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Puffin Cultural Forum: CALL FOR ART
Our upcoming show aims to discuss gender, vulnerability, and unbalanced power dynamics... more
Puffin Fellows Program launched by the Andrew Goodman Foundation.
The Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) is proud to announce the launch of... more
An exhibition exploring Martin Luther King Jr.’s connection to NYC opens this weekend
Visit the Museum of the City of New York Full Article on Timeout.com ... more
Foundation News & Blog
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers will receive the 2018 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism!
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Founded in 1993 by a small group of workers who had been meeting in a church, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) fought to improve the lives of tomato pickers in Southern Florida. After years of organizing in Immokalee, in 2001, the CIW launched the first ever boycott of a national fast food company—Taco Bell. Four years later, the company agreed to support wage increases and workplace protections for tomato pickers. Since then, food corporations, including McDonalds, Burger King, Whole Foods, Subway, and Walmart have followed suit and reached agreements with the CIW. Today, 14 of the world’s largest food retailers and restaurants have signed fair food agreements with the CIW.

Building off these unprecedented agreements, the CIW created a revolutionary program to make the agriculture supply system more equitable: The Fair Food Program, a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers, food retailers, and growers to ensure decent wages, safe working conditions, and a real voice on the job for farmworkers. The program, which today spans seven states and three crops, has virtually eliminated some of the industry’s worst human rights abuses from participating farms, including sexual violence and slavery. View more on alba-valb.org


 

Press Release

 

New York—On May 12, 2018, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) will present the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in support of their continued efforts to protect the rights of agricultural workers, prevent involuntary servitude, and create a food supply chain that is fair from bottom to top. One of the largest monetary awards for human rights in the world, this $100,000 cash prize is granted annually by ALBA and the Puffin Foundation in honor of the 3,000 Americans who volunteered in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) to fight fascism under the banner of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

Founded in 1993 by a small group of workers who had been meeting in a church, the CIW fought to improve the lives of tomato pickers in Southern Florida. After years of organizing in Immokalee, in 2001, the CIW launched the first ever boycott of a national fast food company—Taco Bell. Four years later, the company agreed to support wage increases and workplace protections for tomato pickers. Since then, food corporations, including McDonalds, Burger King, Whole Foods, Subway, and Walmart have followed suit and reached agreements with the CIW. Today, 14 of the world’s largest food retailers and restaurants have signed fair food agreements with the CIW.

Building off these unprecedented agreements, the CIW created a revolutionary program to make the agriculture supply system more equitable: The Fair Food Program, a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers, food retailers, and growers to ensure decent wages, safe working conditions, and a real voice on the job for farmworkers. The program, which today spans seven states and three crops, has virtually eliminated some of the industry’s worst human rights abuses from participating farms, including sexual violence and slavery.

“The Fair Food Program has proven itself to be a uniquely effective solution to the scourge of slavery and other human rights abuses in agriculture,” said CIW Member Julia de la Cruz. “Even more recently, the program has provided a success model for ending sexual violence in the age of #MeToo, as the country seeks to combat sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.”

“In its commitment to social justice and human dignity the CIW keeps alive the same values that motivated the women and men who stood up to fascism in the Spanish Civil War” said Fraser Ottanelli, Chair of ALBA’s board. The ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism is an initiative to sustain the legacy of the experiences, aspirations and idealism of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. It supports contemporary international activists and human rights causes. The award was created by visionary and philanthropist Perry Rosenstein, President of the Puffin Foundation, who established an endowed fund for this human rights award in 2010.

Award Ceremony:
Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 2:30 pm
Japan Society, 333 E 47th St
New York, NY 10017

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BACKGROUND

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives: www.alba-valb.org
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting social activism and the defense of human rights. ALBA’s work is inspired by the American volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Drawing on the ALBA collections in New York University’s Tamiment Library, and working to expand such collections, ALBA works to preserve the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as an inspiration for present and future generations.

Other recipients of the ALBA/ Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism include investigative journalists Lydia Cacho and Jeremy Scahill; Judge Baltasar Garzón; Kate Doyle and Fredy Peccerelli, who work to expose human rights violations in Guatemala; United We Dream, a national network of youth-led immigrant activist organizations that fight for the rights of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, and public-interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson.

The Puffin Foundation: www.puffinfoundation.org
Since it was founded in 1983, the Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy. The Puffin, a species whose nesting sites were endangered by encroaching civilization, were encouraged to return to their native habitats through the constructive efforts of a concerned citizenry. The Foundation has adopted the name Puffin as a metaphor for how it perceives its mission, which is to ensure that the arts continue to grow and enrich our lives. In so doing it has joined with other concerned groups and individuals toward achieving that goal. The Puffin Foundation is also a long-standing supporter of ALBA’s educational mission.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers: www.ciw-online.org
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, anti-sexual violence, community organizing, and sustainable food. The CIW’s Fair Food Program is a groundbreaking partnership among farmworkers, Florida tomato growers, and fourteen major food retailers. Participating retailers agree to purchase exclusively from suppliers who meet a worker-driven code of conduct, which includes a zero-tolerance policy for slavery and sexual harassment. Retailers also pay a “penny-per-pound” premium, which is passed down through the supply chain and paid out directly to workers by their employers. Since the program’s inception in 2011, buyers have paid over $26 million into the FFP.

