Seeds For Success

Foundation for the Future

Our History

In 2017, FoMH’s founders, Pete Eikenberry and Dr. Bonnie Nuzum met with U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velàzquez and her staff to facilitate connections with Marcy Houses resident leaders and community partners. They had been inspired by a presentation delivered by Cecilia Clark, the President of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, describing adverse community experiences and statistics which were negatively impacting life outcomes of the youth and families in Marcy Houses, NYCHA development. From these conversations, the idea for Friends of Marcy Houses was formed and a mission statement backed by research based program guidelines were established. A diverse board of directors was assembled. 

Marcy Houses is a New York Housing Authority (NYCHA) project built in 1949. It has 27 six-story buildings with 1,705 apartments housing 4,200 residents on 28 acres in an isolated area of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. In various reports, Marcy has been rated, e.g., as the third worst housing project in Brooklyn (unitedgangs.com) or second worst in the US (Newsone).

Latest News

Watch the FOMH First Annual Fundraiser Gala!

On April 14th, FOMH hosted our first annual fundraiser gala.  The event was a huge success, bringing together Marcy community members, elected officials, and FOMH supporters, all for a good cause.  You can view the event highlights here:

You can also watch the full gala on Youtube here

If you enjoy it and have not yet had a chance to donate, any contribution would be greatly appreciated.  You can donate here.

Friends of Marcy Houses Hosts Webinar for NYCHA Residents.

On Friday, April 24th, Friends of Marcy Houses worked with State Senator Julia Salazar to host a webinar providing information to NYCHA residents about resources available during the COVID epidemic.  The event was recorded, and we produced a resource sheet.  Click here to learn about NYCHA rent reduction programs, the unemployment process, and more.

Our Programs

GARDENING TO GROW AT MARCY
MENTORING FOR SUCCESS
COMPUTER LAB
PROJECT CITIZEN W/JUSTICE RESOURCE CENTER
SPEAKER SERIES
ART ENRICHMENT
Music Lessons with Musical Mentors Collaborative

Enrollment

The Friends of Marcy Houses Inc. provides services to children ages 10-14 that reside in the New York City Public Houses Authority, Marcy Houses. If you have a child that could benefit from any of the programs or if you have a child with special need please fill out the form below and we will be in contact with you very soon. 

Friends of Marcy Houses
148 Columbia Heights, Garden Apt.
Brooklyn, NY 11201

info@friendsofmarcy.org

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Peter Eikenberry

Peter Eikenberry, The Board President and Co-Founder of The Friends of Marcy Houses, is a litigator in private practice specializing in complex commercial litigation in the New York state and federal courts, including employment, art law, contracts, fraud, international, securities, and bankruptcy adversary disputes. Through his work on the New York City Bar Association Committee to Encourage Judicial Service, the diversity of the judiciary in New York has increased greatly. A volunteer civil rights lawyer in Mississippi in 1966 with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Eikenberry’s commitment to advancing civil rights has continued throughout his career and includes his leadership of a human rights mission to Northern Ireland, work as a volunteer counsel at a Federal Detention Center in Texas, service as general counsel of Bedford Stuyvesant D & S Corporation, and as convener and steering committee member of the New York Conference on Immigration Representation headed by Katzmann. His civic and public service activity has included longtime leadership at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the Storefront Academy Harlem. A candidate for U.S. Congress in Brooklyn in 1970, he was an elected delegate to the 1972 Democratic National Convention. In the professional arena, Eikenberry has served the Federal Bar Council in several capacities, including editorship of the Federal Bar Council Quarterly where he is now editor emeritus. He is a fellow of the New York Bar Foundation and is a member of the Second Circuit Court Committee on Civic Education. Eikenberry earned his undergraduate and law degrees from The Ohio State University, where he was note editor of the Law Journal and is a current member of its National Council.

David Siffert

David Siffert is a Vice President and Board Member of Friends of Marcy Houses, serving on the Programs Committee and the Hiring Committee.  Siffert is also the Director of Research & Projects at the Center on Civil Justice at New York University School of Law.  Siffert was previously a civil litigator at Boies, Schiller & Flexner and a tax attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  Siffert clerked for Hon. Robert S. Smith, Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, and Hon. Barbara S. Jones, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.  Siffert is an alumnus of New York University School of Law (’09) and the University of Chicago (AB ’06)

Erharuyi Idemudia

Erharuyi Idemudia, is an Executive Vice President and Board Member of Friends of Marcy Houses, Inc., serving on the Hiring Committee. Idemudia is also the Global General Counsel of Golden Palm Investments Corporation (“GPIC”) and Africa Health Holdings Limited (“AHH”). In addition to overseeing the companies’ legal strategy, compliance, risk analysis, government relations, business integrity and corporate governance functions, he serves on both companies’ Management Committees and as a director on AHH’s Board of Directors. Idemudia is an alumnus of the University of Texas at El Paso (‘05) and the Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law (’08), where he served as an Articles Editor of the Law Review.

