Brooklyn Abolitionist Home Gains Historic Landmark Status After Decades-Long Battle, Groundswell of Community Endorsements
After years of struggle led by Brooklyn grassroots organizers and activists, on Tuesday Mayor Bill di Blasio will announce that the Landmarks and Preservation Commission of New York City plans to confer historic landmark status on the “Truesdell House” at 227 Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
The house at 227 Duffield St – which has been renamed 227 Abolitionist Place – was home to Harriet and Thomas Lee Truesdell in the 1850s. The Truesdells were radical anti-slavery activists and hosted other prominent abolitionists in their home. Historians believe that the building is a hotbed of potential research about the Underground Railroad, as many families on and around Abolitionist Place were active in helping to liberate enslaved people.
Friends of Abolitionist Place hopes to turn the building into the Heritage Center at 227 Abolitionist Place, which would teach visitors about the complex history of abolitionist movements in Brooklyn through interactive learning experiences and artist residencies.
Read more on the press release here.
WE ARE PROUD OF OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2019
Click each item below to read more about our accomplishments.
AGAINST POLICE VIOLENCE
- After a 3-year organizing and legal campaign, E4F was able to win the freedom and have the charges dropped for Davonte Pressley, an East Flatbush resident who survived being shot 3 times by the NYPD as a result of him calling 911 for help. After surviving 17 hours of surgery, Mr. Pressley was incarcerated on Rikers Island until September 2019. E4F’s #BringDavonteHome organizing campaign included hiring an attorney, creating a film, and raising money for the Pressley family.
- In an effort to prevent police violence, E4F has been rapidly responding and providing crisis intervention support to Brooklyn community members experiencing mental health crises, dealing with intimate / domestic partner violence, or involved in tenant vs. tenant and other interpersonal disputes since 2016. In 2019, E4F conducted several Alternatives to Calling 911 trainings to social service agencies and community groups, and strengthened our base of social service worker rapid responders as well as our community health and wellness resources. Currently E4F’s Suggestions & Tactics as An Alternative to Calling 911 document and flyers are available in Spanish and English.
- E4F participated in the #NoNewJails organizing campaign to close Rikers Island and to stop the DeBlasio Administration’s plan to spend $11 million on the construction of new jails in neighborhoods across NYC.
- We participated in the city-wide court support and direct action mobilization during the disciplinary trial of former NYPD Officier Daniel Pantaleo for the murder of Eric Garner in 2015.
- E4F responded to multiple cases of police violence inside MTA subway stations and at bus stops by cop watching and participating in #SwipeItForward and #FTP direct actions.
- We cop-watched and launched a social media campaign in support of Flatbush and East Flatbush dollar van and cab operators in the wake of a TLC/NYPD crackdown. We also conducted cop watch trainings and coordinated community patrols with the East Flatbush Cop Watch Team during J’ouvert/ Caribbean Day Weekend.
- We designed a new sticker and expanded our #NoCommunityOccupation mapping project to a city-wide campaign in order to document the police presence in historically Black and Brown neighborhoods in NYC.
- E4F distributed hundreds of copies of our How to Document NYPD & ICE Harassment fact sheets which are available in French, Bangla, Haitian Kreyol, Spanish and English.
- We were active in supporting the families of Eric Garner, Saheed Vassell, Davonte Pressley, Kimani Gray, Kyam Livingston, Shantel Davis, Akai Gurley, and Delrawn Small.
- E4F’s street vendor leadership continued their work in preventing police harassment of street vendors at the corner of Flatbush and Church Aves in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
- E4F and our anti-gentrification coalition, The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN), participated in the victorious state-wide struggle for better rent laws for tenants.
- We maintained 3 phone/email hotlines in English, Spanish and Haitian Kreyol, receiving between 3-5 calls per day from Brooklyn residents in need of responses or fighting to not be displaced.
- We updated our NYC, national, and global list of grassroots organizations who are fighting gentrification, promoting tenant organizing, resisting police brutality, organizing migrant communities, and demanding an end to LGBTQ violence.
