Who We Are
Mayday is a people-powered project run by the Mayday Collective in tandem with various organizing projects, and a slew of other friends, collaborators and area residents.
The Mayday Collective
The Collective is where the rubber hits the road. It holds operational power and makes the bulk of organization-wide decisions. It is responsible for Mayday’s health and advancing our social justice mission.
Current Collective members:
Pati Rodriguez is a Bushwick native, born in Ecuador but raised in Brooklyn all her life. Through Mayday she develops programming that caters to the POC immigrant community and has launched empowerment projects such as Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: Illumination Against Gentrification. When not at Mayday, Pati offers legal clinics and Know Your Rights trainings to immigrants, supports organizing efforts with Latinx youth, and is the host and Executive Producer of Loca Vibes Radio.
Lucas Shapiro is dedicated to multi-issue movement-building and works as a human rights educator with the IHP study abroad program. He has been an community organizer with groups such as Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) and the West Side Neighborhood Alliance. He draws inspiration for Mayday from his connections to social centers in Spain and is maybe just a little obsessed with political strategy, public policy, popular education…and game nights!
Ashley Abbott is a Queens-based organizer. Though born in Georgia, she moved to NY as a teen and has called Queens, NY her home ever since. Ashley studied social work at New York University where her focus was on policy and advocacy. Before working as the director of a non-profit organization, she worked as a counselor with incarcerated youth. Ashley is motivated by movement-building that is intersectional and solidarity that is active. Issues she is passionate about include housing justice and disability rights.
Samantha Desire is a long time Brooklyn based organizer, as well as, a Brooklyn native. As a passionate advocate and organizer, much of her community work has focused on issues affecting youth and children; as a mentor and educator, she has been an advocate of educational opportunity for over 15 years. Since 2010, she has helped to coordinate multiple local Haitian relief efforts. Since 2013 Samantha has been a core coordinating volunteer of the Left Forum conference. Samantha obtained her Masters Degree in Political Science with a concentration in Urban Policy and Public Administration from Brooklyn College.
Sandy Nurse grew up overseas in multiple countries on almost every continent, but has spent many years putting roots down and building family in New York. She is the founder of Bushwick’s Know Waste Lands Wildlife Garden, BK ROT, a youth-led composting service and is a member of Brooklyn Community Board 4. In a past life, she worked for the United Nations Development Programme and World Food Programme. She is deeply involved direct action organizing and believes in visible resistance to white supremacy, imperialism and capitalism.
Zyad Hammad‘s interest in post-colonialism drove him to leave his native California for a more international New York. Though he has a background in education and human rights, his immediate goal is to promote collaboration, skill sharing, and horizontal decision-making in grassroots institutions which aim to serve the most marginalized communities. A self-taught jack-of-all-trades, he takes an active approach in supporting others who share the vision that only thoughtful political acts will bring us closer to a just future. R&B, the ocean, and film from the 70s are his mainstays.
Josh Carrera grew up in Lefrak City and Bushwick off the Wilson Ave stop on the L train. He left his neighborhood in 2008 to study natural resources planning and economics in Vermont and Latin America. After college, Josh returned to NYC and joined the Mayday Collective in 2015 and as staff member in the spring of 2019. As PROJECT COORDINATOR, Josh oversees volunteer management, bookings, and programming. He is excited about activating the space with events that infuse political education with fun programming such as film nights, book clubs, and dance classes. In his free time, Josh likes to ride his bike and blast freestyle from his speakers (Silent Morning!!!).
Rahel Biru joins the Mayday family as our HOST & CARETAKER, keeping the space welcoming, tidy, and well-organized for everyone holding events here. Using her aversion to clutter and sentimentality, Rahel has been able to streamline internal procedures and reorganize companies of over 200 people. She has worked in many industries and offices of various sizes is excited to bring those characteristics to something that shares her values and commitment to positive change. Rahel is one of the co-chairs for the largest chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and is happy to answer questions about it!
Mayday affiliated projects are housed out of our space and self-organize their own events and initiatives while sharing Mayday’s commitments to social justice. Some projects run regular programming and others fluctuate based on capacity and seasonal priorities:
- Language Justice Project – offering language classes & promoting multilingual access
- Mayday Radical Library – a project to build out & maintain our 2nd fl lending library
- Mi Casa No Es Su Casa – “artivist” project using illuminated signs to challenge gentrification
- People’s Collective Arts – artists creating powerful visuals for mobilizations & campaigns