GSB Dean’s Council Works with Local Bronx Business


The GSB Dean’s Council hopes to support local businesses in their conjunction. (Courtesy of Colin Wexler/The Fordham Ram)

The Gabelli School of Business (GSB) Dean’s Council got a new budget conjunction approved with the Boogie Down Grind and Lit. Bar for an upcoming event on April 4 at 1 p.m. on the Rose Hill campus in the Great Hall. Owned by Bronx native and author, Majora Carter, the Boogie Down Grind is a hip hop cafe in the South Bronx that serves a variety of coffee, beer and food. Likewise, the Lit. Bar is owned by Noëlle Santos, a Bronx Native, and currently serves as the only independent bookstore in the Bronx.

Colin Wexler, GSB ’22, is one of the co-heads for the Outreach subcommittee, which is part of GSB Dean’s Council.

The new budget conjunction allows for the purchase of Carter’s new book, “Reclaiming Your Community: You Don’t Have to Move Out of Your Neighborhood to Live in a Better One” from the Lit Bar and pastries from the Boogie Down Grind for the event. Carter will be coming to Rose Hill’s campus to speak about her book and talk about Bronx businesses. Students who attend will be entered into a raffle to win a copy of the book.

“The Boogie Down Grind was founded and invested in by local residents who grew up during tough times for their borough.

The cafe is a community-owned and operated, high-quality space for everyone to enjoy the Bronx’s Hip Hop Jazzy vibe,” said Wexler. “From coffee to mimosas, there is something for everyone to enjoy while soaking in true Bronx roots.”

Chloe Mathewson, GSB ’24, is the other co-head for the Outreach subcommittee. “I believe it is important that Fordham students are exposed to more Bronx businesses than those on Arthur Ave,” said Mathewson. “Our committee’s goal is to foster relationships with our immediate community and find creative ways for Fordham students to support local businesses. There is great work happening in urban revitalization all over the Bronx, and the Boogie Down Grind and the Lit Bar are prime examples of this.”

Carter’s new book addresses multiple issues, such as how brain drain affects low-income communities.

In the book, Carter also discusses development strategies to help these communities succeed. She shares her own personal experience and rethinks important topics.

Katherine Doss, GSB ’23, is another member of the Outreach Subcommittee, and believes the event will have a positive impact.
Doss said, “the discussion will also include advice on how Fordham students can reclaim their Fordham community and maintain their connections to the school when they graduate.” She continued, “Majora is a very lively and personable speaker, and I think everyone will walk away from the event feeling invigorated.”

“By showcasing unique Bronx-based businesses to Fordham students, this budget request will allow students to gain a new appreciation for the area surrounding their campus, fostering a deeper connection between the Fordham and Bronx community,” said Wexler.

This is not the first event that GSB Dean’s Council has organized to promote Bronx businesses.

In fall  2020, during a hard time for many businesses because of the pandemic, Wexler and Shauna Fortier, GSB ’21, organized a virtual event, A Bronx Tale: Speaking to Bronx Businesses, where there was a panel of keynote speakers from Bronx businesses.
The included businesses contain Bronx Brand, Mainland Media, WallWorks, Born Juice and Boogie Down Grind.

With many COVID-19 restrictions now lifted, the GSB Dean’s Council is excited to be able to welcome their first-ever Bronx business leader to the Rose Hill campus, said Wexler.

“As a business school in the Bronx, we feel it is our duty to not only educate our students on best business practices but also lead by example by supporting the businesses that stand as a pillar in the community that surrounds us,” said Wexler.

“The Bronx is the most diverse borough of New York City. Yet most Fordham students do not feel connected to the borough that we call home,” said Wexler. “Therefore, we wanted to create an event on campus this spring with Majora Carter from the Boogie Down Grind to educate students on local Bronx businesses outside the Belmont community.”

Wexler continued, “[a]s an urban revitalization strategist and local business owner from the South Bronx, Majora Carter is a leader in our community, utilizing a talent retention strategy to create welcoming and desired spaces throughout the Bronx.”