New York City, NY — by Sasha DuBose
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
When walking through Washington Square Park, I, like many other NYU students, tend to think only of which exit will get me to class the fastest. But the park has a rich history. From the Beatnik Riot in 1961 to the late-night park parties in 2020, Washington Square Park has always been a place for expression and resistance.
Je'Jae Cleo Mizrahi, the founder of NYC Queer Activists, embodies the park’s legacy of social justice. For over 15 years, they have partnered with local youth collectives whose voices are often ignored. Mizrahi has worked with various New York City-based organizations like Jews For Racial & Economic Justice, Bend the Arc and many others. Being a long-time New Yorker from the Lower East Side, Mizrahi has always had an affinity for Washington Square Park.
“Washington Square Park is where all the hippies and artists and queers and weirdos could run free and be their most authentic selves,” Mizrahi said. “All my art and organizing activism in Washington Square Park has always been about highlighting the underrepresented New Yorkers that I care about.”
NYU students should engage with local organizations that uphold the collective passion of New York City — a place many students may think of as a second home. With so many grassroots collectives in our backyard, there are many ways to give back to a city that we benefit so much from. Here are seven organizations you can get involved with that are based in lower Manhattan, as well as what Mizrahi has to say about them.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.