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

Melanie Medeiros medeiros at geneseo.edu
Thu Feb 8 11:27:07 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
> landlord.
> 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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