Voices of Crown Heights

Crown Heights West Indian Day Parade     Crown Heights 2

Voices of Crown Heights is a multi-year oral history project that explores the history and future of Crown Heights, a neighborhood that has taken on continued national significance in conversations on ethnic relations, racial justice, and gentrification. Voices of Crown Heights seeks to engage community members in deep listening and conversation concerning their experiences of issues such as education, police accountability, community safety, and civic responsibility. Deep listening means grappling with uncomfortable stories, poignant observations, and opinions one might not agree with.

In partnership with Brooklyn Historical Society, Weeksville Heritage Center and Brooklyn Movement Center will each host a “listening session,” featuring deep listening of oral history selections and facilitated conversation, and an additional public program where community members, activists, and others will be in dialogue about community issues.

Upcoming Events:

Weeksville ReadingCommunity Classroom: Ideas, Innovation, and Education Equity, with Weeksville Heritage Center
Saturday March 11, 1pm
Location: Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
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“Community Classroom” is an open forum for ideas and innovation surrounding education equity in Crown Heights. Join community leaders, teachers, students, and residents of Crown Heights in conversation as we explore these pertinent questions: What have we learned from the past? What should we learn today? How should we learn? Under what conditions should we learn? How do we create just and equal educational opportunity in spite of the obstacles we face? How do we teach about this political moment?
(Image credit: Weeksville Heritage Center Photographic Collection)

The Story of Policing in Crown HeightsThe Story of Policing Crown Heights
Monday April 24, 6:30 PM
Location: Repair the World, 808 Nostrand Avenue Brooklyn NY 11216

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Join Brooklyn Movement Center, Brooklyn Deep, and Brooklyn Historical Society as they present excerpts of residents’ narratives about their experience with police in Crown Heights. This Voices of Crown Heights listening session will showcase oral histories and launch a community conversation about how we define “public safety.”

Future Events (More Details Announced Soon!):

May 16, 6:30 pm: Public Program on Police Brutality and Community Safety, with Brooklyn Movement Center and the Center for Law and Social Justice
Location: Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY

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At a time of heightened civic activity - driven in part by dynamic grassroots movements focused on race relations, policing, housing, and immigration - listening has become more critical than ever to American life. And on these national issues, the voices of Crown Heights have a lot to say. As we embark on this listening tour through Crown Heights past and present, what will the voices of Crown Heights have to tell us today?

For more information about Voices of Crown Heights, email oralhistory@brooklynhistory.org.

Franklin Ave in Crown Heights   Basketball in Crown Heights
All images Copyright © 2015 Alicia Atterberry. See all her beautiful images of Crown Heights on her website Crown Heights in Color.

Voices of Crown Heights is made possible through the generous support of the New York Community Trust, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Nissan Foundation, and Brooklyn Community Foundation in partnership with its Neighborhood Strength Initiative.

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