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June 7, 2017

WNET’s Becky Fasanello Presents Keynote at NYC Settlement House Day

Yesterday, June 5, United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) hosted Settlement House Day 2017, a day-long conference for staff from UNH’s 38 member agencies consisting of workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities to help develop new skills and connect with the settlement house movement.

WNET’s Becky Fasanello, producer of Treasures of New York: Settlement Houses, was asked to give the 2017 keynote address. She spoke about the similar missions of WNET and UNH, which was why she was drawn to doing the project, and was appreciative of the candidness and generosity of the settlement house associates she spoke with during the documentary’s production. Becky also noted the impact of settlement houses on the New York community and the world at large, reporting that the documentary is now part of a required course at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Social Work, and is being used by a Nigerian university professor to build advocacy in the effort to create settlement houses across Nigeria.

Following the keynote, she introduced one of the documentary’s interviewees Jamel Oeser-Sweat, former-alum-turned-board member of SCAN-NY, an East Harlem settlement house that supports “at-risk” children and their families to achieve positive life goals. Jamel, who is now a lawyer on Madison Avenue, recounted his story of being a “lifer” at SCAN. Both Becky and Jamel took questions from the audience.

Settlement Houses, which premiered in November 2016, explores the unique history of this dynamic social service movement and its integral role in New York City’s social fabric. The documentary is now streaming online.

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