Debra Mighty

Debra Mighty is a highly experienced personal and legal assistant who serves as a board member for Friends of Marcy Houses. She is extensively skilled with office and project management. Mighty has worked with law offices as well as with religious organizations since 1993 and now works with Peter Eikenberry as legal assistant. She is also a Verbatim Hearing Reporter with Stratcomm where she facilitated legal hearings in the Bronx Social Security Adjudication Office in the Bronx; as well as the Treasurer of Mount of Blessing Seventh-Day Adventist Church.  In addition, she was a producer of the Faithnow TV Show, aired on several public access channels. Mighty received her B.A. in Business Communication from Lehman College in 2007.

Rhonda Barros

Rhonda Barros is the Secretary and Board Member of Friends of Marcy Houses. Rhonda was previously an Executive Assistant at Eikenberry Law. She is currently an ASA at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP. Rhonda attended Temple University.

Honorable L. Priscilla Hall

The Honorable L. Priscilla Hall was appointed Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department by New York State Governor David Patterson in March 2009. Prior to this, Justice Hall served as the Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division of the Kings County Supreme Court. She was elected as to the New York  State Supreme Court in 1993 and  has also served as Judge of the New York State Court of Claims; a Judge of the Criminal Court of New York City, and as Inspector General of the New York City Human Resources Administration. Justice Hall believes that the courts must work to maintain the public confidence in our judicial system and has worked to achieve this objective. She has served as president of the New York State Association of Women Justices, vice-president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, chair of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, and president of the Association of Black Women Attorneys.

After graduating magna cum laude from Howard University with the distinction of being a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Justice Hall pursued a Master of Science degree from Columbia University School of Journalism, graduating in 1969. She received her Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law in 1973.

Dr. Bonnie Nuzum

Dr. Bonnie Nuzum studied political science during the turbulent time of the 1960s and took on a personal imperative to help make the world more equitable. Following college, Bonnie worked for Chase Manhattan Bank, but quickly realized that to affect the course of society, her path was through education. While studying for her Master’s degree at NYU, she started an afterschool education program in South Brooklyn. She reluctantly left the program when she was accepted to study at Teachers College, Columbia University. Eventually, she realized that she preferred direct involvement in the community. The intersection between politics and education occurred when she was elected to the District 15 School Board and later became president of the school board. Dr. Nuzum holds a Masters/ Arts in Educational Psychology from New York University; a Masters/ Education in Learning Disabilities from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a Doctorate of Education in Information Processing/Learning Theory from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dominique Bravo

Dominique Bravo was born in Los Angeles to parents from Peru. Dominique is an attorney and advocate for social and racial justice with three decades of counseling and representing community and arts organizations.  

 

Dominique currently serves as the Associate Executive Director of the Center on Race, Law and Justice at Fordham Law School.  Dominique previously served as General Counsel of the Roosevelt Institute, a think tank and college campus network that seeks to carry forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.  She founded and directed Pathways to Apprenticeship, a non-profit workforce development agency that assists low-income people — and in particular, the formerly incarcerated — to access apprenticeship opportunities in the union construction industry. She previously served as General Counsel to the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.  

 

In addition to her work with Marcy Houses, Dominique also currently serves as pro bono counsel for children seeking asylum with the Safe Passage Project, a non-profit legal clinic.  Dominique also serves as President of the board of American Oversight, a nonpartisan, nonprofit ethics watchdog law firm in Washington D.C., that focuses on litigation involving the Freedom of Information Act. She is also a member of the board of St Ann’s Warehouse, a performing arts institution in Brooklyn, New York.  Dominique is also President and General Counsel of Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance, a dance and drumming studio and performance space she co-founded in Brooklyn.  

 

Dominique previously served on a number of other boards of directors for other social service and arts organizations throughout New York City and was a member of Community Board 6 in Brooklyn.  She received her J.D. from Northeastern School of Law and her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.  Dominique has lived in Brooklyn for the past thirty years, and she and her husband, Eric Sloan, have raised three children in Brooklyn.