Take Your Sister 2 Lunch (TYS2L) was founded in 2009 by three women, two sisters and a niece. In the 1960’s the 2 Sisters grew up in Brownsville a residential neighborhood located in Brooklyn, NY. The towering public housing development they lived in was surrounded by other New York City Housing Authority developments, and sprawls of congested tenements with crumbling stoops, mass unemployment and mass incarceration. Today, Brownsville has hundreds of beautiful one and two family homes. These 2 Sisters have firsthand knowledge and experience of what they speak.
My Sister and I witnessed our parents and other tired and weary residents exit overcrowded city buses and subway trains as they returned home from the low-waged jobs that they worked. Anyone who has ever lived or worked in New York City has experienced the deadly sweltering summers and the frigid snow storms. These jobs were mired by no or little health benefits and no prospect of job promotion. These were the ordinary men and women with extraordinary talents and resilience. They were our unsung heroes and community role models. They advised, prayerd and encouraged us. This is the reason for Take Your Sister 2 Lunch, Sisters, Incorporated, success.
Women who live in underserved communities are the ordinary women with extraordinary talents. These women represent the urban experience of contradictory forces: address the daily, mundane life stressors that all women face in addition to the stressors of racism. They are ordinary women with extraordinary talents. Their words of encouragement, inspiration and hope helped and continues to help strengthen people who live in underserved communities.
Take Your Sister 2 Lunch began as a social movement with dual goals of social change and service provision. My daughter, sister and I envisioned a place where we could invite women from the community to come and enjoy a healthy lunch, relax, exercise, develop jobs, network, or just a quiet place to meditate. A place where women could participate in the design of programs aimed at drawing out knowledge and developing ideas rather than cramming in facts or reinforcing ideology, partnership with other organizations and invite professionals from the health field and other fields to present lectures/workshops.
Today, TYS2L has 15 staff, 20 volunteers, and our membership is growing. In January 2012, TYS2L opened its second chapter in Oakland, CA, and we have been invited to open chapters throughout the United States. Our every other month, once a weekend luncheon, has become every month, every weekend luncheons.
Our staff is committed to investing in the education of future leaders and providing programs which will increase the participation of women and girls in cultural awareness, personal development, leadership, economics, civic, entrepreneurial, human services, health, wellness, and careers in STEM (Education, Technology, Education and Mathematics).
TYS2L staff is compiled of senior level professionals from corporate, public service, professional services, arts/culture/education in a wide variety of industries and sectors including: Education, Financial Services, Health and Human Services, Marketing and Public Relations, Theology, Law and Retail.
Our Initiatives – Scholarships:
The “Young Scholars” are students living in East New York and Brownsville communities who are bound for a four-year college, community college of trade school. Recipients of TYS2L scholarships receive contributed support as they complete their education at various universities and colleges. 2015 Take Your Sister 2 Lunch “Young Scholars” and “Business and Community Recognition” Award recipient is Ms. Janiya Cameron. Janiya is a TYS2L Jr. Executive, is 17 years of age, and our youngest member. August 29, 2009, at our first luncheon, Janiya was 11 years of age when she became a member of TYS2L, and she has never missed one luncheon. Patricia Anderson-Bernard, her grandmother, who is our Ambassador Extraordinaire. We are very proud of Janiya because August 2015 she will begin her college studies at Long Island University, which is Patricia’s alma mater.
“I’ve learned that success is not measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which they have had to overcome from trying to succeed.”
-Dr. Booker T. Washington