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In May and June the Center for Brooklyn History opens its doors for limited, live public programs! Before renovations to our ground floor begin, join us in the building for one or more of these live programs and whet your appetite for CBH’s grand reopening later this year.

From Harlem to Jackson Heights, DUMBO to Chelsea, NYC is home to a significant mix of sites steeped in LGBTQ history. They are places of protest and gathering, safety and conflict, where changemakers lived and led, and queer history was made. The recent book A People’s Guide to New York City explores some of these places. It serves as a launching point for a discussion with writer, filmmaker, and coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, Alexis Clements; Professor of Urban Studies Arianna Martinez, a scholar of LGBTQIA+ immigrant enclaves; and others, who figuratively walk through city streets and recenter neighborhoods through a LGBTQ+ lens. Join us as we delve into the fabric of the city, spotlight LGBTQ+ struggles and triumphs, and upend the conventional urban narrative that all too often excludes queer perspectives. Moderated by A People’s Guide to New York City co-author, Penny Lewis, Professor of Labor Studies and scholar of New York social movements. 



Alexis Clements is a writer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn. Her feature-length documentary film, All We've Got, which focuses on LGBTQ women's spaces at a time when many are closing, premiered in October 2019 and has screened around the globe. In 2021, she launched a podcast, The Answer is No, focused on artists sharing stories about challenging the conditions under which they are asked to work. Her writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Guardian, Bitch Magazine, American Theatre, and The Brooklyn Rail, among others. She is also a regular contributor to Hyperallergic. She is currently serving as a Coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives.


Penny Lewis is Professor of Labor Studies at the School of Labor and Urban Studies, and secretary of the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY. A native New Yorker, she has written extensively about social movements and New York, and has a long history of labor movement organizing and leadership in the city.





​Arianna Martinez is a Professor of Urban Studies at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York. She received her PhD from Rutgers University in urban planning and geography. Her scholarship has analyzed; the criminalization of Latino immigrant communities in municipalities where both space and citizenship are hotly contested, local outcomes of national immigration policy, political transformation of Latino communities, and LGBTQIA+ immigrant enclaves. Dr. Martinez’s current scholarly work centers her activism with Queens Neighborhoods United and how a coalition of immigrant women of color defeated the Amazon H2Q. She is happy to call Jackson Heights, Queens her home.​



Please Note:

For all indoor Center for Brooklyn History and BPL Presents programs, guests must provide proof of vaccination and wear masks while onsite at all times. In-person capacity is limited and will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.

We are not able to accept negative Covid test results (PCR or rapid antigen tests). In addition, we ask that you conduct a self-assessment before arriving and again onsite to ensure that you are not feeling unwell and have not experienced any symptoms attributable to COVID-19, nor had contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 within the last 10 days. Please also keep a physical distance of six feet from those who are not within your own household whenever possible and remember to wash your hands/use hand sanitizer frequently.

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