Council Member Steve Levin with 2016 Hope Fund Fellows Albert Cohen, Rachel Zhao, Amanda Morales, Rosy Tavares, and Kayla Madridejos (from left to right)
On a day when Pride flags hung from NY City Hall, activists lined the steps to advocate for better public education, and the Council gathered to finalize the 2016 budget, the Hope Fund Fellows met with Council Member Steve Levin and his staff to learn more about the inner workings of policy making in NYC.
The day began with a tour led by the Council Member’s staff focussing on the history of the building and the work that goes on there. The Fellows were able to learn more about what goes on in the typical day at a Council Member’s office, from interacting with lobbyists to fielding phone calls from constituents.
Inside City Hall with the Hope Fund Fellows and Steve Levin’s staff
Sitting in on the Council meeting to pass the budget gave the Fellows insight into the process of decision-making at the city level. Also since several of the budget items involved money apportioned to not-for-profits and other social services, the Fellows had a direct connection and context for the proceedings through their internships. It will be interesting to follow how they incorporate this new understanding of city politics into their work both this summer and beyond!
Last weekend we had our fifth annual Orientation to kick off the summer of Fellowships in honor of Hope’s memory. It was a full day of introductions, thought-provoking workshops, and preparations for each of the five Fellows to make the most of their 10-week internships at outstanding non-Profits in Brooklyn. Read on for some highlights from the day!
Front row (from left to right): Semhal Gessesse (2015 Fellow), Kayla Madridejos (2016 Fellow), Albert Cohen Shaluha (2016 Fellow), Rachel Ben Haim (Board Member), Wally (Mascot), Ben Joson (2012 Fellow); Second Row: Daniela Quiroz (Chair of the Advisory Board), Clair Beltran (2013 Fellow), Rosy Tavares (2016 Fellow), Amanda Morales (2016 Fellow), Ellen Meyers (Hope’s Mom), Sanda Balaban (Board Member); Last Row: Ellen Fried (Board Member), Ezra Lowrey (Program Manager), Christian Sanoguel (2014 Fellow)
Different aspects of privilege discussed in the workshop designed by Hope Reichbach Fund Alumni
Fellows from each of our five years were at the event. The alumni from four previous years of the Fellowship came together to lead a workshop of Social Justice, where they asked each of us to dissect the different areas in which we feel we have or do not have privilege.
We enjoyed a very thought provoking workshop by Didier Sylvain, who asked us to write about and discuss where we feel our passions and our skills intersect. It was inspiring and intention-setting for both the Fellows and the friends and family of Hope who were present.
Didier Sylvain’s workshop
We are thrilled to see the work our Fellows will do this summer! Albert Cohen Shaluha will be doing outreach with Bushwick community members impacted by HIV/AIDS and drug addiction at La Nueva Esperanza. Rosy Tavares will be pushing for environmental justice at the intergenerational and community-based Sunset Park organization UPROSE. Brooklyn Community Services will be hosting one of our Fellows, Kayla Madridejos, again this year to support their 150th year of community involvement in Brooklyn. Rachel Zhao will be engaging with young artist-activists at Girl Be Heard. And finally, Amanda Morales will be helping provide legal advocacy and alternatives to incarceration for youth at Brooklyn Defender Services. We are eager to see the impact these young leaders have and the way these Fellowships will influence their trajectory.
We hope to see you on April 24th for the 4th Annual 5K Run/Walk!
If you’re able to walk or run, sign up to participate here: Tinyurl.com/Hope5K16
If you’re not able to attend and you’re in the position to help us reach our fundraising goals, we would be so grateful if you sponsored a runner here: https://www.crowdrise.com/RunforHope-2016
Good luck to all those that have already registered!
For the first time, the Hope Fund will co-present a pop-up art gallery opening this March. The artworks, provided by Rice Polak Gallery in Provincetown, will be on display at Building on Bond in Boerum Hill March 16-27, with an Opening Reception on the 16th, 6-8pm, and a dance party on the 24th. Proceeds will benefit the Hope Fund as well as the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, helping breast cancer patients and their families cope with the changing nature of the physical and emotional aspects of breast cancer.