New York City Center for Economic Opportunity Presents


Featuring Khadijah Bennett, Dante Bennett, Luzdayris Bernardo, Stephene Brathwaite, Darius Courbe, Kristlyn Delise, Ashley Hurdle, David Palmer, Larell Prince, Melicia Pristell, Yvonne Reid, Johnathan Sanabria, Fatima Shebab, Quwan Smalls, Shamiyah Stafford, Nashca Streng, Keturah Williams, Audrey-Jane Sweeney, Tyrone Kirkland, Ashton Bradley, Jasmine Spann, Alonzo Jones, Joseph McClinton, Ariel McDonald, Shahnee Naftali, Keson Simon, Jessica Rochez, Monica Hawkins, Yonaka Harris, Vianny Lugo, Yoseph Hunt, Terrence Buckner, Winifred McIntosh, Serene Mofford, Douglas Palmer, Eric Ellison, Saquan Frontis

Curated by The Red Hook Community Justice Center, the Brownsville Community Justice Center (both projects of the Center for Court Innovation), the Brooklyn Arts Council and United Photo Industries

This summer, 38 young people from the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville and Red Hook were able to participate in PhotoVoice, a participatory photography program that teaches a documentary style of photography focused on issues related to their neighborhoods and self-exploration. The goals of this program are to empower participants, inform policy-makers, and raise awareness about issues facing these young people.

PhotoVoice is funded by the New York City Mayor’s Office Center for Economic Opportunity. This project is in collaboration between four Brooklyn organizations – The Red Hook Community Justice Center, the Brownsville Community Justice Center (both projects of the Center for Court Innovation), the Brooklyn Arts Council and United Photo Industries.

Participatory photography gives youth the opportunity to connect in a visual dialogue that often excludes them. This project employs professional photographers to teach participants photography skills and engages students through a series of workshops, class critiques and culminates in a final exhibit. Teaching Artists Russell Frederick, Sam Barzilay, Brenna McLaughlin and Janay McNeil facilitated these workshops and students crafted visual stories from their own unique perspectives.

Related Programming:

Panel: Photography Shaping Communities

Teaching Artists’ Bios:

Russell Frederick is a photographer from Brooklyn, NY whose global worldview and keen understanding of the human condition informs his compelling photography. He works with film in medium format and shoots predominantly in black and white. Through his lens he subverts and disengages the current status quo and stereotypes of people of color internationally. He has photographed men, women and children from Bed Stuy, Brooklyn to Kingston, Jamaica. He has photographed the Lower Ninth Ward and the Bloods in Brooklyn.

Russell Frederick tells the story while elevating and exposing the inherent beauty, dignity and honor in his subjects. 

A self-taught photographer with little formal training, Frederick has catapulted from an unfamiliar name to being sought after for his signature photographic style. In a decade he has become a celebrated public speaker, commissioned photographer and has been exhibited nationally and internationally. He was a recipient of a media fellowship sponsored by the Open Society Institute to document the after effects of Hurricane Katrina and he was a winner of the esteemed Gordon Parks International Photography Competition. In addition to these honors, Russell has received grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council and the Urban Artist Initiative as well. From thousands of entries Mr. Frederick was chosen as one of NYC’s outstanding artists of 2010 for Curate NYC. Russell is a member of Kamoinge, a select group of African American photographers whose work collectively chronicles close to five decades of the African Diaspora. Russell’s work has been showcased and published at the New York Times, The Associated Press, The Open Society Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, La Lettre De La, Photoville, Columbia University, NYU, Columbia College, The Gallerie Galleberg in Norway, The Open Ateliers Zuidoost Gallery in Amsterdam, Netherlands, The University of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, The Goethe Institute in Accra, Ghana, The Reginald Lewis Museum of Baltimore, Maryland, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, 25 CPW Gallery, The Aljira Gallery of Newark, New Jersey, The Rush Arts Gallery, The Rotunda Gallery, The Empire State Building, Nordstroms, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Uptown magazine, Ebony magazine, Hycide magazine, and many others.

Russell dedicates his time to volunteering and mentoring young adults at the Kings Against Violence Initiative in Brooklyn, NY.

Serving as United Photo Industries’ Creative Director, Sam Barzilay is also the co-founder of Photoville, a new pop-up photo destination that made its debut on the Brooklyn waterfront in the summer of 2012.

Prior to founding United Photo Industries and launching the United Photo Industries Gallery, he was the Director of the New York Photo Festival. In his dual capacity as curator and festival organizer, he has had the pleasure and privilege of curating photo exhibitions and lecturing on current trends in contemporary photography as far as China, Greece, USA, and Japan.
Over the past few years, he has served as juror, nominator, and reviewer for the Prix Pictet, Les Rencontres d’Arles, Houston FotoFest, the New York Photo Awards, Artists Wanted, the Google Photography Prize, the SilverEye Fellowship, and the FotoVisura Grant, among many others.

