October 23, 2015 / Inspiration, News / Posted by: Elise Hanks

A Little Bit of History: Conversations with Dr. Angela Davis, A Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yards, and More!


As you may know, Dr. Angela Davis came to town this week – and our Project Speak Out Loud team was there to watch her bring down the house! Pace University hosted the renowned activist and scholar, who delivered a meditation and conversation on the importance of sustained social justice movements, activism, and student engagement. As she discussed the globalization of social justice, her address was punctuated with applause, whoops and exclamations. The big message of the night? How we police people’s bodies has to change –  in our towns and cities; our states and countries; and our nations and global communities. Stay tuned for what our PSOL peers thought about the night.

This Week’s Inspiration

This project has been exploding into the news – and we couldn’t be more excited. Last spring, our Young Designers middle school program partnered with the Lowline, New York City’s first underground park. Over several months, the students learned some hard science (how do you bring real sunlight underground?!) and imagined a lot of dream parks (everything was fair game). Take a ten-second video tour through a park designed by our students (don’t miss the giant toadstools!) and then visit this beautiful photo essay by Bloomberg News.

A BIG welcome to our 2015-16 JUMP volunteers! These awesome young professionals will be serving as mentors to our youth, taking them on monthly trips that will expand horizons and foster imagination. Tomorrow is the first trip – to a farm upstate for hayrides and pumpkin picking as well as a visit to Fresh Air Fund‘s Sharpe Reservation! Thanks to Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC for facilitating a great training for our volunteers yesterday. We’re excited!

Community Conversations

This week, our Communications team took an insider’s tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We met up with McMillianCo., our design team that works in the Navy Yard, to celebrate the successful launch of this website and learn a little more about the history of Brooklyn.

First up, we took a tour at Kings County Distillery, the city’s oldest operating whiskey distillery and the first since prohibition. Housed in a gorgeous 115 year-old brick building that used to serve as the Paymaster’s office, the distillery preserves a trove of unexpected New York City history. For example, did you know there used to be an Irishtown in Brooklyn? How much do you know about the Whiskey Wars?  Put this tour on your to-do list!

After our tour (and mini tasting! They have pumpkin spice whiskey right now!), we walked to the Brooklyn Grange. This huge rooftop farm offers sweeping views of Manhattan across the East River, and boasts a beautiful CSA. Remind us to get invited to an event here – but in the mean time, we need to plan another visit ASAP.

We finished our tour with a walk by the dry docks. Today, we don’t think of Brooklyn as a military hub, but the history of the Navy Yard has plenty of stories to tell. We highly recommend a visit!


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