Speaker Quinn, Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer, Rosie Mendez, Inez Dickens, Robert Jackson, Daniel Dromm and the Center for Anti-Violence Education will teach violence prevention strategies to keep New Yorkers safe

New York, NY- Following the brutal killing of a transgender woman in Harlem last week, Speaker Christine C. Quinn, the City Council LGBT Caucus, Council Member Robert Jackson and Council Member Inez Dickens today announced they will sponsor a free, communitywide self-defense class in Manhattan.

Led by the Center for Anti-Violence Education, the training will teach violence prevention strategies to New Yorkers, with an emphasis on safety tips for the LGBT community. The class will be held on Thursday, September 12 at 7:00 PM at the Ali Forney Center, located at 321 West 125th Street.

Participants can sign-up for the class by calling (212) 788-5613 or e-mailing events@council.nyc.gov.

“New Yorkers must trust that they can walk down the street without fear of being attacked because of who they are, or who they love,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “As we mourn the tragic death of Islan Nettles, we must be vigilant and ensure that all New Yorkers remain safe. Our free self-defense classes will teach violence prevention strategies to New Yorkers and will provide the community with the tools they need to stay safe.”

“I am proud to offer free safety and self-defense training classes in conjunction with Speaker Quinn, Councilmember Jackson, and my colleagues in the LGBT Caucus,” said Council Member Inez Dickens. “The tragic killing of Islan Nettles reminds us that we need to be ever vigilant in warding off bias attacks. These classes are intended to give class participants the skills for situational awareness and self-defense that will contribute to violence prevention.”

“I am proud to join Speaker Quinn, Councilwoman Dickens and my colleagues in the LGBT Caucus to offer free self-defense classes to the Northern Manhattan LGBTQ community in light of the senseless attack that ended the life of Islan Nettles last week,” said Council Member Robert Jackson. “We must come together to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers in their neighborhoods- to that end I will continue to work with my colleagues, the NYPD, community leaders and advocates to make our City safe for everyone.”

“This horrific incident is not reflective of New York City,” said Council Member Rosie Mendez. “An act of violence against one community is an attack on all New Yorkers. I want to thank Speaker Quinn, my Council colleagues, and the Center for Anti-Violence Education for hosting these useful, informative and empowering self-defense classes.”
“By providing these free self-defense training classes to the public we are empowering men and women who may feel helpless at time when our City is experiencing an increase in attacks against our LGBT brothers and sisters,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “We cannot allow individuals to continue persecuting or attacking New York City residents for who they are or choose to love. These classes will give our all New Yorkers the necessary tools to help them feel safe within their own neighborhood. Together we will continue to take a stand against hate crimes in a City that is known for its equality, acceptance and diversity.”
“It is heart-breaking to know that horrible events like this still happen in New York City,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm (D- Jackson Heights, Elmhurst). “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people must have the tools they need to stay safe and protect themselves. Classes like this are an important part of the solution to homophobic attacks. We must continue to raise awareness and visibility of the LGBT community through education and legislation preventing discrimination against LGBT people.”

The September 12th class is the latest in a series of nearly two dozen self-defense trainings the City Council has sponsored across the City to empower and protect New Yorkers.