Towards Resilience and a Sustainable Future – Women’s Centres Linking Local to Global
Presentation by Marnie Tamaki, MAIBC, MASA
Presentation by Marnie Tamaki, MAIBC, MASA
Betty Jean (BJ) Michelsen was a founding member of The National Congress of Neighborhood Women. She died on December 16, 2017. She was a dear friend and a powerful force for justice. Below is her obituary.
Lebanon, N.H. — Betty Jean (BJ) Michelsen died on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 – peacefully and easily in the Green Street home that she loved with the care and support of family; good friends – both old and new; neighbors; members of her close-knit support group the “Hot Tub Chicks”; fellow UV United Unitarian Universalist Church members; and a team of compassionate, professional caregivers who traveled along in BJ’s journey. BJ was diagnosed with lung cancer two and a half years ago. She was a trooper and an eternal optimist as she challenged the illness. Continue reading
We are making an open call to all Neighborhood Women members to share here their experiences and knowledge as community leaders.
If you have any information, photographs or other media from the history of Neighborhood Women please feel free to post it here. We would love to hear from you!
Williamsburg- Greenpoint has played a key role in NW’s history. A lot has changed since 1974 when NW first was founded. Please share with us your experience as part of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint community.
‘The complexity of community life today presents problems so difficult that we believe woman need a special kind of network to empower and support us becoming strong, effective, and efficient leaders.’
Jan Peterson, NCNW founder
The Neighborhood Women (NW) Legacy Project intends to highlight the role of grassroots women’s leadership in the historical development, growth and vitality of their communities. Continue reading
In 1992 after a riot inside Eastern District High School, where a student got stabbed in the head, Juanita Orengo-Rodriguez organized a boycott at the school. Juanita Orengo-Rodriguez had been the PTA director for three years. Her community activism had been greatly influenced by her participation as member of Neighborhood Women of Williamsburg-Greenpoint. Continue reading
“You Can empowered students to manage their own education and living conditions” Juanita Orengo-Rodriguez, director from You Can 1995-2005
‘The spaces will blur the traditional divisions between working and living. They will allow for personal privacy, peer-support, and bring permanent residents, visitors and the community together under the same roof. Embedded within the LLC concept is the belief in life beyond retirement; the value of multiplying partnerships and interface between grassroots groups; the opportunity Continue reading
In 1982, the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) announced its plan to close the 67-year-old Greenpoint Hospital on this site and replace it with the 600-bed Woodhull Medical and Mental health Center in Williamsburg which had been built in 1978 but remained vacant because the city said it could not afford to open it. The Greenpoint Hospital Task Force had created plans to build a nursing home Continue reading
In January 1977, the National Congress of Neighborhood Women and the Brooklyn YWCA opened the first battered women shelter in NY, The Center for Elimination of Violence in the Family. The problem of battered women had just started to gain attention. Evidence showed it was a widespread issue in the borough of Brooklyn. In 1974-75, out of 700 hundred women filing for divorce in Kings County represented by Brooklyn Legal Services, Corporation B, 41.5% complained of physical assaults by their husbands. In Park Slope, the 72nd Police Precinct informally reported in 1976 that 50% of their night calls were from battered women. Continue reading
‘The NCNW newsletter was an interesting mix of articles on women’s groups across the country, the organization’s local efforts in Brooklyn and lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C., recipes, oral histories, essays and personal columns, and letters to the editor. The newsletter went through many incarnations as different women joined the group and contributed to it. The first version Continue reading
‘As we focused on the obstacle course neighborhood women -welfare poor, working poor, and working-class women who live side-by-side – negotiated each day just to survive, we decided that the obstacle course itself had to change. Continue reading
‘The women made it clear that they did not want to be viewed simply as recipients of services and subsidies. They felt they had valuable experience and skills to offer from having provided services informally Continue reading
‘The National Congress of Neighborhood Women began partly as a defense of the values of neighborhood women, particularly white, working-class, ethnic women, who in the 1970’s were feeling misunderstood and unheard. Continue reading
In June 1953 Mildred Tudy-Johnston moved into Cooper Park Houses with her three young children. She helped to form the Cooper Park Houses Tenant Association and served as President for many years advocating for issues including fair treatment and racial equality, housing maintenance and better services in the property, better jobs for teens, modern and clean recreational facilities at Cooper Park Continue reading
In 1968, grassroots women leaders Elizabeth Speranza, Molly Manna, Tillie Tarantino, Millie LaCioppa, Margaret LaPolla, Marion Varriale, Agnes Grappone, Anna Barone, Frances Anella and Anna Mae Pecora founded the Conselyea Street Block Association (CSBA) to improve the lives of those in Williamsburg-Greenpoint.
In 1969, under the guidance of woman activist Jan Peterson, the CSBA founded the Small World Day Care and Swinging Sixties Community Center to bring services to children, parents and seniors in the community. In 1975, Tillie Tarantino became the Executive
To honor and remember the activism and important accomplishments of Tilllie Tarantino, her block in Williamsburg was named “Tillie Tarantino Way.”
In 1986, Sandy joined the National Congress of Neighborhood Women (NCNW). She coordinated the NW College Program, which allowed grassroots women to attend a college that reflected their values, used their neighborhood as the campus, and fostered and formalized their community leadership. At the height of welfare reform in the late 1980s, she protested at City Hall with single mothers in NW’s educational programs, successfully rallying political support to shift job Continue reading
In this interview with Jan Peterson, Juanitz Orengo-Rodriquez talks about how she found out about the National Congress of Neighborhood Women, learned to become a community activist, and worked for her neighborhood. The interview was made in the summer of 2016.
Juantia Orengo-Rodriguez has been a community activist in Brooklyn for 28 years. She is a member of the National Congress of Neighborhood Women (NCNW), the Neighborhood Women of Williamsburg-Greenpoint (NWWG), GROOTS International, and the Huairou Commission. As a community organizer, she has worked to better the school systems Continue reading
President of Neighborhood Women Williamsburg/Greenpoint, Mary Alice pioneered work on economic development as the first director of a Community Action Program in the 60s. She created the first women’s political party, Williamsburg-Greenpoint Action Alliance Political Club. Continue reading
Caroline was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Her interest in social justice led her to join the Young Christian Workers in her youth. Her experience working in development transformed into a commitment to empowering grassroots women globally. In the mid-1980s she became leader and board member of the National Congress of Neighborhood Women (NCNW), where she co-designed the Annual Institute on Women and Community Development. Caroline’s vision of a network of grassroots women’s organizations that would act and speak on their own behalf in global development arenas became Grassroots Organizations Operating Together in Continue reading
Jan is founder and director of the National Congress of Neighborhood Women (NCNW). Women involved in the group’s organizing efforts credit Jan as a source of their empowerment. They had done fundraising for their organizations, but were left out of decision-making. “She brought us together and helped us find our power.” Continue reading
Text forthcoming… Continue reading
In 1971, Geraldine Miller founded in New York City the Household Technicians, a group that fought for equal rights for women who worked informally as maids, nannies and cooks. Geraldine understood the struggles of being a household worker because she had started doing domestic work at an early age. The group pressured employers to comply with minimum wage standards and Social Security laws. In 1974, Miller worked closely with Rep. Shirley Chisholm to help household workers win the right to be included in the Federal Minimum Wage Act.