Julien A. Terrell was born and raised in West Harlem, where he first developed an interest in community and cultural organizing and still lives to this day. He is a co-organizer of the Harlem Copwatch Team.
His primary concern is working with communities to create spaces for self-determination, a trajectory he first established doing social justice work as a student at the University of Buffalo. There, he worked with local residents to clean up and redevelop contaminated sites in accordance with community demands. In 2007, he began organizing in NYC to confront gentrification and environmental injustice, with a focus on how local organizing and creative planning can preserve communal and cultural spaces that support relationship-building and inter-generational learning. From 2008-2012, Julien worked as the Director of Organizing for Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, working with students organizing for accountable use of the waterfront along the Bronx River.
In his work, Julien uses hip hop as a creative means for challenging oppression, and finds art, culture, music & dance to be invaluable tools for enacting social change. In 2013, he worked on solidarity projects in both Cuba and Brazil, deepening his own commitment to developing youth leadership both locally and internationally, and ultimately motivating him to join Brotherhood/Sister Sol, a holistic youth development organization located a block from where he was raised. As Lead Organizer Julien now works with young people organizing against police control in Harlem. He is the founder of the Renaissance Chapter of Universal Zulu Nation and has been a member of the Harlem Copwatch team for 2 years.
TFI New Media Fund | 2016