Wheelchair Accessibility

About this book launch celebration

Watch the video of the launch event below:

We were delighted to celebrate the launch of Disruptive Engagement: An Organizer’s Guide to Building Community Power for Justice in Land Use and Housing in New York City.

Land and housing are foundational to our ability to live and thrive. When we attempt to shape what gets built and sustained in New York City neighborhoods, we face a confusing system that instructs individuals to attend hearings, submit written comments, and testify in front of neighbors and officials. Disruptive Engagement draws on the knowledge of organizers from across New York City about how to disrupt the official community engagement apparatus in the most productive ways possible towards the goal of building justice in land use and housing.

With specific examples from New York City neighborhoods, this guide provides practical advice for how to maneuver official public hearings, build deliberate alliances, pursue legal challenges, upset the land-use review procedure, launch effective petition drives, and resist business as usual. We explore the challenge of trying to win gains within the existing system while at the same time working towards radical rupture with dominant logics.

Join us in the Skylight Room at the CUNY Graduate Center to celebrate the publication of Disruptive Engagement with comments from the book’s editors, Naomi Schiller and Vanessa Thill, and contributors Jenny Dubnau, Jen Chantrtanapichate, Ramona Ferreyra, Ted Freed, Jeremy Kaplan, and Cheryl Pahaham, who will discuss the current terrain for organizing and the work of building coalitions.

The handbook will be for sale at a discounted cost. You can also order the book here.

Free and open to the public. The event will take place in the Skylight Room 9100 at CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave, NYC, which is wheel-chair accessible. Reception to follow with food by La Morada.

COVID-19 Info and Safety Guidance: For the safety of all at this event, face masks are highly recommended and encouraged. There will be masks available for anyone in attendance who does not already have one.

Oral History Project: The full interviews with organizers (in both audio & text formats) from our oral history project on which the handbook is based, can be found here: Landusearchive.commons.gc.CUNY.edu.

Participants for this event:

Jen Chantrtanapichate

Jen Chantrtanapichate is a climate justice activist who works at Sixth Street Community Center, and organizes with No North Brooklyn Pipeline Coalition, Cleanup North Brooklyn, Frack Outta Brooklyn (FOBK).

Jenny Dubnau. Photo by Dan Fethke

Jenny Dubnau is an artist and activist who organizes with Western Queens Community Land Trust, Artist Studio Affordability Project, Justice for All Coalition, Queens.

Ramona Ferreyra. Photo by Dan Fethke.

Ramona Ferreyra, Tekina Guatu Ke Ini Inaru is a social entrepreneur and co-founder of Save Section 9, a tenant-led organization fighting to preserve and fund Section 9 public housing.

Ted Freed. Photo by Dan Fethke

Ted Freed organizes with Northern Manhattan is Not for Sale, Citywide People’s Land Use Alliance, and Inwooes with Northern Manhattan is Not for Sale, Citywide People’s Land Use Alliance, and Inwod Legal Action to protect his neighborhood and people across NYC from displacement.

Jeremy Kaplan. Photo by Marcela Mitaynes.

Jeremy Kaplan is an organizer and documentary filmmaker who has organized campaigns against displacement across Brooklyn together with Protect Sunset Park and DSA NYCHA Solidarity Working Group.

Cheryl Pahaham

Cheryl Pahaham is a sociologist and organizer who has worked with Inwood Legal Action, Northern Manhattan Is Not For Sale, and the Racial Impact Study Coalition.

Naomi Schiller. Photo by Dan Fethke.

Naomi Schiller is an anthropologist and organizer who teaches at Brooklyn College and the The Graduate Center and has worked with neighbors in the Lower East Side to challenge New York City’s approach to community engagement.

Vanessa Thill.

Vanessa Thill is an artist and organizer who works with Art Against Displacement, Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side.

The full list of contributors for Disruptive Engagement: An Organizer’s Guide to Building Community Power for Justice in Land Use and Housing in New York City include the following:
Karen Blondel
Julia Byrant
Seonae Byeon
Luisa Cuautle
Jen Chantrtanapichate
Jenny Dubnau
Ramona Ferreyra
O.K. Fox
Ted Freed
Jeremy Kaplan
Lena Melendez
Cheryl Pahaham
Jack Riccobono
Naomi Schiller
Alina Shen
Vanessa Thill

This launch event and handbook is a collaborative project sponsored by the Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research from the Center for the Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and co-sponsored by the Committee on Globalization and Social Change, and the PhD Program in Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center.