• Courses

    Community Initiative courses offer students a unique space for critical reading and reflection about topics ranging from racial identity to individual agency and the nature of artistic production — a space not devoted to applied skills, but to the questions that frame what it means to be human.

    Community Initiative courses are only open to our partner organizations and the communities they serve.

    Below are some courses we ran as part of the Community Initiative in 2016-2017:

    • James Baldwin: Dreamer and Prophet
    • Poets of New York City

    In January and February 2017,  American historian and Brooklyn Institute faculty member Jude Webre taught a course on the history of New York in partnership with Breaking Ground.

    “Thrive, Cities”: A Cultural History of New York, 1850-Present

    This course will explore the ever changing nature of New York through its people and communities during four periods: the Democratic City, the Modern City, the Postwar City, and the Affluent City. Using a range of primary sources (essays, poetry, photographs, archival documents, film and music clips), we will seek to understand changes and continuity in city life around several broad themes: immigration, urban development, bohemianism, gentrification — art, labor, and finance. The sources selected will emphasize lived experience represented from diverse perspectives. Readings include Walt Whitman, Jacob Riis, Zora Neale Hurston, Helen Keller, Jane Jacobs, Frank O’Hara, and Joseph O’Neill.

  • Contact

    If you would like to learn more about the Community Initiative, or are interested in partnering with us, please contact our program head, Rebecca Ariel Porte, at rebecca@thebrooklyninstitute.com or fill out the form below: 

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