Fort Greene

Buren “Fuzzy” Figueroa

Mentor, coach, administrator and organizer, Figueroa has been a stable and blessed presence in Fort Greene for more than 60 years.  Born in Harlem but raised in Brooklyn, Fuzzy was guided on a path to service by three social workers who inspired a 13-year old to use his many talents to serve others. 

After an education in design and a tour of duty, Figueroa returned to Fort Greene to give back to a community that had poured into him. From leading trips to the mountains with teens, coaching track teams, to helping establish and strengthen community centers and health institutions around the borough, Figueroa believes in helping people find their place. Using his positions of influence and leadership on the community board, as a block worker and through his work in many public institutions, he fought hard for patient rights and employment opportunities for his community

Even through budget cuts in lean times in this city, