On Friday, March 28th, local and international scholars, activists, and writers will come together through For the Public Good, a day-long conference co-sponsored by BCRW dedicated to discussion, collaboration, and problem-solving around the current challenges to providing healthy, safe, and fulfilling lives for everyone. The opening panel, Exploring the Public Good in New York City, will feature local activists from different fields who all are involved with creative solutions to the unique challenges that New York faces. This panel will include John Blasco, Nico Fonseca, Ede Fox, Amanda Geller, and Robert Hawkins.
From FIERCE, an organization led by and serving LGBTQ youth of color in New York City, are speakers John Blasco (Lead Organizer) and Nico Fonseca (Youth Organizer). John has been a member of the FIERCE staff since 2009 and as the Lead Organizer, they have been heavily involved in FIERCE’s campaign work and leadership programs. In addition to Youth Organizer, Nico is also currently a Campaign Fellow at FIERCE and has helped to develop curriculum for and co-facilitate a National LGBTQ Youth of Color Summit in Chicago, Illinois in February 2013. FIERCE focuses on a broad scope of issues that most saliently affect its community, including fighting against criminalization and police violence, speaking out against gentrification, and creating and expanding access to safer spaces for LGBTQ youth of color. FIERCE is a community movement whose membership base is made up of those affected by the issues it tackles and focuses on building leadership of LGBTQ youth of color in order to empower the next generation of activists.
Ede Fox is highly active in local New York City politics and community based movements, having had years of experience working with the New York City Council. She is one of the co-founders and currently the president of Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform (PHDR), a group that works to engage community members with local politics and create a space where Prospect Heights residents are able to bring up and discuss problems and work together to find creative solutions. PHDR demands accountability and transparency from its local elected officials, and relies on the power and importance of including residents in the democratic process. The main issues PHDR organizes around are: access to affordable housing, increasing the inclusivity and quality of education, improving the environment, making communities livable, decreasing crime through alternatives to incarceration and police violence, and supporting local businesses.