Blog Archives

GRIOT Supports QEJ Vigil for Elder Yvonne McNeal

On October 2nd, Yvonne McNeal, 57, a POC elder, community member and resident at the New Providence Women’s Shelter in midtown Manhattan was [allegedly]  murdered by NYPD outside of her shelter.  A regular at Queers for Economic Justice events and support groups, Yvonne was an elder and a kind, reserved member of our community.  She walked with a cane and marched with us at Pride this past June.  Yvonne was also a reliable source for other LGBT people at New Providence.  NYPD [allegedly] shot Yvonne five times.

In response to this violence, QEJ is partnering with New Providence to hold a vigil and silent march in Yvonne’s honor outside of the shelter. The vigil will be on Friday, November 18 from 5 – 7 pm at New Providence Women’s Shelter, 225 East 45th Street.

You can lend support by: Attending on behalf of your organization or yourself.  Volunteering to prepare dinner for people attending the vigil by going to QEJ’s office on Nov. 18th at 2pm.  Just call 212.564.3608 or email carlos1@q4cj.org or jay@q4ej.org.

Thanks for your support especially in these times of violence.  QEJ is very shocked and saddened by this brutal act, we are not silenced–we will continue to organize around low-income, working class queer issues in New York, and will not be stopped by police brutality.  Your love is what inspires us; your support is what empowers us.

Amber Holibaugh, Interim Exec. Dir

Queers for Economic Justice

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INSIGHTS ON CONVENING OF AGING PROFESSIONALS – Post 3

In effort to provide insights, address questions and foster clarity around the function, expectations and importance of the upcoming National Convening of Aging Professionals, GRIOT Circle provides post #3 in this Q&A series.

Please use the comment tab at the bottom of this post to expand the discussion on this topic and present your questions.

WHICH ORGANIZATIONS ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND THE CONVENING?

We have listed, to name a few: African Americans in Gerontology, Administration on Aging, Office of Minority Health (Capacity Building Division), OpenHouse, GRIOT Circle, Senior Service America Inc., Delaware County Office of Services, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and National Coalition for LGBT Health.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES SLATED TO BE ADDRESSED AT THE CONVENING?

We will have active conversations around older adult related topics such as: elder abuse, employment/retirement, housing, health literacy, immigration/migration, marriage equality, HIV/AIDS/STD prevention/care, religion/spirituality, etc.

IF I CAN’T BE IN WASHINGTON, DC, OCTOBER 12-13, HOW CAN I CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONVENING?

One of the intended outcomes of this Convening is the formation of a National Network of POC led organizations/providers and POC/LGBT elders.  At the Convening we will strategize mechanisms for inclusion/participation of all those who wish to be part of this historic movement.  It is likely we will rely greatly on social media, mass marketing, and other forms of outreach/communication to maximize inclusion, diversity and on going collaborations.

HOW IS THE US GOVERNMENT (MY TAX DOLLARS) INVOLVED IN THE CONVENING OF AGING PROFESSIONALS?

This Convening is being funded via the Atlantic Philanthropies Foundation and in-kind donations from AARP.

We continue this dialogue next week, please check back for more insights on the National Convening of Aging Professionals, or simply put your email address in the GET GRIOT BLOG UPDATES slot in the left column to receive alerts of new posts on the GRIOT Circle Blog.

Bed-Stuy Grandma Blocks Eviction

By Natasha Lennard

From inside Mary Lee Ward’s small and sparsely furnished living room in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, it sounded Friday as if a block party was in full swing in the street below.  Cars and trucks honked their horns as they passed and almost 200 voices could be heard cheering and chanting.

But this was no street party; it was not yet 9 a.m. and the crowd outside was there as a line of defense.

Ms. Ward — a tiny, soft-spoken 82-year-old — faced eviction by a city marshal on Friday morning, as the result of a subprime mortgage she took out in 1995. The lender, which filed for bankruptcy in 2007, had subsequently been investigated for predatory and discriminatory practices.  And so neighbors, friends, housing advocates and supporters formed a thick human wall outside Ms. Ward’s small, gray house on Tompkins Avenue.

If I’m evicted today, that’s it for anybody who’s a senior citizen,” Ms. Ward, who has lived in the house since 1967, said earlier in the morning, sitting in her living room next to a table covered with legal documents.  “It would show they can break up the community and do anything to us.”

Fifteen years ago, Ms. Ward says, she needed money for a lawyer to help keep her great-granddaughter from being put up for adoption.  Like many others in her neighborhood, she turned to a subprime lender.

She signed a contract with Delta Funding, a company she found advertised on a flier tucked in her mailbox. She borrowed $82,000 against her house, but claims she only ever received a payment of $1,000.

TO READ FULL STORY, CLICK HERE –> FALLOUT FROM A SUBPRIME MORTGAGE IN BROOKLYN – NYTimes.com.