Mark Winston-Griffith

Brooklyn Movement Center
Executive Director
Contact: mwgriffith@talkingdemocracy.org

Key Topics: Community organizing, Civic engagement in black communities, Citizen journalism, Parent organizing, Local public education reform, Community development/economic development/gentrification.

Bio: Mark Winston Griffith is nationally recognized thought leader, community organizer and journalist. A native of Crown Heights, Mark Winston Griffith is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC), a membership-based, community organizing group serving the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and North Crown Heights. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism where he teaches a course in Urban Social Issues.

Before joining the BMC, Mark was the field organizer for the MOVE NY campaign, an effort to secure traffic pricing and sustainable transportation policy for the tri-state region. Prior to that, Mark was the Senior Fellow for Economic Justice and then Executive Director at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy (DMI), a public policy think tank. Before serving at DMI, Mark was the co-director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, a prominent financial services reform organization.

In the early nineties, Mark co-founded the Central Brooklyn Partnership, a community organizing group that focused on economic justice issues, and was co-founder of Central Brooklyn Federal Credit Union, which at the time was the nation’s largest community-based financial cooperative.

Mark currently serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Little Sun People Early Childhood Education Center, the Riders Alliance, and Free Speech TV. Until recently he was on the boards of the Center for an Urban Future and the Center for Working Families.

Mark’s articles and public policy analysis have appeared in dozens of publications including the New York Times, the Nation, the New York Daily News, the Huffington Post, the Village Voice, the Source, Spin, and Mother Jones. Mark currently makes regular appearances on WNYC.

Mark was recently a Tow-Knight Fellow at the Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. He has also received fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, Open Society Foundation, and the Revson Fellowship for the Future of New York,. Mark received a B.A. from Brown University and pursued an M.A. at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.

Mark was named one of “Forty under Forty” by Crain’s New York Business and Black Enterprise magazines, recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the country’s rising young Black entrepre-neurs, and was the recipient of the New York Magazine award for “energy, vision and independent thinking.” In 2005 the Los Angeles Times’ Ron Brownstein called Mark a “fresh voice” on economic security policy.

Selected Speaking Experience

  • New School Conference on Priorities of Next Mayor.
  • Annenberg Conference on parent organizing and grassroots policy reform of public education.
  • At least a dozen WNYC and NPR (All things Considered, Brian Lehrer, Michelle Martin, etc.) appearances on the civic engagement, NYC mayoral elections, black politics.
  • Brooklyn Food Coalition Workshops on community based food justice
  • Organizing 2.0 Workshop on media advocacy and using communications for social justice.
  • NY State Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus Discussions on community organizing in black communities.
  • Roosevelt Institute panel on gentrification.