A resident of the 45th District–East Flatbush, Brooklyn for 30 years, born in Guyana, Joan Alexander-Bakiriddin’s passion is advocacy for her community. Her recent years of tireless involvement reflect this.
“I am a survivor of domestic violence,” she says, “I know how it feels to be voiceless.”
A system and process training manager by trade, approximately 12 years ago, she began partnering to make a difference in the lives of underserved New Yorkers with New York Cares, Junior Achievement and Fresh Air Fund through her company’s volunteer program.
More recently — the past seven years — it has been her own extended East Flatbush neighborhood, where she concentrates most of her energies. Since 2008, she has been the secretary for her block association.
“To bring the change I wanted to see,” she explains, is her motivation to become active in Community Board (CB) 17’s Youth Committee, the 67th Precinct Community Council and its Christmas Party Team, and in 2010, the East Flatbush Village Inc. Not In My Hood Anti-Violence Initiative.
She recently graduated from the Citizens Police Academy and now she is a member of the East Flatbush COP–Civilian Observation Patrol.
In 2011, she joined the board at East Flatbush Village, Inc., a youth development organization that combats violence within the community by providing children with recreational activities and educational tools. She was made chairperson in 2012 and executive director in January 2015.
Her community involvement does not end there.
In Councilman Jumaane D. Williams’ District 45, she joined the Participatory Budgeting (PBNYC) Initiative in Cycle 1 (2011-2012), serving for Cycle’s 2 & 3 as co-chair.
She says, “PBNYC’s core value tuned into how partnerships with our elected officials and government agencies can empower every member of our community including immigrant, indigent and formerly incarcerated neighbors to spend tax dollars on what matters to them.”
Alexander-Bakiriddin also serves on the PBNYC Citywide Steering Committee.
“I understand the value of networking and partnerships,” she says, “which has guided me to be one of the founding members of Political Power Through Organizing (P2O), an organization founded on the premise that once a community is organized it will become a catalyst for positive change.”
The advocate continues her other volunteer work including mentoring with iMentor. She has partnered with a mentee since 2014.
Summing it up she says, “I am working on making sure that I am a good example for my children and that my community is made better because I am a part of it.”