Brent Peterkin appointed Executive Director
Gather New Haven, formed through the combination of the New Haven Land Trust and New Haven Farms, is pleased to announce the appointment of Brent Peterkin as the first full-time Executive Director of the merged organization. Board Chair Tyra Pendergrass Boomer said: “We have found in Brent Peterkin an experienced leader with broad experience, an understanding of community, and the combination of passion and technical skills that can take our organization to the next level in community impact.”
A native of New York City, Brent comes to Gather New Haven after almost six years as Statewide Director for Project Longevity, a nationally recognized program of the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut focused on the reduction of gun violence in Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven. Project Longevity marshals law enforcement agencies and communities to focus on group and gang gun violence.
Mayor Justin Elicker, who built the capacity of the New Haven Land Trust over six years and initiated the merger discussions in 2019, stated: “Brent’s leadership at Project Longevity played a big part in the significant reduction in gun violence in New Haven. I look forward to working with him in his new role as he consolidates the merger and takes the organization in new directions. Gather New Haven has an important role to play as we work to recover from the serious economic and health impacts caused by the coronavirus crisis.”
Newly appointed Executive Director Brent Peterkin shared: “This is an exciting opportunity to embark on a new journey with New Haven’s communities that builds on a legacy of positive social impact and looks towards continuing equitable and frequent access to healthy foods, the environment, culture, engagement and developing new initiatives that will enhance community wellbeing.”
Brent has also served on the Governor’s Youth and Urban Violence Commission and the Bridgeport Mayor’s Initiative for Reentry Affairs. He is a board member of EMERGE and CT Against Gun Violence (CAGV). Previously, Brent was also a ZOOM Policy Fellow in the Office of the Governor working in support of the Office of Early Childhood, where he focused on parent engagement and fatherhood development. Brent also worked with a Yale University-based global anti-poverty initiative and supported at-risk high school students with emotional, behavioral, and learning disabilities in Yonkers, New York.
Brent studied public policy and public administration, nonprofit leadership, and social impact strategy and has a B.A. and an M.S. from Fordham University and is earning a Master’s in Public Policy from the Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania with additional graduate studies in public policy Northwestern University. His commitment to social change has led to his recognition as an honoree of Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40: Class of 2017 and 100 Men of Color 2017 Honoree.
Gather New Haven is an urban agriculture and environmental organization in New Haven with a mission to promote health, equity, and justice for people and the environment by cultivating connections with each other and our local lands and waters, and by inspiring us to care for ourselves, our community, and the natural world. Our motto is Neighbors and Nature Thriving Together.
Gather New Haven’s dedication to equitable community development, promoting healthy lifestyles, and access to flourishing natural environments draws on Brent’s experience as a social impact leader with deep experience working to build accountable, collaborative and trusting relationships in Connecticut’s urban communities. Gather New Haven operates six urban farms where it hosts its nationally-recognized Farm-Based Wellness Program; supports 50 Community Gardens and their 800 gardeners; manages and programs six urban nature preserves; engages high school students as Growing Entrepreneurs in paid internships; and operates Schooner Camp for 400 children, half on scholarships.