AGAINST DISPLACEMENT & GENTRIFICATION
- In 2019, E4F had anti-displacement campaigns in 10 neighborhoods, including Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, East New York, Flatbush, Kensington, Prospect Heights/Underhill and Williamsburg. We have expanded our housing literature to include 11 languages including Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, Haitian Kreyol, French, Korean, Japanese, Urdu, Russian, Spanish, and English.
- After a year-long rent strike and community support campaign, as well as the legal work of E4F’s housing attorney, Ellery Ireland, The Grand Putnam Tenant Association (GPTA), made up of 4 buildings in Bed-Stuy, was awarded a half-million dollar settlement by the NYS Attorney General in October 2019. E4F has organized with GPTA since its founding in 2015.
- Since July 2019, E4F has been responsible for the community organizing strategy of a grassroots mobilization to stop the imminent demolition of 227 Duffield Street, a site on the Underground Railroad, located in Downtown Brooklyn. Through organizing rallies, press conferences, and social media campaigns, we have successfully garnered local, national and global endorsers and support to #Save227Duffield.
- While E4F has been working with homeowners since 2016, we launched #OurHomesAreNotForSale community organizing campaign to stop predatory developers and tactics impacting Brooklyn homeowners in June 2019. Through monthly strategy meetings, we have built a support network of over 65 homeowners from Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, East New York, Flatbush, Fort Greene, Greenpoint, and Park Slope. We have also produced #OurHomesIsNotForSale online and paper resource guide created by and for homeowners as well as coordinated a direct action outside a predatory developer’s home in Great Neck, NY.
- Through our an anti-rebranding campaign, #ThisIsFlatbush, we organized direct actions and launched a national social media strategy and community support for Black women survivors who have called for Zombie House, a white-owned gentrifying bar in Flatbush that has become a breeding ground for sexual and gender-based violence and cultural-appropriation of Caribbean culture, to be permanently shutdown.
- In 2019, E4F created and/or continued to work with a total of 15 tenant associations. We also consolidated tenants from multiple buildings who had the same landlord to fight within Tenant Congresses. E4F had Tenant Congresses for 4 separate landlord targets. Tenant Congress’s have held joint strategy meetings, coordinated tenant wide actions and testified in court for their neighbors in different buildings.
- Through our partnerships with the legal organizations Brooklyn Legal Services Corp A, Communities Resist, Take Root Justice, along with housing attorney Ellery Ireland, E4F has worked on over 30 court cases to stop the displacement and harassment of rent-stabilized and unregulated tenants, tenant associations and homeowners in Brooklyn. E4F also worked on campaigns stop the displacement of 2 small businesses
- In 2019, The member organizations of The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN), initiated by E4F in 2015, have been at the helm of 3 critical anti-rezoning struggles in the neighborhoods of Bushwick, Crown Heights and Sunset Park. BAN also organized #BKMarch2019, an annual anti-gentrification/ anti-police brutality march through multiple Brooklyn neighborhoods, as well as organized a city-wide direct action against the Department of City Planning (DCP) . Since 2017, BAN has played a leadership role in the struggles against Amazon, The BQX, as well as challenging pro-gentrification city policies.
Learn About Us
WHAT WE DO
We have only two goals – to end NYPD murders and to stop the displacement of low to middle income people from our community.
#ThisIsFlatbush : Fighting Back Against the Corporate Rebranding of Flatbush, Brooklyn
#ThisIsFlatbush #FlatbushForever #LittleCaribbean #Beforeitsgone #TakeItBack #BrooklynisNotforSale
Announcing This Is Flatbush Facebook Community Page
#ThisisFlatbush #LittleCaribbean #LittleHaiti #FlatbushForever #ThisisCrownHeights
In English: firstname.lastname@example.org or (646)820-6039
En Español: EnSPA@equalityforflatbush.org or (862)438-5060
En Kréyol: EnKreyol@equalityforflatbush.org or (929)244-0885
In Chinese: (929) 314-1292
2273 Church Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11226