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The ANHD Blog raises the profile of our issues, and educates our member groups, city decision makers, and the general public on our core issue areas. The ANHD Blog offers sharp, timely and effective commentary on key public policy issues, as well as our work and the work of our member groups.

All of our blogs are sorted based on the issues, projects, special tags, and dates they are associated with, and you can use the dropdowns below to filter through our blogs based on these tags. Additionally, you can do a general search through our blog, using the search bar the right. If you can’t find what you are looking for, email comms@anhd.org.

Welcome the 2023-2024 CCL Organizing Apprenticeship & Introductory Course Cohorts

January 24, 2024

Welcoming the 2024 CCL Organizing Apprenticeship Cohort and Introducing our Intro Course Participants!

We’re excited to welcome the 2024 CCL Organizing Apprenticeship Cohort, a group of five New Yorkers committed to deepening their organizing skills and building community power throughout the city.

Piloting our latest iteration of the Apprenticeship this year, the CCL Organizing Apprenticeship is a 6-month training and support program for community members interested in learning about community organizing. Apprentices get foundational high-quality skills-building training while working with a host organization to gain on-the-ground community organizing experience and building relationships with fellow organizers.

This year’s cohort kicked off their Apprenticeship with a 3-Day Orientation with a deep dive into the theory and practice of power-building grassroots organizing and Base Building before joining the Introductory Course participants last week.

The Introductory Course, which began in late September, is a 10-month cohort-based training and support program designed for newer staff organizers seeking to develop foundational principles and skills. Together, the Apprenticeship and Introductory Course cohorts will continue their learning, deepening their understanding and practice of Base Building, Leadership Development, and Campaigns.

We’re honored to be working with such a passionate and caring group of people, committed to the deep work of solidarity and principled, effective organizing and movement-building.

Meet our 2024 Organizing Apprentices!

From Left to Right: Rossy Arauno, Miriam Aristy-Farer, Shani Kossaly, Matthew Sooknanan, Melanie Giler

Matthew Sooknanan (he/him)

Host Organization: Chhaya Community Development Corporation

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Matthew has always been inspired to help strengthen his local community and the city at large. Matthew is currently a dual Political Science and Urban Studies major at Fordham University. Previously, he worked as an assistant teacher at the Stagg Street Daycare Center and interned at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office and at Chhaya. While at Fordham, Matthew is currently the President of the Fordham Humanitarian Student Union. In his free time, he loves taking long walks and meeting new people wherever he may. 

Melanie Giler (she/her)

Host Organization: Catholic Migration Services

Melanie was born and raised in the South Bronx. Melanie is currently a Marketing student at CUNY Baruch College. She grew up surrounded by hardworking immigrants both inside and outside her home. Having witnessed the challenges that come with growing up in a neighborhood like hers, Melanie pushed herself to get involved in her community in 2019 and continued to serve through the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ever since  then, she has worked alongside a few other organizations like We Stay/ Nos  Quedamos and the Mexican Coalition, and is excited to continue this journey with communities outside of the Bronx.

Miriam Aristy-Farer (she/her)

Host Organization: Goddard Riverside Law Project

As a mother, community advocate, graphic designer/illustrator, and founder of Herbas®, a plant-based body care line, Miriam has embarked on a mission to live intentionally and a life of purpose. Born in Washington Heights and raised in Queens, her journey reflects a deep-rooted connection to nature and a commitment to natural wellness. She is currently a senior at The New School, finishing her BBS in liberal arts. She enjoys writing and designing. She is also a member of CB9 and very much enjoys supporting her community and other committees. She is also self-teaching herself herbalism. 

Rossy Arauno (she/her)

Host Organization: Bushwick Housing Independence Project

Rossy is a seasoned product management professional passionate about community engagement. She excels in enhancing customer experiences, crafting effective product strategies, and driving business growth. Outside of work, Rossy has been deeply involved in community initiatives like the Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program, Partnerships for Parks, Year Up, and Let's Get Ready. Her friendly and collaborative nature and expertise in data analysis and project management makes her a valuable asset in community organizing efforts. With a warm and approachable demeanor, Rossy is dedicated to positively impacting her community. Her skills and commitment to teamwork make her a valuable addition to any community-focused project.

Shani Kossaly (all pronouns)

Host Organization: Urban Homesteading Assistance Board

Shani is the first born of three kids all close in age and all grown up now. She carries the eldest daughter energy around with her and it’s a big part of what draws her to activism and organizing. Shani also holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Art from Hunter College and has worked on film and TV production. She has been involved in organizing for 2.5 years.



