Today we are continuing our ongoing series profiling the many activist groups that are organizing in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It can seem like there are dozens of groups you can get involved in… and there are! But today’s group holds a special place in our heart. Welcome Bay Ridge For Social Justice to the studio, one of the more radical and storied groups in the neighborhood.
Formed in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks and the resultant far-right Islamophobic backlash in 2015, the group is unusual in that it predates the Donald Trump presidency. That origin directly reflects its dedication to combating racism and institutional violence and injustice. Bay Ridge For Social Justice is also unique in that it eschews electoral politics. The group refuses to provide a platform for politicians during its events. Instead, it focuses on direct action and community empowerment.
Even at its founding, the group consisted of multiple experienced organizers. Among them are our guests today: Yasmine Kamel, Sherry Wolfe and Danielle Bullock.
Bay Ridge For Social Justice eschews electoral politics. Instead, it focuses on direct action and community empowerment.
During the show, we’ll discuss what led each of these dedicated activists to work on the hyper-local level. We won’t mince words about the racist and islamophobic tendencies of some of our neighbors, and how it can feel to be an activist “behind enemy lines”. This isolation can happen in more ways than one, and we’ll also touch on the intersection of queer and racial identity as activists. Finally, we will reflect on the failures (and lessons learned) from over five years of local activism in Bay Ridge.
Quickly jump to key parts of the episode by clicking the links below…
- Origins: The Charlie Hebdo Attack
- Joining Bay Ridge for Social Justice
- Guiding principles and early debates
- Early Events
- How we’ve changed the neighborhood
- Calling out Bay Ridge’s racism, chauvanism, and classism
- Queer Bay Ridge
- There’s more work to do
- We are winning… but…
- Confronting our failures
- Call to action
- How to join Bay Ridge for Social Justice
The episode included a few brief shout-outs…
- We mentioned Gay Ridge, a local Facebook group for LGBTQ+ Bay Ridge residents.
- Sherry also gave a shout out to the Owl’s Head Wine Bar as one of her favorite activist hangouts. We held our “How Bay Ridge Became Bay Ridge” episode live at the Owl’s Head!
- The group also mentioned a few other founding members of Bay Ridge For Social Justice. This included (among others) David Farley, Kayla Santosuosso, Alan Aja, and Paul DeMuro.
Upcoming Meeting Alert!
Bay Ridge For Social Justice will be holding it’s next meeting at the Arab American Association of New York on Sunday, February 23rd at 4pm!
Follow them on Social Media
Check out the media coverage of some of Bay Ridge For Social Justice’s early events.
- The First Annual MLK March – 2016
- Civil Ridgites Movement: MLK Day March Against Muslim Bashing | Brooklyn Paper
- Hundreds in Bay Ridge March to Support Arab Neighbors | Hey Ridge
- Bay Ridge Beyond Pride – 2016
- Second Annual MLK March – 2017
- Multiracial Solidarity Grows in Brooklyn | Socialist Worker
- A March Against Hate Shows Bay Ridge Grappling With Trump’s America | Village Voice