Be a Tourist in Your Own Neighborhood!

Harlem One Stop has just launched Explore Harlem NYC – the single best source of inspiration for exploring Harlem.

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God and Guns

 The Riverside Church in the City of New York, along with a growing list of partners, will host an intensive training on gun violence for faith leaders of all traditions beginning the evening of October 6 through the evening of October 7, 2016. Designed for millennial faith leaders, a demographic with the capacity to shift our culture, the training is also open to ministry teams of any age that include a millennial attendee. Those who attend do not have to agree on the solutions to the epidemic of gun violence, only that something must be done.

Evangelicals and mainline Protestants make up 40 percent of the population, but own guns at higher rates than the rest of the country.  The power to change our culture is in our pews.

Attendees will gain concrete tools to educate, engage, and mobilize your congregations to enact change in your community. Each God and Guns 2016 participant will commit to taking concrete action in their circles of influence.

Space is limited.

Following the training, The Riverside Church will provide ongoing support, resources, and reporting mechanisms. This will help those who attend stay connected and share the work you are doing in your congregations.

The training begins with a free, open to the public screening of “The Armor of Light” on Thursday, October 6 at 7PM. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with filmmakers Rev. Rob Schenck, Abigail Disney, and Lucy McBath.

Morningside Lights: TRAVERSE

Morningside Lights: TRAVERSE kicks off September 17, inviting community members to create literary lanterns inspired by 100 years of Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry. This year’s edition of Morningside Lights will literally illuminate favorite passages by great poets of the last century. Artists Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles, co-directors of Processional Arts Workshop, will lead free, collaborative workshops Saturday, September 17 through Friday, September 23. The workshops are geared toward adults, but kids 10 and up working with an adult are welcome. The procession will be the culmination of the Friends of Morningside Park’s annual Common Ground festival, which takes place early Saturday afternoon and welcomes young children and families to make simple lanterns they can carry in that night’s event. More details and workshop registration: morningside-lights.com.

A Long Journey to Ownership Nears Its Goal

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_custom_heading text=”Residents being displaced by Columbia will buy affordable homes built by the university” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Lato%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]By  JOSH BARBANEL

Feb. 17, 2016 7:26 p.m. ET

After waiting decades for a shot at home ownership, Hilda Muentes, 80 years old, a retired sample maker in the garment industry, bounded Tuesday through a new apartment in Hamilton Heights that she soon will buy for $250.

She pulled out her cellphone and took a picture of the shiny, single-handle faucet on the tub in her new bathroom. Then she turned to the kitchen and photographed a window facing Broadway. “Look a window in the kitchen,” she said.

The 12-story building, at Broadway and West 148th Street, was built by Columbia University. It fulfills a promise to build replacement affordable housing for tenants whose old building is to be razed to make way for the university’s new Manhattanville campus rising along Broadway above West 125th Street.

Muentes and her friend Luisa Henriquez were part of a community of 20 neighbors who lived together in a century-old, six-story walk-up on West 132nd, just west of Broadway.

The city foreclosed on the building in 1978 because of unpaid taxes. Since then, it has promised the tenants several times that they would be able to purchase their apartments for $250 each as part of a low-income co-op, if they showed they could manage it themselves, said Ms. Henriquez, a retired assistant preschool teacher.

Then, in 2003, Columbia began discussing plans for a new campus. In the end, Columbia agreed to put up the new building with “equal or better housing” for displaced tenants on a site it purchased in 2008. Residents are to move in this spring.

The building will provide 42 affordable apartments, with rooftop patios for tenants with views from the George Washington Bridge to Midtown skyscrapers. Some laundry rooms and meeting rooms have Hudson River views.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”38832″ img_size=”medium”][vc_column_text]A photo of the new building hangs in the hallway of the 132nd Street structure that will be razed.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”38833″ img_size=”medium”][vc_column_text]Hilda Muentes in her new kitchen.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”38834″ img_size=”medium”][vc_column_text]The new building at 148th and Broadway.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”38831″ img_size=”medium”][vc_column_text]Luisa Henriquez, left, and Hilda Muentes visit the roof deck of the new building they will occupy after being displaced by Columbia University’s new campus[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Columbia will sell 20 apartments to the tenants of West 132nd, who in turn will set up their own co-op. Seven more units will go to former tenants of a second building on Broadway also being displaced by Columbia. The rest will be filled by the city with a housing lottery, a city spokeswoman said.

The tenants at West 132nd Street named their new co-op the Exodus Housing Development Fund Corp., reflecting their long journey toward home ownership. The building will also have retail space to be retained by Columbia, and a new home for the Meeting with God Pentecostal Church displaced from West 130th Street by the Columbia project.

“We were waiting for many years, looking for a new location, and finally God opened the door through Columbia University,” said Rev. Henry Mercado, the church’s pastor, after it relocated to a temporary space in 2009.

Isabel Rodriguez, a partner at Solomon & Bernstein, represented the tenants along with partner Joel Bernstein. They credited the tenants with holding their building together during decades when many other uptown buildings deteriorated or were abandoned.

Ms. Muentes moved into the West 132nd Street building in 1968. A few years later, an uncle, Arturo, purchased it for about $1,300 a unit. After he died in 1975, Ms. Muentes said her husband took over the building and stayed on as superintendent after the city foreclosed.

Columbia will cover most cost increases over the next 15 years to keep maintenance and rents low, provide reserve funds for both co-ops, and pay $7,000 to cover relocation costs, plus $2,000 for tenants who use their own movers.

