Dear Friend of CUP,
In 2015, a young woman in the Bronx faced her landlord’s lawyer, alone, in Housing Court. She owed back rent, and was asking for extra time to pay it, and for the decision not to appear on her credit report. She was trying to keep her home, her job, and avoid the familiar spiral of poverty.
The lawyer told her “No. We can’t do that. It’s not possible.”
She pulled out her pocket guide to Housing Court and said “Yes it is. It says so right here.”
He backed down, and she kept her home, her good credit, and her dignity.
Fifteen years ago, the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) became a nonprofit with the belief that good design, developed through good partnerships, could empower. Moments like this one have proven that to be true countless times since.
With hostility toward our most vulnerable communities—immigrants, LGBTQindividuals, low-income families, people of color—now reaching an unimaginable level, resources that level the playing field are even more critical. We need your help to guarantee that everyone has the information they need to access their rights, and maintain their safety and dignity.
Thousands of moments like the ones above, when a CUP project helps someone navigate a confusing policy, or advocate for their community, or more effectively participate in decision-making that impacts their life, move us along the slow but steady path to a more just society.
That path will be more challenging in the next four years.
You have been a friend and an ally to CUP, and to the communities who partner in and benefit from our work. Today we need your support to ensure that our work continues to be available to those whose rights are in danger.
If you can’t stand in Housing Court with that young woman, know that your support helps her to keep her home.
Be an ally to marginalized communities by putting power into their hands.