Photo Credit to Brett Beyer, T.Maynard,
and NYC Council
Dear District 35 Neighbors,
Blood, sweat, tears, a whole pregnancy, and City Council campaign later, and here we are! The Major R. Owens Health & Wellness Community Center is here! It is finally here! Opportunity is here! A place where our children can connect to their dreams, passions, talents, and creativity is finally here! And every single sacrifice we made to get our community to this point was so worth it. I had this dream in my mind for so long and for it to finally be here is a dream come true. Basketball, swimming, soccer, archery, lacrosse, dance, drumming, tech, coding, yoga, and meditation all under one roof! It’s all here and then some. Our community is going to have a health center for those that are uninsured. Not to mention 260 units of truly affordable housing, which is more affordable housing than Crown Heights has seen in over 50 years.
What an honor to carry forth the legacy of so many Brooklyn icons that people will learn about like:
  • Congress Member Major Owens who had the vision to turn the Armory into a world class recreation center,
  • Congress Member Shirley Chisholm the first Black woman elected to Congress,
  • Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in Major League Baseball right across the street in Ebbets Field,
  • Dr. Susan Smith McKinney, the first Black woman to ever earn a Medical Degree from New York State to,
  • Rev. Dr. Clarence Norman Sr., who created one of the largest African American houses of worship in Brooklyn, New York and,
  • Rabbi Menachem Schneerson who believed that there were not two Crown Heights but one Crown Heights.

To me the Major R. Owens Health and Wellness Community Center embodies the concept of One Crown Heights. African-American children, Muslim children, Caribbean children, Jewish children, Latino children, White children, and LGBTQ children will all come together under one roof to realize their dreams. It is my hope that the children of this community will create a more inclusive, innovative and empathetic world. 
What we have here is a start. It is far from finished, perfect, or totally worked out. There is still so much more to do to make the Armory all that we have imagined. Whether you were for the project or against the project what we need now is for everyone to roll up their sleeves, lend their ideas, solutions, resources, connections and talents to make it a success because now more than ever in the midst of this global pandemic, our children need us to put aside our differences and make the Major R. Owens Health and Wellness Community Center and the Carey Gabay Recreation Center a success. Because when our children succeed, our community succeeds. I want our children to know that the Armory is a place where their dreams matter. A place where their dreams can come true. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at the Bedford Union Armory!
Warmest regards,

Laurie A. Cumbo
NYC Council Majority Leader
"Don't listen to those who say you can't. Listen to the voice inside yourself that says, I can." - Shirley Chisholm
A Look at The Major R. Owens Health and Wellness Center
Photo Credit: Brett Beyer
Photo Credit: Brett Beyer
To access more photos of the center, visit here.
Photo Credit: Brett Beyer
Photo Credit: Brett Beyer
Also, to learn more about the center, click here.
Major R. Owens, your vision has been activated. We thank you!
Check out our supportive attendees!
Jasmin, Prince, and I are
camera ready.
The moko jumbie, stilts walkers, gracing us with their presence.
Ifetayo students showing us a few of their dance moves!
Steelpan in action.
Mr. Joseph Coello, Sr., Advisory Board Chairman, setting the tone for the event's lineup!
Rachel Loeb, President & CEO · New York City Economic Development Corporation
Donald Capoccia, Managing Prinicpal at BFC Partners
 A few words from the non-profit organizations who now have a new home at the Armory!
To learn more about Digital Girl, Inc., visit here.
To learn more about New Heights Youth, Inc., visit here.
To learn more about
Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy,
visit here.
To learn more about
West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), visit here.
"Enjoy reading, make it a habit, even a sport." -Major Owens (U.S. Congress, Librarian)

"You cannot add more minutes to the day, but you can utilize each one to the fullest."
-Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (Lubavitcher Rebbe)
Hello Mayor Bill de Blasio!
Prince and his friend. So cute!
Conversations and connections.
Swim time!
New Heights is here!
Hooping...Medgar Evers students!
Taahira and Jasmin posing after a brief tour of the New Heights facility! #TeamCumbo
Ifetayo students sharing poetry and the rhythms of the drum with us all.
Eric Woodlin- a true star and friend.
To access more photos of the ribbon cutting, please visit here.