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High Profile Black Brooklynites are Ambassadors for Brooklyn Community Services

The Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) ONE Brooklyn Community  public service poster campaign, seen on 36 Brooklyn subway stations, feature several high profile Black Brooklynites like AFROPUNK co-founder and partner Jocelyn Cooper, renowned educator Principal Nadia Lopez, MTV and Comedy Central comedian Franchesca Ramsey and Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi speaking out about Brooklynites who are living in poverty and the impact of volunteering, advocacy and philanthropy to make a positive difference.


Sponsored by Investors Bank, the ONE Brooklyn Community “Many Voices, Many Stories” subway posters spotlight a diverse group of notable Brooklyn residents who are advocates for an inclusive Brooklyn. The posters  will be on view through October 12th.


Although many Brooklyn neighborhoods have experienced a rise in wealthy apartment renters and home-buyers, the current US Census estimates that 23 percent of Brooklynites are living in poverty. BCS envisions ONE Brooklyn Community where all members of our community can access an excellent education, job opportunities, safe and affordable housing, and quality and affordable healthcare and wellness programs. Celebrating its 150th anniversary, BCS has over 25 program sites throughout Brooklyn and serves 18,000 people every year.


The ONE Brooklyn Community subway campaign, which includes YouTube videos, has 26 notable Brooklynite ambassadors ranging from children to adults that represent media, culture, entertainment, interior design, fashion, cuisine, education and social justice activism.


Ambassador Jocelyn Cooper, partner and co-founder of AFROPUNK, has created a festival filled with music, fashion, art, poetry and politics. Cooper is the daughter of late political activist Andrew Cooper, publisher of Brooklyn’s famed City Sun newspaper and a former BCS board member. Through Activist Row at AFROPUNK and BCS involvement, she carries on her father’s legacy.


“There are forgotten people in our Brooklyn community and BCS has never forgotten. BCS has always tried to improve people’s lives and educate people’s lives,” said Cooper. “I’ve seen programs transform not only individuals but families. Their work is key and it needs to continue. As long as people are in need, BCS needs to be supported.”


ONE Brooklyn Community’s ambassadors span Brooklynites in entertainment, arts, design, food and fitness, education, entrepreneurship, human rights and activism who pay it forward through their volunteering, mentoring and partnering with charities. Some ambassadors include: Franchesca Ramsey, host of the MTV web series “Decoded,” is an actress, comedian, and video blogger with over 29 million views on YouTube and has an upcoming TV show on Comedy Central.  Educator Nadia Lopez, renowned author and principal/founder of Mott Hall Bridges Academy who has met with President Obama. Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s Emmy award winning “The Chew,” is the culinary ambassador to the Sweet Home Café at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum for African-American History and Culture and has owned two eateries in Brooklyn.


There’s DJ Spinna, who collaborates with Spike Lee annually on the Michael Jackson tribute party. Tiq Milan is a transgender activist, writer, public speaker, media consultant and spokesperson for GLAAD. Penelope (Penel) Ghartey, age 9, is a transgender boy, student and athlete who has been featured in Cosmopolitan, REUTERS and ESSENCE. Georgia Becker, age 18, is a student at Oberlin College, who advocates for her brother Penel and uses her voice to support many social justice issues. Malene Barnett, Design Director at Malene B, an award-winning design firm specializing in carpets, fine art wall coverings and artisan tiles. Anishka Clarke and Niya Bascomare, partners of Ishka Designs, are design experts in vacation properties, restaurants and residences globally. Gwendolyn Niles and Fifi Bell Clanton, co-owners of The Crabby Shack, established the crab soul food restaurant that’s drawn celebrities like Denzel Washington and Gabrielle Union. The campaign art director is Grammy nominated singer, model and writer Maiysha Kai.


“We are actively supporting and participating in the ONE Brooklyn Campaign to honor BCS’s 150-year legacy of serving people and communities across the Borough,” said Investors Bank Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brian Doran. “The campaign provides BCS with the framework to communicate how it is implementing new, innovative service models in Brooklyn’s diverse neighborhoods. Equally important, the campaign is helping BCS attract and involve more individuals as well as groups who bring new ideas for broadening and transforming its social services.”


“Partnering with Investors Bank has provided BCS with resources to build community engagement, volunteerism, mentoring, philanthropy and activism,” said Sonya Shields, who is a longtime social justice activist, graduate of Howard University and the Chief Officer for External Relations and Advancement at Brooklyn Community Services.  “As black people in Brooklyn we understand that many residents struggle in our community to make ends meet.  This campaign is to bring our entire community together across economic status.”  For more information, check out BCS on

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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