Brenna McLaughlin is a photographer and educator who believes the camera is an important pedagogical instrument. Her work has been published in New City Magazine and The Chicago Tribune. In addition to exhibiting widely in Chicago and New York, Ms. McLaughlin has provided imagery for several non-profits including the Brooklyn Food Coalition and the South African Development Fund.

Photography is a constant record of history and a way to tell inventive stories. Through both analog and digital photography Ms. McLaughlin’s work gives an interesting perspective on ordinary life. She appreciates the imperfections in her photographs and has been working in analog still photography for over ten years. Ms. McLaughlin serves as the Teaching Artist for the JustArts: Photography program. She helped develop the curriculum for the program and provided daily instruction to the participants. Brenna received her graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her undergraduate degree from Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois.

Janay McNeill is a Photography Assistant for The Photo Voice Summer Program. She has a great interest for photography and enjoys working with the youth. In the past she has worked with Episcopal Social Services as an Activities Specialist and resident artist, teaching cooking classes along with basic kitchen skills to adolescents. Currently Janay is an aspiring chef at New York City College of Technology, pursuing a career in the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. Although her passion is food, assisting and working for The PhotoVoice program has heightened her interest for photography. She loves the idea of capturing her art and personal style through a lens and thrives off of creativity and individuality. Her short-term goal is to create a program for teens that will merge the worlds of food, photography, and education providing an outlet for teens to express their creativity through cooking and photography.

Facilitators’ Bios:

Jessica Colon – Ms. Colon is the Deputy Project Director at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. She currently oversees the planning, implementation and management of the Justice Center’s programs and operations. Ms. Colon has over 10 years of experience in nonprofit management and public policy. She has a B.S. from Seton Hall University and an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton University. Ms. Colon will provide general supervision to program staff and manage coordination between the program’s sites and partners.

Viviana Gordon – Ms. Gordon is the Coordinator of Operations at the Brownsville Community Justice Center. She currently helps to oversee the Justice Center’s day-to-day programming and operations as well as strategic planning and implementation. Ms. Gordon has 6 years of experience in program coordination and clinical work in both criminal justice and community-based settings. Ms. Gordon has a B.A. from Whitman College. Ms. Gordon will supervise the PhotoVoice program’s operations in Brownsville including the recruitment of eligible court-involved youth participants.

Sabrina Carter – Ms. Carter holds a BA in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has been involved in youth programming for five years at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. In her career she has overseen and supervised Teen Peer Education programs, Youth Court, facilitates trainings and has acted as a mentor and role model to the youth she has come into contact with. She has been featured in the January 2011 New York State Bar Association Journal and is a long time resident of the Red Hook Community. Sabrina believes engaging youth in a positive way through the arts and after school programs is an essential part of keeping them focused on a positive path for their future.

Kathleen Christie – Kathleen A. Christie, LCSW joined BAC in November 2006 and is the Arts in Education Director. She earned her M.S. in Social Work at Columbia University and is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). She has more than l4 years of professional experience in the education field. Prior to formally joining BAC, she taught elementary and middle school students; she also worked with the criminal justice and social welfare systems of NYC, most significantly with women, children and adolescents. She has worked extensively with NYC public schools and has particular expertise in working with challenging educational situations. In addition to BAC, Ms. Christie currently consults for educational institutions, such as Harlem Children’s Zone and Story Pirates, and as a therapist in private practice. She has also taught photography and ceramics, is in multiple book clubs, frequents museums and galleries, and can be found pushing shutter buttons on occasion. She will provide administrative and creative direction to the program.

The Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) fights the cycle of poverty in New York City through innovative programs that build human capital and improve financial security. Launched by Mayor Bloomberg in 2006, CEO works with both City agencies and the federal government to implement successful anti-poverty initiatives in New York and partner cities across the United States.

Launched in June 2000, the Red Hook Community Justice Center is the nation’s first multi-jurisdictional community court. Operating out of a refurbished Catholic school in the heart of a geographically and socially isolated neighborhood in southwest Brooklyn, the Justice Center seeks to solve neighborhood problems using a coordinated response. The courthouse is the hub for an array of unconventional programs that contribute to reducing fear and improving public trust in government.

Currently in planning, the Brownsville Community Justice Center seeks to reengineer how the justice system works in Brownsville, Brooklyn. In particular, the Justice Center is dedicated to building multiple off-ramps for young people who come into contact with the justice system. The ultimate goal is to reduce crime and the use of incarceration, while at the same restoring local faith in the justice system.

BAC’s Arts in Education (AIE) program provides a wide array of educational arts experiences for students, teachers, parents, and community members in digital, literary, performing, and visual arts. Our collaborative process allows for personalized programming, enriching hands-on experiences, and enhanced depth of knowledge. We instill skills and positive attitudes about the arts that are designed to be retained for a lifetime.

The mission at United Photo Industries is to promote and showcase emerging photographers through curated exhibitions around the world. Working in partnership with local galleries and key media partners, they concentrate on producing site-specific exhibitions that explore new thematic directions in photography. Drawing upon an international network of curatorial partners, they are able to provide unique exhibition opportunities for emerging photographers and facilitate their entry into foreign art markets.