PathMakers To Peace 2017
This year’s Fifth Annual PathMaker To Peace gala dinner started off full of excitement and that energy continued throughout the entire night. The event brought some 200 people together at Brooklyn Height’s historic Plymouth Church. The church was a center of anti-slavery abolitionist action under its great minister, Henry Ward Beecher.
Enjoying drinks and a great buffet, we assembled to honor those activists who had championed and blazed paths for the movement for peace and justice.
This year’s honorees:
UPROSE – Founded in 1966, UPRose is Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community-based organization. An intergenerational, multiracial, nationally recognized community organization and women of color-led organization , UPROSE works and builds at the intersection of racial justice and climate change through community organizing, popular education, indigenous and youth leadership development, just transitions, policy and research and cultural/artistic expression.
1966 marked a watershed moment in the civil rights movement. Bobby Seale and Huey Newton co-founded the Blank Panthers in Oakland, California. Stokely Carmichael, as head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, launched the doctrine of Black Power. And in Brooklyn, New York, a group of Puerto Rican activists established the United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE). UPROSE was formed to provide social services to a growing Puerto Rican community facing severe levels of discrimination and injustice.
By the mid-1990-s, under Mayor Giuliani, UPROSE had lost its public sources of funding and was on the verge of shuttering its operations. In 1996, civil rights lawyer Elizabeth Yeampierre was asked to serve as Executive Director. This was a turning point in UPROSE’s health, mission, and philosophy. Given the growing diversity of Sunset Park, which by then included significant Chinese and Arab populations, the organization came to embrace a multiethnic model of community development and base-building. It was not long before UPROSE began focusing on the significant environmental hazards plaguing the community. As no other organization was working on this issue, UPROSE expanded its mission to fill this gap and to address the need for environmental justice.
While these days UPROSE is a multiethnic institution, it still honors its historical roots. The Puerto Rican community is one that celebrates difference, practices solidarity with others, and exists at the intersection of colonization and self-determination. As the Puerto Rican community has evolved in its struggle, so too has UPROSE broadened its range, reached across ethnic boundaries, and redefined struggle at the crossroad of social, economic, environmental, and climate justice. This is a testament to the ideals of the civil rights movement, the legacy of the organization’s founders, the power of solidarity, and the resilience of the grassroots. uprose.org
Linda Sarsour – an award-winning racial justice and civil rights activist, community organizer, every Islamophobe’sworst nightmare and mother of three. She is a Palestinian-Muslim- American born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is the former Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and the co-founder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPower Change. She is a member of the Justice League NYC, a leading force of activists, artists, youth and formerly incarcerated individuals committed to criminal justice reform through direct action and policy advocacy. Most recently, she was one of the national co-chairs of the largest single-day protest in US history, the Women’s March on Washington.
She has been named amongst 500 of the most influential Muslims in the world. Linda is most known for her intersectional organizing work bridging communities and issues to build powerful movements. She has won numerous awards including Champion of Change from the Obama Administration. She was recognized as one of Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders and featured as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2017.
She is a frequent media commentator on issues impacting Muslim communities, Middle East affairs and criminal justice reform and most recognized for her transformative intersectional organizing work and movement building.
Leslie Cagan – a lifetime of activism in the movements for peace (a founder of United For Peace And Justice) and environment (an organizer of the enormous People’s Climate March in NYC). has worked in peace and justice movements for more than 50 years. From the Vietnam war to racism at home, nuclear disarmament to lesbian/gay liberation, fighting sexism to working against U.S. military intervention, from the support of Palestinian rights to police brutality to normalizing relations with Cuba, she’s been a central organizer in many struggles.
She is currently the coordinator of the Peoples Climate Movement NY and serves on the national PCM leadership body. Leslie was the National Coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, a coalition that grew to 1,400 member groups. Her coalition-building and organizing skills have mobilized hundreds of thousands of people in many of the nation’s largest demonstrations and hundreds of other events, including the million-person Nuclear Disarmament demonstration in NYC on June 12, 1982; the historic lesbian/gay rights march on Washington in October 1987; and the largest mobilizations against the Iraq War from 2003 to 2007. She was co-coordinator of the Sept. 21, 2014 People’s Climate March, which brought 400,000 people into the streets demanding action on the global climate crisis.
