Brooklyn Community Services Hosts Panel on East New York

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The BCS panel


The BCS panel

Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) hosted its panel discussion “Brooklyn Stand Up! The Future of East New Yorkon Monday, March 30, 2015 at St. Paul Community Baptist Church (859 Hendrix Street). Brooklyn Stand Up is a series of panel discussions and community forums on topics of importance to the people who live and work in Brooklyn. This program is a key initiative of our ONE Brooklyn Community campaign.

This year’s panel focused on East New York. With NYC government now looking closely at the East New York community in connection with the Mayor’s affordable housing initiative, BCS brought together six talented panelists and a dynamic moderator to discuss topics including housing, the critical need of basic services, jobs and maintaining the identity of East New York.

“In the past five to ten-years, construction is booming in many parts of Brooklyn with new residents coming in and new businesses opening,” said Marla Simpson, Executive Director, Brooklyn Community Services. “But in East New York, almost 30% of residents live in poverty, which includes 37% who are children. We saw the panel as an opportunity to bring together panelists with different expertise to engage the community and discuss broadly what can be done to ensure that East New York residents are able to share in the benefits of growth in this neighborhood.”

Monday’s panel was the second in the Brooklyn Stand Up series and again was moderated by CNN Contributor, activist and BCS board member, Michaela Angela Davis. Panelists included:

  • Winston Von Engel: Director, Brooklyn office, NYC Department of City Planning
  • Shai Lauros: Director of Community Development, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
  • Meredith Marshall: Managing Partner and Co-founder, BRP Development Corporation
  • Andre T. Mitchell: Founder and Executive Director, Man Up! Inc.
  • Melinda Perkins: Executive Director, East New York Restoration Local Development Corporation
  • Carolyn Walker-Diallo: General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, BCS

BCS has seven programs based in East New York and has been working in the community for over two decades. Programs include 3 afterschool programs serving over 400 elementary and middle school students, 3 mental health and wellness programs and our East New York Family Center serving hundreds of at-risk families each year. BCS is committed to working in East New York in the long term.  Brooklyn Stand Up is a key initiative of the ONE Brooklyn Community campaign, which aims to mobilize Brooklynites to help “change the math” for the 25% of our neighbors living in poverty. Learn more about the ONE Brooklyn Community campaign here:

More information available at