LYNN LEWIS worked with Picture the Homeless for 17 years, from just after its founding until 2017. She became the founding Executive Director in 2003 when co-founder Anthony Williams left, with whom she had shared the position of Co-Director. Lynn also worked as the Civil Rights organizer for eight years at Picture the Homeless. Knowing that the Picture the Homeless story, held crucial lessons she made sure that a strong archive was preserved.
Lynn will complete the Masters in Oral History program at Columbia University in the fall of 2018. Her thesis project is on Picture the Homeless.
Lynn has worked extensively on both housing and formations to end police violence with a particular focus on the selective enforcement of Quality of Life ordinances by the NYPD and nationally. She was a founding steering committee member of Communities united for Police Reform and co-chaired the legislative workgroup during the time that the Community Safety Act was passed into law by the New York City Council.
Her other burning interests are in the areas of land reform in the U.S. and internationally and the (mis)use of domestic and international funding for community development that actually serves the interests of maintaining economic elites in power. To that end, she has helped build the Community Land Trust movement in New York City and is a founding board member of the East Harlem/El Barrio Community Land Trust, as well as serving on the board of the Cooper Square Community Land Trust. She lived in rural Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution and has ties to groups in Venezuela liberating land and buildings to create housing for the poor.
Lynn has worked in the social justice movement for over 35 years in a range of capacities in organizations and initiatives led by poor people with a focus on homelessness. She is fluent in Spanish.
Born in Baltimore and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, her NYC roots are in Loisaida and El Barrio. She is a mother and a grandmother and loves actions and dancing.