Dear Friend, 

It has been an eventful couple of months since we last connected—both for RiseBoro and for the world at large. Last month, Derek Chauvin was convicted on murder charges for his brutal and fatal act of violence against George Floyd. Although not a solution to the persistent racial equity problems we face, it was a significant step in the direction of police accountability and equal justice. At the same time, we have witnessed an appalling increase in anti-Asian hate crimes across the country, including in NYC. This is a reminder that we still have a long way to go to overcome the racism that continues to impact our daily lives, as I argue in a recent opinion piece in City Limits.

With May being Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, it is especially important that we stand with and show up for Asian communities, and to look for ways to extend care and comfort to those impacted by racialized violence. We are highlighting some notable words from Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the Inspire section below as a celebration of the rich contribution these communities have made to our national culture.

Finally, I am excited to announce the launch of our new website! In 2017 we rebranded RiseBoro and this redesigned site represents a further evolution of our brand. With more dynamic navigation and updated content, we hope it makes it easier for community members to find the services they need and for other stakeholders to get an understanding of all we do to unleash the power of communities to thrive, no matter the odds. Happy browsing!

In Partnership, 
— Scott Short, CEO 

Farmers Markets

Enjoy a fruitful trip to the RB Farmers Markets!
The Our Food Team is getting ready to reopen our Farmers Markets for the season! Count on us for your fresh fruits and veggies. You’ll have 3 opportunities to connect with our farmers!  

Hope Ball Field 
Wednesdays, 10 AM – 4 PM
May 22 — November 24

Maria Hernandez Park 
Saturday 9 AM – 3 PM
May 22 – November 27 

Bethel Church
Thursdays 11 AM – 3 PM
June 24 – November 18

Join RiseBoro every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday to celebrate the bounty that our local farmers bring us. We speak English and Spanish, accept cash and credit at all our markets, and encourage the use of SNAP, WIC and other nutrition benefits at our Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday markets. Cash, credit, SNAP and WIC accepted.

The RiseBoro 2021 Gala

Save the Date!
We’re raising funds for critical programs! Join us on Thursday, September 23, 2021 at Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and be part of our important mission. We will be joined by industry experts and community leaders and are excited to present their insights and ideas, along with experiences demonstrating the positive impact of RiseBoro’s programs. 

Join the RiseBoro Giving Family

We Are Family…
2020 challenged all of us in ways that we could not have imagined, but your support allowed RiseBoro to continue to serve the most vulnerable New Yorkers, who needed our help last year more than ever.   
 
Your generosity has been and continues to be essential to our efforts. Please join our new Giving Family to support the hundreds of people who are still in need of basic necessities as well as those who need supportive spaces to dream and innovate.  
 
Your gift goes far, not only to support critical services to keep people sheltered and fed but also to help pay for those programs that provide individuals with the space to take our community to greater heights.   

Join the Giving Family.

PPE Volunteers

Calling All Do-Gooders!
We need volunteers to help us pack PPE for our Homecare Employees, many of whom are Home Health Aides, who have been and continue to be on the frontline, providing critical services to our most vulnerable.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 AM – 2 PM.
Saturdays available for groups, with advanced notice.
For more information email Jasmine Montalvo, Service & Volunteer Manager: jmontalvo@riseboro.org.

AmeriCorps Application

Racial Equity Work Opportunity!
RiseBoro Community Partnership and Local Initiatives Support Corporation are seeking a summer AmeriCorps member to serve as a Racial Equity Associate. We are recruiting a summer AmeriCorps member to be a part of our team for 4 months. The position will remain open until filled. For more information, please contact Jamaica Carter, Racial Equity Manager: jcarter@riseboro.org.

Saying Goodbye to Martha Ma

Farming is in Our Nature…
The Our Food team extends a heartfelt thank you and good luck to Martha Ma as she moves on from her role as Farm Manager and Educator. 

If you have not had the pleasure of meeting her, let me tell you that Martha is truly one of the most inspiring humans I have ever met. Every conversation I have had with her has taught me something new like how to cook with long beans from the garden or how to turn curtains into a new outfit. She has also shared some of the most unbelievable (yet true) stories about her life, she has traveled to so many places. Martha is also one of those people who just seems to master almost anything she touches. She’s an amazing cook, talented artist, ferocious reader, dynamic educator and amazing farmer. 

While we are sad to see her go, we are extremely grateful for the legacy that she has left behind in the Bushwick Grows! Community Farm at 1474 Gates Avenue. Martha, we know that whatever you go on to create next will be inspiring and beautiful!” — Ashleigh Eubanks, Our Food Manager 

Top 5 Quotes from Martha’s Newsletters

“Although not required by law, voting is another civic duty that should not be taken for granted. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the right to vote for women in America, we must take into account the hardships that women, and particularly women of color, had to face in order to be granted permission to have their voices heard. Let us honor all those who fought for voting rights, and those who continue to fight, and exercise a right many in the world do not have.”