Meet our 2023-2024 Introductory Course Cohort!

From Left to Right: Angus Fischer, Cat Kien, Mark Natanawan, Molly Radwell, Jared Watson

Ana Pena (she/her)

Organization: Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC)

Ana grew up in Brooklyn, NY. She started organizing youth with IntegrateNYC, a youth-led organization that advocated for integration in NYC public schools. She later joined the housing movement working for the 311 Tenant Helpline and volunteering with the Youth Alliance for Housing. Now, Ana is a Tenant Organizer with NMIC.

Angus Fischer (he/him)

Organization: Innovative Resiliance East Briooklyn Village Inc.

Angus Fischer's unwavering commitment to the vibrant borough of Brooklyn, New York, has been a defining aspect of his life. Born and raised in the heart of Brownsville, Angus has seen the city evolve and transform throughout his 34 years of life. His journey of service began in 2008 when he joined the Cypress Hill Local Development Corporation in East New York. Over the years, Angus has demonstrated his dedication to his hometown by taking the initiative to create his own nonprofit organization. This organization's mission is deeply rooted in engaging residents, fostering innovation, and cultivating an environment that promotes self-sustainable growth in and around the East Brooklyn communities. Angus's work is a testament to his vision of a better, more connected, and self-reliant Brooklyn. His journey from his roots in Brownsville to becoming a community leader, activist, advocate, friend, brother, son, neighbor, uncle, father, motivator, and collaborator is a testament to the transformative power of one individual's dedication to their community.

Catherine Kien (she/her)

Organization: Mekong NYC

My name is Cat (she/her), and I am a Vietnamese organizer with Mekong NYC. We serve the Southeast Asian community in the Bronx, and I support our Campaign and Organizing team. I joined the team last spring after graduating from Fordham University with a degree in Urban Studies and Sociology. I am passionate about social justice and empowering our Bronx community. In my free time, I enjoy baking, doing nails, and playing the guitar :)

Jared Watson (he/him)

Organization: Fifth Ave. Committee

Jared is a tenant organizer with Fifth Avenue Committee in South Brooklyn.

Laura Guerrero (she/her)

Organization: Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC)

Laura is passionate about public service. She has been advocating for communities for over 15 years in various capacities. As someone who has a first-generation immigrant background and grew up in the Bronx, she has always thought it essential to position herself in a way that supported people like her family in navigating complex systems to produce results that can support them in living a life closer to the one that they envisioned when they decided to immigrate.

Mark Natanawan (he/him)

Organization: Housing Conservation Coordinators (HCC)

Mark is a tenant organizer with Housing Conservation Coordinators, supporting and empowering groups of tenants and community members across Hell's Kitchen and the Upper West Side. Two years of service in AmeriCorps, promoting affordable housing development and engaging in community outreach to raise awareness of tenants' rights, inspired him to jump into tenant organizing. He graduated in 2020 with a B.A. in International Development from King's College London.

Molly Radwell (any pronouns)

Organization: Urban Homesteading Assistance Board

Molly Radwell lives in their home-city of NY, where they pursue their interest of generating stable, creative, equitable and sustainable communities through many avenues. They work at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, supporting affordable housing co-ops and building shareholder power. Previous positions include the US Forest Service Urban Ecology Research Station and the NY League for Conservation Voters on encouraging environmental stewardship and policymaking. Molly coordinates activities for their neighbors, from food distribution at the Collective Focus Hub to their rec soccer team. Outside of these, they can be spotted biking around on food scavenger hunts or making collages.

Sujoy Krishna (he/him)

Organization: Chhaya CDC

A Bangladeshi Hindu immigrant in New York City and a proud resident of Queens, Sujoy brings his decade-long commitment of community empowerment to ANHD! Sujoy is a Tenant Counselor at Chhaya CDC. He is known for his rapid response to crisis and his friendly next door neighbor-like attitude. Before joining Chhaya, he served as a frontline health officer during Covid-19 outbreak in New York City where he led multiple Citywide Emergency field operations for NYC Emergency Management and was recognized by NYC Health Department for his service. For 2020 Census, Sujoy was New York City's youngest full-time Federal Partnership officer appointed by U.S. Census Bureau where he held a leadership role to ensure the complete census count for South Asian & Indo-Caribbean communities. Sujoy is a proud CUNY alumnus & a HASTEC Scholar. Besides Housing Justice, he is also a strong advocate for language accessibility for all. Sujoy is native-fluent in Bangla.

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