Insights to Impact

The Latest from Brooklyn Community Foundation


Meet Our Brooklyn Elders Fund Advisory Council!

Last spring when we launched the Brooklyn Elders Funda permanent fund seeded with $10 million from two new field of interest funds: the CABS Community Fund and the Fund for the Health & Integrity of Seniorswe set out to create a unique program model that would take on critical issues affecting aging Brooklynites by bringing together older adults, policymakers, and community-based nonprofits.

To develop the Fund’s strategy and priorities, we embarked on Elders Insights, a series of 15 listening sessions with over 150 older adults across the borough, followed by two roundtables with experts from the elder care sector. The data and stories collected through the process led to the selection of our three funding focus areas:

  • Aging in Place
  • Promoting Elders’ Rights
  • Access to Benefits and Entitlements

When we issued the Fund’s first RFP last fall, we also put out a call for members for our inaugural Brooklyn Elders Fund Advisory Council (BEFAC)—a group that would work hand-in-hand with our Programs team to review grant proposals, conduct site visits, and ultimately recommend which organizations would receive funding.

We are so pleased to introduce to you the first cohort of our Brooklyn Elders Fund Advisory Council! These 11 Brooklynites range in age from 54 to 77 and bring a wide range of experiences of what it means to be an older adult in Brooklyn today. 

Stay tuned—in the coming weeks we will share more about their grantmaking process as well as the organizations receiving funding!

Brooklyn Elders Fund Advisory Council 2019-2020

Selma Jackson, Bedford Stuyvesant 
I remember when my family was denied access to purchase housing because of our color. So at the age of 10, I promised myself to always live in my own community and make it better.
Susan Kranberg, Kensington             
Diverse communities, cultural institutions, ocean and parks make Brooklyn an incredible place to age.
Sam Manning, 
Downtown Brooklyn              
Brooklyn has a unique and growing senior population. They have a vast range of knowledge and information, but they have not been tapped into sufficiently.
Annie McQueen, Bedford Stuyvesant
This experience has been amazing!
Arlene McQuilkin, Crown Heights
I have totally enjoyed the BEFAC experience. It was quite an eye opener and has changed my community views.
Maritza Myers, Bedford Stuyvesant              
My biggest concern is that gentrification has made it difficult for long-time stakeholders to hold on. While I love the new shops, restaurants and cafes, we who have lived here the longest are paying a serious price.
Vera Reid,
East New York
I have been a community activist from my teen years. I don’t feel people should just complain but be involved in creating change. I’ve been arrested twice for protesting injustices.
Debra Scott, Greenpoint
Three words that describe my leadership are inspiring, dynamic, and determined.
Jeanette Steadman,
I was motivated to apply to BEFAC because I wanted to be more involved in my community.
Ferdinanda Williams-Nichols, Prospect Heights
The Borough of Brooklyn represents the mythology of the Phoenix "... a long lived bird that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again.”
Raquel Zapata, 
Fort Greene
Brooklyn is an incredible place to age in because it is very diverse and consists of a great bilingual community where you can always find someone speaking your language.


Sabrina Hargrave

Vice President of Programs (She/Her/Ella)
"I have totally enjoyed this experience. It was quite an eye opener and has changed my community views." - BEFAC member Arlene McQuilkin