Top Row (Left to Right): Andrew Tucker, Braden Crooks, Cristina Maria Handal Gonzalez, Jonathan Lapalme and Luisa Munera
Is a fifth generation Louisvillian, and a first generation college student. He has spent the last five years doing community organizing with low income groups, and public housing residents around issues pertaining to their ‘right to the city’; as well as other geographically specific issues in Kentucky, including clean energy transition, restoration of voting rights for former felons, and tax reform. His undergraduate research focused on the intersection between critical race theory, global feminism(s), and ethics of care. He lives in Harlem, and spends his free time trying to win the affection of the four little old ladies in front of his apartment so they’ll include him in their very intense game of cards.
Received his undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University. While there, he became a passionate urbanist, artist and student activist. After graduation, Braden continued to pursue community and environmental advocacy by founding Groundswell; A Community Environmental Rights Initiative. On November 8th, 2011, Groundswell passed a Community Environmental Bill of Rights banning Fracking by a popular vote in State College, PA –the first successful popular vote on such an initiative in the country. As he continues his studies in New York, Braden plans to expand his work as an organizer, urbanist and thinker; catalyzing creative change in the world around him.
Cristina Maria Handal Gonzalez
My name is Cristina and I am from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I came to NY as a curious teen for college and thought my time here would be limited to four years; however, the architecture studios of Columbia U kept me hostage for seven. After a couple of years in the professional realm I am pushed to go farther. Now I am here, strolling around The New School buildings to learn, to engage, to discuss, to evaluate and re-evaluate, to find solutions, test them, prove them wrong, find better ones, and repeat this process over multiple times. At the end of this four-semester adventure I will go back home in hopes of bringing social justice to the nooks where it is lacking most. I am so grateful and excited for this opportunity.
Started his career as the Communications Manager for a large-scale initiative aiming to completely revitalize a neighborhood in downtown Montréal: the Quartier des Spectacles (an opportunity that developed from a university project while he was studying film and communication). Beyond what he had to deliver every day, he has learned by the complex environment he had to navigate, one that has several conflicting pressures and countless partners. He has also worked as an urban / architectural photographer and writer, and, more recently, he completed a certificate in strategic design in Berlin and worked as a consultant / freelance in communication strategy, design management and strategic development for various organizations dealing with urban issues in Montréal. One of his professors used to call him Mr. “Yes, but…” — a nickname which, according to some, is still accurate.
Luisa was born in Medellin, Colombia but was raised in Miami Florida. She received her undergraduate degree in Interior Architecture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn NY. After graduating, Luisa moved back to Miami and worked at a non-profit arts foundation. While at the foundation, she was able to interact with emerging and mid-career Latin American artists and helped produce multiple exhibitions during Art Basel Miami Beach. She was also able to witness artists create works that were socially involved with their cities. Luisa has always been interested in how people interact with different cities. She hopes to further understand these relationships and build a better understand toward creating a cohesive city for the future.