When a teenage girl’s single mom is taken by ICE, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Rania is shaken awake in her family’s apartment in Brooklyn. ICE is at the door, taking her mother away. But Ammi has done everything right, hasn’t she? In this vivid exploration of what happens when the country you have put your hopes into is fast shutting down, Budhos shows us how one girl bursting with dreams navigates secrets, love, and the lure of the open road.
This event is presented in partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library.
Jackson Heights and Elmhurst are home to thousands of essential workers—many of whom are immigrants—who have carried this city forward during the pandemic. Shekar has championed a number of issues affecting our most vulnerable communities. He has been on the front lines fighting to: make sure the NYC government protects our taxi workers; secure badly needed resources for public hospitals like Elmhurst Hospital; ensure that New York City treats housing as as human right; end the practice of solitary confinement at Rikers Island; and expand public space for neighborhoods like his own that lack it. Shekar has been a champion for the the 34th Avenue Open Street, 26 blocks of pedestrian space in Jackson Heights that is the gold standard of open streets across NYC.
Before his election to City Council, Shekar was a long-time community activist in Jackson Heights and Elmhurst and civil rights lawyer fighting housing discrimination. He co-founded the legal services organization Communities Resist, a legal services organization highly acclaimed citywide for its community-rooted, intersectional approach to housing and racial justice in North Brooklyn and Queens. Shekar began his legal career with the landmark Broadway Triangle fair housing struggle against the City of New York, a successful case challenging a rezoning under the Fair Housing Act. He also co-founded Friends of Diversity Plaza. Located on the border of Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, Diversity Plaza has become a national symbol of how public space can bring people together.
Shekar is the son of immigrants from South India who made enormous sacrifices and worked tirelessly to build a life for their family in this country. He is also a father of two small children, who can often be seen biking or scooting up and down the open 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, and husband to Zoe, an immigration public defender and reproductive justice advocate.
Marina Budhos, Shekar Krishnan
9 Adams St
Brooklyn NY 11201