Margaret Carnegie

Margaret Carnegie

Image from Metropolitan Avenue directed by Christine Noschese

Margaret Carnegie was born in Lawrenceville, Virginia, on April 27, 1910. She moved to New York in 1920 where she attended the Florence Garnett Training School for Girls, Junior High School 136, and Morris High School in the Bronx. In 1953, Carnegie moved to the recently built Cooper Park Houses. For the next forty years of her life, she became deeply involved in the Greenpoint-Williamsburg community. Carnegie had a special interest in improving the livelihood of seniors. She worked for better housing and safety for the elderly, as well as activities for their mental and physical health. She is credited with bringing ‘Grandparents Day’ (first Sunday after Labor Day) to New York. Grandparents Avenue, located along a section of  Continue reading

Audio: Interview Mildred Tudy-Johnston

Excerpt #1:

Excerpt #2:

Mildred Tudy-Johnston and her daughter Janice Tudy-Jackson narrate their experience as new residents of Cooper Park Houses in 1953, and the role Mildred had as an activist and founder of the Cooper Park Houses Tenant Association to improve the housing and living conditions of the community.

Mildred Tudy-Johnston and her daughter Janice Tudy-Jackson, excerpt from interview with Susana Arellano, digital recording, Brooklyn, New York, April 2012, in author’s possession.

Audio: Excerpt from Interview Jan Peterson

Jan Peterson, Neighborhood Women founder, explains the context in which the National Congress of Neighborhood Women was created and the programs they developed throughout the years.

Jan Peterson, excerpt form interview with Wesleyan University students Abigail Baker, Emily Trambert and Stephanie Aracena, Booklyn, NY, March 31st 2012, digital recording, in possession of Neighborhood Women of Williamsburg-Greenpoint.

Audio: Excerpt from Interview Tish Ciancotta

Woman activist Tish Ciancotta narrates her involvement with the National Congress of Neighborhood Women and her experience in the Greenpoint Hospital Battle.

Tish Ciancotta, excerpt from phone interview with Wesleyan students Emma Kingsberg and Stephanie Aracena, Middletown, CT, April 7th 2012, digital recording, in possession of Neighborhood Women of Williamsburg-Greenpoint.

Audio: Sally Martino-Fisher Interview Excerpt

Sally Martino Fisher, excerpt from interview with Tamar Carroll and Martha Ackelsberg, Queens, New York, 23 March 2004, digital recording, in author’s possession. Included in How Did Working-Class Feminists Meet the Challenges of Working accross Differences? The National Congress of Neighborhood Women, 1974-2006, Documents Selected and Interpreted by Tamar Carroll.

Movie: Activist Bertha Gilkey

60 minutes featuring Housing Activist Bertha Gilkey.

“We’re a neighborhood, not a project”, states Bertha Gilkey with conviction. As an outspoken productive Housing Activist, Bertha Gilkey of St. Louis made it her life’s work to give back the tenants their homes. She inspires Project Housing residents to become active within their communities and not live solely by the Housing Authority’s regulations. She makes it clear that residents need to be accountable and not sit back while their homes become crime and drug infested. “Just because we are poor doesn’t mean we are not responsible.” Some of Bertha’s proposals that produce major changes include: public safety for children, vigilant residents, and private security. “It takes more than money , it takes attitude to change neighborhoods.” Bertha’s policies of the 70’s and 80’s were so effective they can still be used in modern days as methods of permanent positive changes in Housing Projects.

Bertha Gilkey was National Co-Chair of the National Congress of Neighborhood Women.

2004 – The Kathleen Rider Conference at Smith College

Sharing Strategies:  30 Years of Grassroots Women in Community Development

“Coming from NY and Brooklyn, many of us who have built Neighborhood Women are people who have been raised grassroots, and didn’t buy into the American Dream (moving to the suburbs).  We are people who wanted to hold at the local level.”

Jan Peterson, NW Founder
Continue reading