The building was designed by Magnusson Architecture & Planning, a firm with extensive experience with cost-conscious affordable housing. Since the scaffolding came down, the building has faced some criticism.

It includes yellow, beige, black, red and blue brick, and an irregular pattern of windows, that several architects and preservationists said is largely disconnected from the century-old brick buildings with terra-cotta trim that line nearby sections of Broadway.

“It is a good-faith effort by Columbia,” said Andrew Dolkart, director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia. “They are sticking to the deal they made.”

But he said the building looks like “affordable housing” without context. “You see that a lot in the Bronx, in neighborhoods where there isn’t that much context.”

Ms. Rodriguez disagreed. “They didn’t build Versailles but they built a beautiful building that fits with the architecture of New York,” she said. “The roof deck is gorgeous.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

PHOTOs: KEVIN HAGEN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
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The Riverside Church Seeds New Social Justice-Based Investment Strategy

Strategy Targets Urban Minority- Owned and Operated Businesses Committed to ‘Open Door’ Hiring Read more >

Volunteers Needed for Harlem Fine Arts Show on February 5-6

The Harlem Fine Arts Show is coming to Riverside in early February! Volunteers are needed to work four-hour shifts covering set-up and the event itself.

Grand Opening – Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling

Grand Opening: Saturday, October 3rd

The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling provides our culturally rich neighborhood with a space where children and their families grow and learn about Sugar Hill, and about the world at large, through intergenerational dialogue with artists, art and storytelling.

Designed to nurture the curiosity and creative spirit of three- to eight-year-old children, Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling provides opportunities to grow as both author and audience, as children engage with the work of accomplished artists and storytellers, and create and share their own.

Click here to learn more: http://www.sugarhillmuseum.org/

 

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Paula Mayo and the Interchurch Center featured on Positive Community

The Interchurch Center, home to 76 different non-profit organizations is one of NYC’s best kept secrets. Originally unveiled in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower, the center’s unique mission was of a place where Christians, Jews, and Muslims would collaborate as neighbors. This mission remains in Interchurch Center’s guiding principles.

Currently ran by President/Executive Director Paula Mayo, the Interchurch Center is a fascinating mix of positive people and places devoted to making life better.

For further reading, download the PDF provided in the link below:
Positive Community – Interchurch Center

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A Guide to Student Hiring and Interns

Guide to Student Hiring and Engagement Resources for Your Organization – COMPREHENSIVE PRINT VERSION

Morningside Heights is a unique community where academic institutions and nonprofit organizations learn and work together. Among our many assets are students and faculty of institutions including Bank Street College of Education, Barnard College, Columbia University, Jewish Theological Seminary, Manhattan School of Music, Teachers College, and Union Theological Seminary. Neighborhood nonprofit organizations have a great track record of hiring interns, hosting service learning experiences, and connecting with student groups for volunteer opportunities.

To help you identify potential student interns or employees for your organization, Morningside Area Alliance, a membership organization, has compiled this directory for your use.

Best of luck in your search for team members among our neighborhood’s talented pool of students and please let us know of any updates and of your experiences.

~ Jennifer Beisser, MAA. 212‐749‐1570 or jenn@morningsidealliance.org.

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Child Care and Schooling Resources

Columbia University’s Office of Work-Life publishes up-to-date information about child care resources in the surrounding community and hosts events including the Schools of Value (Spring) and Child Care Fair (Fall).

The Office’s Pre-K and Kindergarten Newsletter (SUBSCRIBE HERE) is a recommended resource for news, timetables, and suggestions on navigating available education resources.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY HOSTS NYC URBAN DEBATE LEAGUE PANEL ON THE IMPACT OF URBAN DEBATE

Columbia University will be hosting the New York City Urban Debate League on Wednesday for a lecture on the impact of Urban Debate. In the past several years the New York City Urban Debate League has had huge impacts at Columbia from workshops, tournaments, to several of our top debaters receiving full scholarships, partnering with the Columbia University Debate Team, and engaging Columbia University students. We are so thankful to the Columbia University Community for so many opportunities for our debaters. Thank You!

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Columbia University’s Community Scholars Program

Columbia University’s Community Scholars Program is seeking nominations and applications for its next class; the deadline is Thursday, April 30, 2015. The program, one of the benefits associated with the Manhattanville Campus Expansion, offers independent, community-based scholars from Northern Manhattan access to a suite of Columbia University services and resources in order to work toward the completion of a particular project or to attain skill in a particular area.

St. Mary’s Manhattanville – Saturday Outreach Meal Distributor

The Outreach Soup Kitchen serves 80 to 90 homeless individuals each Saturday afternoon. Teams of volunteers prepare bag lunches, including hot soup in the winter, and take them to people on the streets and in parks in Harlem. Volunteers and homeless neighbors become acquainted with each other, and information is shared about resources and services in the area.

St. Mary’s is seeking a regular volunteer with a vehicle to help distribute prepared meals to the homeless around the Harlem area. The distribution starts at the church at 2pm every Saturday.

This position provides hands-on experience with issues of homelessness and hunger, as well as provides practical experience with outreach and running of soup kitchens at a grass-roots organization.

If you are interested in this opportunity, email shainikothari@gmail.com or namrodsj@aol.com.

, The Riverside Church Safe Haven

As we begin 2015, we take another step forward in our faith journey as a community – another step in fulfilling our mission to care for those on the margins of our society – and we are blessed with an opportunity to offer an expression of our love in the simple act of providing a safe warm bed to those sleeping in our doorways and on park benches.