Arvernetta Henry

September 28, 2017 – Listen HERE

Mrs. Arvernetta Henry has been a member of Picture the Homeless since 2009 and quickly became a leader of the housing campaign.  She has also participated in numerous civil rights actions and can be seen in endless photos stalwartly carrying the Picture the Homeless banner or fiercely “dropping it” over balconies in Albany or Grand Central Station.  Another example of her resistance leadership is seen in the many sidewalk sleep outs that she has helped to organize and participate in, including one in support of the family of Ramarley Graham in nearly freezing weather. Arvernetta also played a critical role in the expansion of the Homeless Organizing Academy (HOA), a rigorous curriculum of classes in life skills and political education that is free to all homeless and formerly homeless people.  

As a leader of the housing campaign, she has fought tirelessly for move the City of New York to conduct a city wide vacant property count, and was one of the housing campaign leaders who helped to organize and support participatory action research project that resulted in the Picture the Homeless report, Banking on Vacancy.  She has been a catalyst for the emerging Community Land Trust movement in New York City and has represented Picture the Homeless at several national Community Land Trust gathering. She was a founding participant in the New York City Community Land Initiative’s E Harlem/El Barrio Community Land Trust workgroup and the Education and Outreach workgroup where she was instrumental in the development of a Community Land Trust board game, Trustville.

Many of us at Picture the Homeless have been grateful for her home made pancakes.

Arvernetta is a New York City schoolteacher, a life-long member of Abyssinia Baptist Church where she began her life of activism, meeting the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and many other civil rights leaders.  She is a native New Yorker, and raised in the Bronx. She is a wife and mother of two adult children, and is a devoted grandmother. She loves music and dancing and recreational sports, but is most passionate about service to other people on her life journey.

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