The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Friday, February 1, 2013

President of Medgar Evers Resigns

I'm often surprised how few locals know that a university lives among us. Climb the mountain of Bedford just north of Empire and you hit CUNY's Medgar Evers college. It's a full-on four-year school with a number of world-class professors. It launched during the groundswell of support for better urban education after the turbulent post-MLK '60s. The venerable Bed-Stuy Restoration Corporation was instrumental in creating it, along with a bevy of strong local community leaders that emerged during the era's civil rights push. Some even got streets named after longtime councilwoman Mary Pinkett.

William Pollard was president of the school for just under four years, but he turned a lot of heads with his forceful, and some would say disrespectful, leadership style. Early on in this blog, the Q reached out to his office for an interview and was abruptly declined. I didn't take it personally, but it seemed odd coming from the head office of a public university, particularly someone often at odds with the community.

Most recently I'd been arguing in favor of Pollard's desire to shut down the barren stretch of Crown Street between college buildings to create a green space "campus" for the school. Locals don't want their traffic and parking messed with. But dig beneath the surface, and it's clear that Medgar Evers has done a poor job of community outreach, leading to many resentful neighborhood complaints through the years.

We can only hope that with a new administration a new dawn will break for this important institution that's served central Brooklyn well for more than 40 years.


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