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October 28, 2016
BOROUGH PRESIDENT ALLOCATES $50K TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY SERVICE INITIATIVE ACTIVATING AFROPUNK ARMY’S EARNED TICKET PROGRAM, GIVING THOUSANDS OF FANS ABILITY TO VOLUNTEER IN EXCHANGE FOR TICKETS TO MULTICULTURAL MUSIC FESTIVAL
BROOKLYN, NY, October 28, 2016: Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams launched an innovative partnership with AFROPUNK, a socially-conscious music festival first held in 2005 in Brooklyn that has since connected with millions of fans globally at the nexus of alternative and urban cultures, which will expand their shared movement of engaging young people in volunteering on service projects across the borough. Supported by his allocation of $50,000 from Brooklyn Borough Hall’s discretionary budget, thousands of individuals from the AFROPUNK Army, the volunteer corps of AFROPUNK that launched last summer, will be mobilized to support a variety of community service efforts. In exchange, volunteers that contribute eight hours or more of their time will earn a ticket to the annual AFROPUNK Festival held at Commodore Barry Park in Fort Greene, which in past years has featured such artists as Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Janelle Monae, Questlove, and TV on the Radio. Borough President Adams, a vocal advocate for expanding volunteerism across Brooklyn, spoke highly of this newly forged opportunity to activate local youth with a passion for social justice.
“AFROPUNK is a tremendous ‘only in Brooklyn’ success story, and I am proud that their popularity is being harnessed through volunteerism to advance prosperity for all Brooklynites,” said Borough President Adams. “The AFROPUNK Army is a force for good that we are energizing and empowering across our borough, with ‘soldiers’ helping us fight the socioeconomic challenges facing our communities.”
The first project that Borough President Adams and the AFROPUNK Army are collaborating on is an outreach campaign to tens of thousands of Brooklynites living in public housing in advance of a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) town hall he is hosting on Thursday, November 3rd from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at UnCommon High School in Crown Heights. The gathering, co-hosted by Shola Olatoye, chair and CEO of NYCHA, and Council Member Ritchie Torres, chair of the Committee on Public Housing, will give residents an opportunity to directly address matters such as maintenance issues, the NextGeneration NYCHA plan, and the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. In the months ahead, Borough President Adams and AFROPUNK Army volunteers will collaborative on additional initiatives focused on enhancing community outreach, promoting enrollment in identified social programs, and amplifying information for Brooklynites on social media.
“AFROPUNK is committed to encouraging our diverse audience of young, gifted people to take action and make an impact in their local communities,” said Manushka Magloire, director of community affairs for AFROPUNK. “We’re excited to embark on this unique and innovative partnership with Borough President Adams that will allow us to cultivate social change agents right here in our own backyard, connecting our AFROPUNK Army volunteer corps to meaningful initiatives and support the dynamic work of various social agencies in the greatest place on earth — Planet BK!”
Since the AFROPUNK Army’s launch, more than 20,000 fans have signed up to volunteer. Other local projects they have worked on include assisting Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center with their Summer Fest, advancing arts access to young children alongside Fort Greene-based Cool Culture, helping Habitat for Humanity build new housing in Ocean Hill.
Borough President Adams’ partnership with AFROPUNK is the latest in the variety of approaches he has taken to address low rates of volunteerism, including a legislative proposal that he announced last Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a nationally- observed holiday focused on community service; under Borough President Adams’ plan, which is being carried in the New York State Legislature by State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan and Assembly Member Erik Martin Dilan, New Yorkers that volunteer at least 25 hours during a year for established 501(c)(3) organizations, or organizations affiliated with NY Cares or NYC Service, would receive a tax credit equal to $200 a year. According to Volunteering and Civic Life in America, New York State ranked last out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the percentage of residents that volunteered in 2014; 19.2% of New Yorkers donated their time to a cause that year, compared to 25.3% of all Americans.
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