About this CUNY Adjunct Incubator Project

As part of a research project supported by the CUNY Adjunct Incubator, The Be A Buddy (BaB) Multimedia Project directed by Mariposa Fernandez (Herbert H. Lehman College in the Women and Gender Studies Program and the Africana Studies Department, as well as the Black Studies Program at The City College of New York) aims to document community and neighborhood resilience, by gathering stories of strength in the South Bronx. BAB Multimedia Project explores the impact and effectiveness of THE POINT CDC’s mutual aid projects and the community building efforts of neighbors taking care of each other from 2018 to the present pandemic.

BAB Multimedia Project engages members of the Hunts Point and Longwood community who have participated in the Be-A-Buddy (BaB) Program. BaB is designed to prepare the community for future climate events through climate health education and community preparedness. THE POINT CDC embraces the idea that climate includes emotional and mental well-being. Volunteers identify community needs, to address ongoing community needs and to prepare for future needs. This is a community which endures multiple forms of oppression, poverty, gentrification, displacement and the threat of police violence, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is critical to understand how to holistically address these problems so that non-profit organizations like THE POINT CDC, can have a huge impact, even with limited resources and capacity.

BAB Multimedia Project seeks to address the critical need to understand how we can equip ourselves as a community to have each other’s backs so that we don’t have to call for mutual aid funds from somewhere else. A central question BAB Multimedia Project seeks to explore is: How can we, as a community solve our own problems in a way that is holistic and incorporates people’s voices?

Selfie by Mariposa Fernandez at the courtyard of The Point CDC

BAB Multimedia Project seeks to document the sustainability work being done in the Hunts Point/Longwood community, the impact of the work and the human narrative of community members who are marginalized but who are fighting back and fighting forward!

An additional aim of the BAB Multimedia Project is to engage CUNY students and recent CUNY graduates, who are involved in community work in Hunts Point and Longwood, in order to find the CUNY stories inside of the larger story of community work.

Courtyard of The Point CDC, photo by Mariposa Fernandez.

Funded by the 2020 CUNY Adjunct Incubator grant the BAB Multimedia Project will gather, document and publish stories that would otherwise go untold.

Methodology: BAB Multimedia Project will use multi-media tools which include photography and digital technology to document oral interviews. Additional ways of gathering stories of strength, include a virtual creative writing workshop to Bronx residents, titled South Bronx Stories of Strength: A Creative Writing Workshop, facilitated by poet Mariposa Fernandez. Stay tuned for dates and more information about this workshop and how you can participate.

This project is part of the CUNY Adjunct Incubator and is co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the Gittell Urban Studies Collective at the Graduate Center, CUNY, in partnership with THE POINT Community Development Corporation, and The Hunts Point – Longwood Be A Buddy (BaB) program.