She has worked on progressive electoral campaigns, including serving as the Field Director in the 1988 Dinkins NY Mayoral race. Her writings appear in 10 anthologies and in scores of print and online outlets. She played a major role in winning back the first listener-sponsored media network and was chair of the Interim Pacifica Radio National Board.
Many remarked, upon leaving the church, that this was a memorable evening indeed and that during these ominous political times of Donald Trump, it provided a very needed uplift and boost to our spirits as it showed that our movement is alive and well and is fighting back.
The message that rung out loud and clear was: “We’re not going back!”
Thank you to the following for their extra effort to make this event a success!
Ann Fawcett Ambia
Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
Ken Diamondstone & Joe Kopitz
Greenhouse Deshi Supermarket
Helen E. Ince
Sharon & Tom Kennedy
Key Food (991 Fulton St)
Key Food (369 Flatbush)
Susan M. Licht
Su Chiang Pan
Elizabeth McGee and Mark Pecker
Oliver Fein and Charlotte Phillips
Rahmann Contracting Company
Deborah and Michael Smith
Helen Garay Toppins
Thank you for your continued support!
Allan Eisenberg, PhD
Arab American Association of New York (AAANY)
Assemblymember Felix Ortiz
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon
Assemblymember Joseph Lentol
Assemblymember Robert Carroll
Bene-Fits Phystical Therapy
BFP Anti-Militarism Task Force
BFP Arts and Culture Committee
BFP Climate Action Task Force
BFP Darfur/Africa Task Force
BFP Diversity Outreach Task Force
BFP Israel-Palestine Committee
BFP Latin America Task Torce
BFP Nuclear Zero Task Force
BFP Peace and Economic Justice Committee
BFP UNICEF Committee
Black Veterans for Social Justice
Bob Cook, Your PC Guru
Brooklyn Arts Exchange
Brooklyn Bridge Realty
Brooklyn Friends Meeting Peace & Social Action Committee
Brooklyn Friends of the People’s World & the Brooklyn Club of the Communist Party, USA
Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture (BSEC), Ethical Action Committee
Brooklyn Solar Works
Brothers Halal Meat Market
Cambridge Dental PC
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (CBID)
Central Brooklyn MLK Commission
Congressmember Nydia Velazquez
Congressmember Yvette Clark
David Cunningham Architecture Planning
Domestic Workers United
DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving)
Dwip Bangla Grocery
Flatbush Food Coop
Foodtown (632 Vanderbilt)
Fort Greene Peace
Fortune House Chinese Restaurant
Go Greene Hardware
Granny Peace Brigrade
Holyland Auto Repair
Institute for Peace Studies
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)
Jane Kurinsky (in memorian)
Jewish Voice for Peace–NYC
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ)
Jews Say No!
Ken Diamondstone and Joe Kopitz
Key Food (369 Flatbush)(Fusulag Corp)
Key Food (991 Fulton Street)
Letitia James, Public Advocate NYC
Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives
Make the Road New York
Mel Grizer and Susie Hoffman
Mike Leonard, Carpentry
Muslim Community Network
National Lawyers Guild
No Separate Justice
Park Slope United Methodist Church, Social Action Committee
Peace Action Bay Ridge
Peace Action Fund New York State
Peace Action of Staten Island
Perelandra Natural Foods
Physicians for a National Health Program NY Metro Chapter
Robert Provenzano, DDS
Rothberg Law Firm
SaveMor Digital Printing
SelectMail & Red Hook Star Revue
South Slope Auto Center
Teresa’s Polish Restaurant
The Garden Food Market
United Community Centers (UCC)
United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ)
United University Professions (UUP)
Veris Wealth Partners
Veterans for Peace NYC Ch 34
Villa Pancho Restaurant
War No More on BRIC