“Bees survive through cooperation, and collaboration, with all their actions fulfilling their life’s purpose; the survival of the hive. The hive, therefore, is actually one living organism and every member of that hive has a role to play to ensure its survival. Their role as a whole, is crucial to the pollination of many plants, including quite a few that feed us. There is no such thing as a bee alone in the world, they are aware surely, of their strength as one body. Boy, do we have a lot to learn from bees!”

“Have you ever accidentally chopped off the top of a plant? The immediate feeling is dread that you’ve killed the plant. However, most often you will see that the plant continues to grow and sprout new leaves as if nothing happened. The apical meristem is the growing part of the plant, usually the topmost part of the plant from where the plant sprouts new leaves. When this is chopped off, the uppermost part of the stem that is left will sprout from a remaining bud and become the new apical meristem, and continue growing from there. Even a tree that has fallen or been chopped can grow new baby trees from its trunk or roots. If you’ve ever seen a fallen tree in the woods, you will notice new little sprouts along the trunk that can eventually grow into a full sized tree. Even when you’ve been cut down, never stop growing.”

“I am grateful for having the opportunity to serve the Bushwick Community, to have met all the wonderful people I have had the fortune of getting to know, and what I have always felt, was the biggest bonus of the job. I’ve witnessed the kids in the community grow, relationships grow, as well as the space and all the life within it. I have no doubt that the Farm will continue to thrive and remain an oasis, a sanctuary, an outdoor gym, playground, a meeting place, a safe space, a learning center, and grounding place for all the community to enjoy.”

“If you have never been to the Farm, I highly recommend you go visit and get down on your knees, touch the soil, observe a plant or insect up close, then closer until you can appreciate all the details. Breathe the air that feels somehow fresher, feel your body relax, and nibble on some herbs that taste somehow more alive and vibrant than you remember, then remind yourself of why you don’t do this more often.  My hope is that you will understand how beautiful and precious all life is, that there is no hierarchy, no comparison, no ranking, nothing more or less than another. Let that truth be with you daily and in all your interactions. It is the only way we can begin to build a better world, and in my humble opinion, the key to freedom.”

The New and Improved RiseBoro Website

RiseBoro 2.0! 
We are very excited to announce that our new website is now live!
At the end of 2020 we initiated a project to redesign our website in order to better communicate the breadth of our services, the impact of our work, and to encourage people to join and support us. 

We sought to to continue to build on the look and feel from our rebranding in 2017, and also wanted to make sure that navigating the site was easy for users, whether clients, funders, or community partners, to find information on whatever service or topic they are interested in.

We are excited about this next evolution of telling the RiseBoro story and hope you are as well!
Check out the new RiseBoro website.

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

We Belong Here!
May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month—a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

“The power of visibility can never be underestimated.”
― Margaret Cho

“I want to be a representative and role model for the Asian American community.”
— Jeremy Lin

“Do the right thing by whoever crosses your path. Those coincidental people are your people.”
— Maxine Hong Kingston

“Love isn’t about what we did yesterday; it’s about what we do today and tomorrow and the day after.”
— Grace Lee Boogs

“I always try to start out with some type of goal. Then I work backward and think of what I need to do to get there, and give myself smaller goals that are more immediate.”
― Kristi Yamaguchi

“I believe that telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act. It is an act that can be met with hostility, exclusion, and violence. It can also lead to love, understanding, transcendence, and community. I hope that my being real with you will help empower you to step into who you are and encourage you to share yourself with those around you.”
— Janet Mock 

“Everyone must dream. We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming—well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate. Isn’t that true?”
— Amy Tan

My mom cleaned toilets for a long time, and she’d seen a lot of terrible things, but she was still the strength of our family. And there are women like that all across the country—all around the world—who show that type of fortitude. — Dwayne Johnson

“Most people trusted in the future, assuming that their preferred version of it would unfold. Blindly planning for it, envisioning things that weren’t the case. This was the working of the will. This was what gave the world purpose and direction. Not what was there but what was not.”
— Jhumpa Lahiri

“I grew up never seeing myself on-screen, and it’s really important to me to give people who look like me a chance to see themselves. I want to see myself as the hero of any story. I want to see myself save the world from the bomb.” — Sandrah Oh

25 X 25 Coaltion

RiseBoro is proud to be part of the #NYC25X25 Coalition—150+ organizations challenging our city’s next leaders to put 25% of our street space to better, fairer, safer use for all New Yorkers by 2025. What could be done in a city with 25 percent less space for cars and 25 percent more space for people? 500 miles of protected bus lanes. 500 miles of protected bike lanes. 1,000 miles of open streets. Car-free spaces in front of every public school. Universal daylighting at every intersection. And much, much more. Learn more.

Project Hope

COVID-19 emotional support, coping tips, and resources are available for Kings County/Brooklyn through RiseBoro, a NY Project Hope provider. Call our free and confidential helpline at 1-833-416-0324. Learn more.