strategy during the project’s early days. The campaign has grown into a national network of approximately 50 chapters. It is part of the Movement for Black Lives coalition which recently issued its pathbreaking platform, a visionary agenda and a resource for action.

Ms. Tometi is currently at the helm of the country’s leading Black organization for immigrant rights, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI). Founded in 2006, BAJI is a national organization that educates and advocates to further immigrant rights and racial justice together with African-American, Afro-Latino, African and Caribbean immigrant communities The organization’s most recent campaign helped win family reunification visas for Haitians displaced by the 2010 earthquake.

A transnational feminist, Ms. Tometi supports and helps shape the strategic work of Pan African Network in Defense of Migrant Rights, and the Black Immigration Network (BIN) international and national formations respectively, dedicated to people of African descent. She has presented at the United Nations and participated with the UN’s Global Forum on Migration and its Commission on the Status of Women.

The daughter of Nigerian immigrants, she grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She currently resides in the Republic of Brooklyn, New York where she loves riding her single-speed bike and collecting African art.

The Granny Peace Brigade, [GPB] is an active anti-war demonstration group in New York City made up of women dedicated to the goal of peace with justice domestically and globally. The GPB frequently collaborates with CODEPINK, The Raging Grannies and Peace Action and is one of many local activist groups seeking a safe and peaceful world for all people, especially children.

The Granny Peace Brigade was initially formed when a group of women approached military recruiters and demanded to be sent to Iraq in order to replace young people who were used as cannon fodder by the US military.

The name was adopted for identification purposes after the women were arrested on October 17, 2005 for attempting to enlist in the military at the recruitment center in Times Square. The Granny Peace Brigade insisted on going to court to defend our civil right to speak out, and was subsequently acquitted.

They decided to continue working together as a group to end the war in Iraq, and have been working together since then on initiatives such as counter-recruitment (preventing military recruiters from entering public schools) and opposition to militarization on a global scale.
The Granny Peace Brigade is a shining example of how ordinary people, working together, can sustain the hope necessary to continue efforts to change the world!

One would think that membership in the Granny Peace Brigade would insure immortality but, in the past few years, Pat DeAngelis, Roz Boyd, Betty Brassell, Carol Husten, Lillian Lifflander, Lillian Pollak, and Lillian Rydell, have left this world. The Grannies, carrying on their legacy of seeking justice and peace, miss them all.

The affair was catered by Bassett’s who provided a wonderful array of appetizers and then a sumptuous buffet as well as plentiful desserts. Wine and spirits rounded out the evening’s gastronomic festivities.

The evening was moderated by Brooklyn For Peace Vice-Chair, Veronica Nunn, who also introduced two of the honorees. As for the speakers, they addressed the enormous problems confronting progressives with the results of the recent election installing a reactionary bunch of extremists who are now in control of all three branches of the Federal government. Brooklyn Vice-Chairs David Tykulsker and Carolyn “Rusti” Eisenberg pointed out the dangers of the moment. The honorees called for a broad unity of forces to lead the fightback and resistance to actions taken by Trump and the GOP Congress yet to come. They all resolved not to give in to despair but to increase their activism to meet the challenges ahead. The audience responded with cheers and applause, signaling their agreement to push on and win the battle, agreeing that it will be difficult and a long one but one that requires a fighting posture.

View photos of the event.
View the recording of the 2016 Gala on our YouTube Channel
View the full PathMakers To Peace Program


Thank you to the following for their extra effort to make this event a success!

Ann Fawcett Ambia
Melissa Corbett
Tara Currie
George Fiala
Ed Goldman
Kevin Gunderson

Joe Kopitz
Felipe Martinez
Fran Minichiello
Eleanor Preiss
Angelica Razack
Jonathan Saxton

Sarah Sills
Amy Talcott
Bart Tesoriero
Shawn Walsh
Matt Weinstein
Annie Yan

Our Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors for their contributions!

Trailblazers for Peace ($250 or more)
Ed Briody
Ken Diamonstone
Malaika and Cecilia Frey
Glenda Garrick
Israel-Palestine Committee, Brooklyn For Peace
Fran Minichello
Jean Walsh Nolan
Mary Nolan
Pamela Sass
Barbara Winslow

Peace Makers ($100—$249)
Mirene Ghossein
Ernest Lendler &
Helen Lukievics
Susan O’Malley
Ellen Raider & Warren Miner

Supporters ($50—$99)
Georgia Guida
Gerald Meyer
Martin Needleman
Su Chiang Pan
Park Plaza Restaurant
Peace Action Fund of
New York State

Advocates ($25—$49)
Marilyn Ackerman
Bassam Amin
Joanne Landy
Dorothy Lyon
Noodle Pudding
Ralph’s Bodega


Thank you for your support!

Amorina Pizza
Arab American Association of NY
Bassett Caterers
Bene-Fits PT
Black Veterans for Social Justice
Bob Cook/Your PC Guru
Brazen Head
Brooklyn Bridge Realty
Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX)
Brooklyn Friends Meeting Peace and Social Action Committee
Brooklyn Historical Society
BFP Anti-Militarism Task Force
BFP Arts & Culture Committee
BFP Climate Action Committee
BFP Darfur/Africa Task Force
BFP Diversity Outreach Task Force
BFP Israel-Palestine Committee
BFP Latin America Task Force
BFP Nuclear Zero Task Force
BFP Peace and Economic Justice Committee
BFP UNICEF Committee
Brooklyn Friends of the People’s World Newspaper & Brooklyn Club of the Communist Party USA
Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, Ethical Action Committee
Brothers Halal Meat Market
Camp Kinderland
Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (CBID)
Central Brooklyn MLK Commission
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Cultural Museum of African Art
D’Amico Coffee
Dead Horse Records
Ken Diamondstone & Joe Kopitz
Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM)
Allan Eisenberg, PhD

EventFull Caterers
Fish Tales
Flatbush Food Co-op
Foodtown (632 Vanderbilt)
Fort Greene Peace
Fortune House
Gerstein Fisher
Granny Peace Brigade
Mel Grizer, Susie Hoffman, & Dan Grizer
Heights Chateau
Holyland Auto Repair
Hungry Ghost
Iraq Vets Against the War (IVAW)
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ)
Key Food (369 Flatbush Ave)
Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
NY State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol
Lone Wolf Tribe
Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives
M & R Key Tile Stone, Inc.
Madiba Restaurant
Make the Road New York
NY State Senator Velmatette Montgomery
Mukti’s Kitchen
Muslim Community Network
No Separate Justice
Noodle Pudding Restaurant
NY State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz
Park Slope United Methodist Church, Peace and Social Action Committee
Peace Action Bay Ridge
Peace Action Fund, New York State
Peace Action Staten Island

Perelandra Natural Foods
Kim and Jesse Phillips-Fein & Family
Physicians for a National Health
Program—NY Metro (PNHP)
Robert Provenzano, DDS
Rahmann Contracting
Ralph’s Bodega
Red Rose
Rothberg Law Firm (William Rothberg, Attorney)
Say Grace Delivery
Select Mail & Red Hook Star Revue
South Slope Auto
Teresa’s Restaurant
The Commons
The Garden
Teresa’s Restaurant
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
United Community Centers, Inc. (UCC)
United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ)
United University Professions (UUP)
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 34
War No More on BRIC
War Resisters League, National
War Resisters League, NYC
Veris Wealth Partners
Wild Ginger
World Can’t Wait
World Fellowship Center
Yemen Café and Restauran