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:
Aldo U. Reséndiz Ramírez is a multilingual Mexican immigrant and queer xicanx of Indigenous hñähñu-xo’oi descent. Aldo is a writer, cultural worker, community organizer and language justice promoter in community organizing spaces working on critical language pedagogy and popular education approaches to teaching emergent bilinguals and speakers of all languages and language varieties.
Josh Carrera grew up in 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. He returned in 2014 to work at The Nature Conservancy and now serves as the Program Manager for the Center for Whole Communities. He is deeply committed to organizing around issues of housing and environmental justice. In his free time, Josh likes to go salsa dancing and loves to attend slam poetry shows.
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!
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.
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 Collective Kitchen – cooking communal meals & supporting food justice
- 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
As Mayday’s PROJECT COORDINATOR, Nancy Torres helps keep all the pieces moving in tandem with the Mayday Collective, responds to booking requests, and promotes the space, our mission, and our programming via social media and local outreach. As a Bushwick-raised, first-generation Mexicana, Nancy is deeply committed to fighting gentrification but most specifically shady landlords. Prior to joining the Mayday team she spent 3 years as a tenant organizer working alongside families fighting displacement across NYC. Nancy is most passionate when building with marginalized groups and is always ready for some skill-sharing and new bike adventures (beginner level).
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!