Center for Family Life in Sunset Park

9th Annual Mary Geraldine Symposium: Building Community Alliances for Food Justice


Center for Family Life’s 9th Annual Mary Geraldine Symposium took place on June 10. The topic of this year’s event was Building Community Alliances for Food Justice, focusing our discussion on issues related to equitable access to healthy food in low-income urban communities. The event began with an inspiring keynote address by Karen Washington, urban farmer and social justice activist, who has been a tireless advocate for food justice in her Bronx community. Later, a panel discussion featuring Patrick Curtin from Food Bank for NYC, Kady Ferguson from the Brooklyn Food CoalitionAnna Hammond, from the Sylvia CenterPaula Lukats from Just Food, and John Kixmiller64th Street Community Garden Coordinator and former CFL Beacon program director.

After the panel, outdoor gardening and cooking activities for attendees, youth from nearby after-school programs, and neighborhood families turned our Symposium into a community event. Participants learned to prepare and tasted some easy-to-make, healthy dishes, nutritious smoothies and even kombucha tea, while children planted seedlings to take home and care for.

We are grateful to those who came to our Symposium and contributed to a very productive discussion. See more photos from the event here.


CFL’s “Life Lines” Community Arts Project participants and staff brought to life the struggles and vitality of our diverse neighborhood with their original production, DREAMS, an improvisational play with music and dance. In May, a cast of more than 150 students showcased their hard work with six performances at Sunset Park High School. Learn more.

CFL in the News

CFL representatives speak at the New York City Council  Public Hearing  to discuss how worker cooperative can lift families out of poverty. See the video.

The Trusty Amigos Pet Care Cooperative – CFL’s newest worker cooperative – launched its citywide dog-walking and pet care services in June. Read more about the Trusty Amigos in SCO News, Labor Press and Voices of New York.