Who We Are
Incorporated in 1966, UPROSE is Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community based organization. Today, UPROSE is an intergenerational,multi-racial, nationally-recognized community organization that promotes the sustainability and resiliency of the Sunset Park community in Brooklyn through community organizing, education, leadership development and cultural/artistic expression.
UPROSE’s work encompasses a variety of environmental justice and public health initiatives, from the development of the waterfront and local brownfields, to transportation, open space and airquality needs, to educational and youth empowerment campaigns.
UPROSE has achieved multiple groundbreaking accomplishments in community-based planning and development. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy in fall 2012, it has intensified its focus on the adaptation of Sunset Park to the changing climate and to deepening its community resiliency.
Elizabeth C. Yeampierre is a nationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney and environmental justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry born and raised in New York City. She is Executive Director of UPROSE, Brooklyn's oldest Latino community based organization. Her award winning vision for an inter-generational, multi-cultural and community led organization is the driving force behind UPROSE. She is a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around just, sustainable development, environmental justice and community-led climate adaptation and community resiliency in Sunset Park. Prior to assuming the Executive Director position at UPROSE, Ms. Yeampierre was the Director of Legal Education and Training at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Director of Legal Services for the American Indian law Alliance and Dean of Puerto Rican Student Affairs at Yale University. She holds a BA from Fordham University, a law degree from Northeastern University. Elizabeth is the first Latina Chair of the US EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
Program Administrator and After-School Coordinator
Shaun Randall Armstrong, a 2009 ,Howard University graduate and native New Yorker was born in Brooklyn. Shaun started at UPROSE in June 2012 as an intern and was hired that December as our Program Administrator. He enjoys working in a grassroots environment.
Shaun was a political science major with a concentration on black political theory and a minor in philosophy, while being a nationally ranked and competitive collegiate swimmer which allowed him to be awarded a full tuition scholarship. as a mentor he spreads the message of the importance of education, along with physical fitness/ sport activities not only for personal well being, but because he knows that sports can provide opportunities for some young people to receive scholarships for higher learning like he did.
In addition to his love for building community and everything sports, he also enjoys working with our youngest community members and is the Coordinator for the UPROSE after school program at the local PS 170 teaching 3rd-5th graders organizing, social and environmental justice!
Ryan joined UPROSE in 2013 as Infrastructure Coordinator. In this capacity, he is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Sunset Park Brownfield Opportunity Area program; developing measures for climate resilience on the industrial coastline; promoting equitable transportation policy; and collaborating with city and state agencies to develop an upland connector between the community and the waterfront.
Before coming to UPROSE, Ryan taught English as a Second Language for six years, both in Latin America and New York City.
Ana Orozco Climate Justice Policy and Programs Coordinator
Ana Orozco was born and raised in New York City. She was introduced to the concepts of environmental and climate justice through a grad school internship she did in 2006 with an EJ organization based in California. Ana went from an intern to a community organizer with this organization, where she worked for a total of four years. While in California, the main campaign Ana worked on, with the community, was a campaign to stop an expansion project at the Chevron oil refinery, the largest refinery on the West Coast. This project would have allowed the company to refine heavier, dirtier crude oil (specifically tar sands). Naturally, if the expansion project was approved, this would mean more toxins and pollutants in the air affecting the surrounding area, which is predominantly a low-income community of color. In 2010, the campaign to stop the expansion project was successful. Ana moved back home to New York with the intention of bringing her knowledge and experience from the West Coast EJ community back to her beloved city.
Ting Ting Fu
Climate Justice Organizer
Climate Justice Fellow
Kiya was raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Prior to joining the UPROSE team she was a Station Manager of WGRL, the Lower East Side Girls Club Radio Station. She received her BA from Middlebury College, where she studied Chemistry and Environmental Studies. As an undergraduate she interned in the production department of StoryCorps, the National Oral History Project, as well as at the Retail Action Project. She is a Middlebury Narrative Journalism Fellow and Middlebury Environmental Journalism Fellow.
Transportation Justice Organizer/ Post Sandy Recovery Researcher
Brian Gonzalez was born and raised in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. He was introduced to UPROSE in 2009 at the age of 17. Without any prior knowledge of the fact that his community is home to some of the worst environmental burdens in New York City, Brian realized that there was an immediate injustice occurring around him and it would require citywide activism to address. He sought out both long and short term solutions to helping not only his community members but others in the same circumstance. Brian will finish his degree and has chosen to pursue a graduates degree. He fundamentally believes in finding creative ways to inform others about environmental justice and climate change and has taken on song writing and composition as a means to organize and unite. He is currently studying music theory at Lehman College.
Jason was born and raised in Sunset Park and attends Borough of Manhattan Community College. He joined UPROSE in July 2014 at our At the Table Summer Leadership Institute. The summer before the People's Climate March, Jason played an instrumental role in organizing for both the People's Climate March and the 4th NYC Climate Justice Youth Summit. He is the recipient for the Outstanding Leadership Award given by the Working Families Party for organizing his community and participating in the Peoples Climate March. Jason often exercises leadership by taking initiative. Being an organizer at heart, Jason is always engaging community. Whether he is reaching out to the community or being a part of the Sunset Park Climate Justice Community Resiliency Center as a block captain, he enjoys being on the ground and taking on leadership.