 
Puffin Cultural Forum: CALL FOR ART
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Our upcoming show aims to discuss gender, vulnerability, and unbalanced power dynamics - topics that are at the forefront of our political and personal consciousness. Artists are invited to submit work that reflects on the impact of inequality, power imbalances, and oppressive rhetoric on the negotiations that happen in our most personal relationships.

Artists are invited to submit up to three works in any medium, an accompanying artist statement of a maximum of 250 words, an image list, and a current CV. To apply mail application materials to amacdougallfineart@outlook.com. The deadline for application is February 20th at 12:00am UTC. Selected artists will be notified by February 26th. The show will be on view from March 11th to April 30th, 2018 at the Puffin Cultural Forum in Teaneck, NJ. The Opening will be held at 4pm, March 11th, 2018.

 


The Puffin Cultural Forum is a a project of the Puffin Foundation Ltd. and operates as a gallery and performance space located at the site of the Foundation's administrative offices in Teaneck, New Jersey. Our work takes place at the intersection of the arts and the struggle for human rights as we seek to realize in our local community the Foundation's governing motto: "...continuing the dialogue between art and the lives of ordinary people". We deeply believe in the crucial role that the arts play in shaping our consciousness, and the role of artists as agents of social change.

 
Puffin Fellows Program launched by the Andrew Goodman Foundation.
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The Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) is proud to announce the launch of the Puffin Fellows program, a multi-year fellowship designed to expand political equity for People through policy change and grassroots organizing. The program, which is made possible by funding from The Puffin Foundation, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that supports social justice projects and the arts, is set to kick off this month. “Young people are presently leading the way in the fight for social change,” says Perry Rosenstein, President of The Puffin Foundation, Ltd. “Gladys, Neal, and I at The Puffin Foundation are proud to support this new generation of leaders in this important endeavor as they develop the necessary skills to reach their goals.”


The Puffin Fellowship is open to five or more exceptional young leaders; preferably graduate students from around the country, who have experience and a passion for organizing and public policy work. By providing the Puffin Fellows with access to industry experts, thought leaders, and elected officials, as well as financial support, The AGF believes they will achieve high-impact results on the local and national level.

The inaugural cohort of Puffin Fellows will work on a variety of projects including expanding access to affordable legal representation, voter access, and education, as well as defending democratic principles and constitutional rights of African Americans, Muslim Americans, and the Latinx community.

“We are thrilled to partner with The Puffin Foundation to create this opportunity for our country’s brightest, young leaders. Whether they’re interested in civic policy, civil or voting rights, social justice, or other forms of civic engagement, we know that our Fellows have the potential to affect long-term change that yields a more just and equitable future. That’s why we want to support them on this exciting new journey,” says AGF’s Executive Director Sylvia Golbin Goodman.

The 2018 Puffin Fellows include Usjid Hameed (Columbus, OH); Maydee Martinez (Miami, FL); Megan Newsome (Jacksonville, FL); Valencia Richardson (Shreveport, LA); and Dana Sweeney (Montgomery, AL).

About The Andrew Goodman Foundation
Established to continue the legacy of Andrew Goodman, a civil rights worker murdered during Freedom Summer 1964, The Andrew Goodman Foundation partners with America’s colleges and universities through its Vote Everywhere program which provides student leaders with a platform to register and mobilize voters, organize campuses, and collaborate with their peers. To learn more, visit www.andrewgoodman.org.

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January 23, 2018 - view full article here

 
An exhibition exploring Martin Luther King Jr.’s connection to NYC opens this weekend
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Visit the Museum of the City of New York

Full Article on Timeout.com


photo courtesy of Museum of the City of New York

“These photographs illuminate aspects of Martin Luther King Jr. that are less often explored, like his linking of racism with poverty and war,” says Puffin Foundation Curator of social activism Sarah Seidman, a co-organizer of the exhibition. “These positions garnered significant controversy and pushback at the time—from both the United States government and other civil rights leaders—and help us remember him in all of his complexity.”

View the full artcile: https://www.timeout.com/newyork/news/an-exhibition-exploring-martin-luther-king-jr-s-connection-to-nyc-opens-this-weekend-011218

 
Puffin Foundation Curator of Social Activism at the Museum of the City of New York talking about new exhibition "King in NY"
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Check out Sarah Seidman, the Puffin Foundation Curator of Social Activism at the Museum of the City of New York talking about "King in NY". A new exhibition exploring King's dynamic legacy here in the City.

https://www.facebook.com/MuseumofCityNY/videos/10155528890652690/

 
Colin Kaepernick is the winner of the 2017 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship
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Puffin Foundation President Perry Rosenstein, Executive Director Gladys Miller-Rosenstein, Vice President Neal Rosenstien, and Colin Kaepernick

During last year’s NFL pre-season, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of racism and police violence.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick said at the time. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

Last September, after he began kneeling, Kaepernick announced he would donate $1 million and the proceeds from his jersey sales to organizations “working in oppressed communities.” He has nearly completed that pledge, having given to organizations like United We Dream, Black Youth Project, the Lower East Side Girls Club, Meals on Wheels, 350.org, Coalition for the Homeless, and many more.

Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to within three points of winning the Super Bowl in 2013. He’s completed 72 touchdown passes and has a career 88.9% passer rating. Despite these successes, Kaepernick remains unsigned.

The Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship is a $100,000 prize that honors individuals that challenge the status quo through distinctive, courageous, imaginative, and socially responsible work of significance. It is intended to encourage the recipients to continue their work, and to inspire others to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies they face in their own lives.

“Colin Kaepernick is a true example of a creative citizen,” said Perry Rosenstein, President of The Puffin Foundation Ltd. “We all know he has courageously risked his position to focus attention on abuses by law enforcement against people of color and on the plague of racism in the United States. But he has also excelled as a committed activist and community organizer who has involved himself in myriad social issues. From educating youngsters on how to stand up for their rights to supporting a multitude of organizations fighting for equality and a better society, Colin Kaepernick’s creative commitment to fighting for change is a model for us all.”

 



Remarks of Neal Rosenstein, Vice President of the Puffin Foundation, awarding the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship to Colin Kaepernick.



On behalf of Perry and Gladys and the Puffin Foundation I’d like to say it’s truly a pleasure to be here tonight in this wonderful locale, in support of the vital work of the Nation Institute, with this fantastic audience, honoring the truly extraordinary Colin Kaepernick.

The Puffin/Nation prize recognizes “Creative Citizenship.” Every year the Institute and Puffin wrestle over the outstanding individuals who are nominated for this award. Our choice this year was clear.

Colin is a true example of a creative citizen. We all know he has courageously risked his career to focus attention on the abuses by law enforcement against people of color and on the plague of institutionalized racism and oppression in the United States. But his activism and engagement go far beyond the headlines of exercising his first amendment rights to “take a knee” during the playing of the national anthem. Here’s what you may not know:

He has excelled as a committed citizen-activist. From fostering youngsters on how to stand up for their rights in society, to supporting great organizations like: Bill McKibben’s 350.org; the American Friends Service Committee; groups fighting for the rights of women and indigenous peoples and the local grassroots organizations at the forefront of confronting racism in their neighborhoods and across the country… Colin’s creative commitment to fight for change is a model for us all.

We weren’t surprised to learn that he will be donating the $100,000 that comes with this award to his “Know Your Rights Camps” a free campaign for youth to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instruction on how to properly interact with law enforcement.

Let’s face it, in these dangerous times with the rights many of us take for granted under increasing assault, we need more Colin Kaepernicks. With the ongoing oppression of people of color - and the empowerment of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis by the highest office-holder in the land, we need more Colin Kaepernicks. And with the immoral leadership of Congress and the executive branch intent on enriching the richest and harming the neediest, we need more Colin Kaepernicks. Fortunately, we have him right here…and It’s a pleasure to invite him to the stage… This year’s Puffin Nation Creative Citizenship awardee…Colin Kaepernick!

 
Major New Work Arriving Soon at the Puffin Sculpture Garden
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Recent visitors to Puffin have been asking about the excavation site in the Puffin Sculpture Garden. We are pleased to announce that a new sculpture honoring the extraordinary life of activist-folk singer Pete Seeger will soon arrive. This major work, commissioned by the Puffin Foundation has been created by renowned sculptor Gary Sussman (pictured above with his son in front of the site for the sculpture.) We are proud to pay homage to Seeger's incredible life and the causes he championed in this work. For those wondering about the epic sculpture "The Warrior of Cadmus" by Stan Marcus that was previously in this location, don't fret. The piece will soon find a new home nearby in the park!


Gary Sussman and his son Spencer.

 
Journalist Juan Gonzalez Speaks at Puffin Educational Forum
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Journalist Juan Gonzalez spoke at our lunchtime lecture series The Puffin Educational Forum. His topic of discussion was "Reclaiming Gotham: Bill de Blasio and the Movement to End America’s Tale of Two Cities." Juan is an American progressive broadcast journalist and investigative reporter. He was also a columnist for the New York Daily News from 1987 to 2016. He frequently co-hosts the radio and television program Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman.

For more upcoming lectures in this series please visit the Puffin Cultural Forum events page here.

He is pictured below with Professor Moshe Banai, curator of the Educational Forum, Puffin Foundation VP Neal Rosenstein, Puffin Foundation Exec. Director Gladys- Miller Rosenstein, Amy Goodman, and his fellow Democracy Now colleagues. Photo Credit: Rachel Banai

 
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