[Blackstudies-l] This Thursday! Presentation on Movement for Social Justice in El Barrio by Petra Award winner Juan Haro

Melanie Medeiros medeiros at geneseo.edu
Sun Feb 4 14:15:24 EST 2018

*El Barrio No Se Vende, Se Ama y Se Defender: East Harlem is Not for Sale!*
*A Presentation by Juan Haro, Director, Movement for Justice in El Barrio
and 2013 Winner of the Petra Award *
Thursday, February 8th at 2:30pm, Newton 203.

The Movement for Justice in El Barrio was founded by immigrants and
low-income people living in East Harlem, New York City to fight against
discrimination and gentrification. Juan Haro, the Movement's lead organizer
and director,  has been an organizer in low-income communities for over 20
years and has worked across lines of race, class, issue and organization to
foster the leadership of those who face multiple sources of oppression,
whether organizing to take on massive corporations, trenchant slumlords or
negligent government bodies.

Most recently, Juan has been organizing with the residents of East Harlem
in their fight for dignified housing and against displacement and
gentrification – and they’ve been winning. Juan and the “Best Power to the
People Movement in New York City" according to the Village Voice, Movement
for Justice in El Barrio, fought a new landlord that owns dozens of
apartment buildings who has harassed, interrogated, threatened and profiled
tenants because they are immigrants and of low-income. These tenants won an
end to the harassment plus sweeping changes in how this multi-millionaire
landlord does business through a binding settlement agreement with the

Movement for Justice in El Barrio continues fighting back successfully in
East Harlem with protests, press conferences and other creative tactics
against this landlord and other city wide and international developers who
seek to seize people’s homes in order to charge higher rents and gentrify
this low-income, immigrant neighborhood.

Juan has organized on varied issues including immigrant rights, the
struggle for permanent housing for the homeless, environmental justice,
welfare rights and labor issues, specifically fighting for and winning an
increase in the minimum wage and getting tipped workers included in the
minimum wage. Over his years organizing, Juan occupied the position of Lead
Organizer at the multi-issue, membership-led organizations: Mothers on the
Move (MOM) and Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE),
among others. Throughout all of these struggles Juan has insisted that the
affected community members take the lead by doing the speaking, the
negotiations and all of the decision-making. As one of the activists he has
mentored describes: “Juan always insists that the workers make their own
decisions. So if they miss a meeting, he’ll call them late at night to fill
them in. He really cares about the process and as a result, the people he
works with are really empowered.”

One of only 4 honorees chosen from across the country to receive the 2013
Petra Award for his decades of work organizing in low income and people of
color communities, Juan, like all honorees, was nominated without his
knowledge and selected from a large pool of candidates. “Juan has been
organizing with the residents of East Harlem in Movement for Justice in El
Barrio, which the Village Voice ranked as the ‘Best Power to the People
Movement in New York City,’ in their fight for dignified housing and
against displacement and gentrification—and they’re winning.” (excerpt from
Petra’s announcement, September 11, 2013).

Melanie A. Medeiros, Ph.D.
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Coordinator, Sociomedical Sciences program
Department of Anthropology
SUNY Geneseo
Office: Bailey 106
Phone: 585-245-6269 <(585)%20245-6269>
Email: medeiros at geneseo.edu
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