The Voces Ciudadanas Oral History Project aims to unearth the voices and memories of Brooklyn’s Sunset Park residents who have been involved in creating community spaces for the benefit of all. It seeks to foster community learning from past strategies, methods, and motivations to inform future imaginaries and concrete possibilities leading to the creation of new community spaces as a way to address structural inequalities.
Voces Ciudadanas is a grassroots organization founded to create an alternative space for neighbors to come together and engage in dialogue about gentrification and other issues affecting Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. In 2017, when overcrowded schools in their community became a big issue, Voces Ciudadanas helped establish and lead the Make Space for Quality Schools Campaign. As part of this campaign, Voces Ciudadanas organized marches, delivered a petition with over 3,000 signatures to the School Chancellor, and crashed a meeting of the School Construction Authority to demand that new schools were built in the neighborhood. All these efforts contributed to bringing five new school buildings to Sunset Park. Since its inception, Voces Ciudadanas has helped immigrants and other marginalized people to build collective power by promoting community leadership and organizing, offering popular education programming, and creating spaces to encourage dialogue to make social justice a reality. Its more recent campaign is claiming a large public building to serve as a resource for the immigrant communities living in the neighborhood.
Coordination: Gabriela Rendón, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Community Development.
MS Design and Urban Ecologies Students: Melissa Bosley, Beka Fadila, Daniela Fernandez Lopez, Mae Francke Rojo, Gracia Goh, Sofia Kavlin, Lukas Kernke, and Alex Purcelli.