University Settlement will screen “Rabble Rousers” film and host a panel discussion as part of Lower East Side History Month

University Settlement and the Cooper Square Committee (CSC) will host a screening of the film Rabble Rousers and a panel discussion about the past and future of community activism on the Lower East Side, as part of LES History Month.

Date: Wednesday May 31, 2023

Doors Open: 6:30 PM

Panel: 6:45 PM

Screening: 7:20 PM – 9:00 PM

Location: Speyer Hall, University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street, 2nd Floor

The event is open to the public. Registration is required. Register for free on Eventbrite.

Directed by Kelly Anderson and Ryan Joseph, Rabble Rousers tells the story of community activist Frances Goldin and her LES neighbors’ struggle against Robert Moses’ plans for the neighborhood across five decades, including the formation of the CSC, the Mutual Housing Association, and the creation of the first Community Land Trust in New York state – “a diverse, permanently affordable neighborhood in the heart of the ‘real estate capital of the world.’”

The panel discussion will feature perspectives on the history of community organizing in Cooper Square from:

  • Tito Delgado, longtime organizer, Cooper Square Committee
  • Steve Herrick, Executive Director, Cooper Square Committee
  • Valerio Orselli, Project Manager, This Land is Ours Community Land Trust
  • Veronica Wong, Advocacy Director, University Settlement (moderator)

“We’re thrilled to invite all interested community members to join us for what’s sure to be an inspirational evening,” said Melissa Aase, Chief Executive Officer, University Settlement. “Frances Goldin and the Cooper Square Committee demonstrate what is possible when neighbors forge connections to fight for a collective and mutually beneficial future, and this story remains profoundly relevant.”

“As Frances Goldin often said: ‘You can have the best ideas, but in order to win you must have the people,’” said Val Orselli. “’Without the people you have nothing.’ Community planning combined with community organizing were the keys to Cooper Square Committee’s success in implementing our plan.”

“When you fight, you win,” said Tito Delgado.

“This documentary shows what community activists can accomplish when they not only push back against displacement, but also put forward an alternative vision of sustainable, affordable housing,” said Steve Herrick.

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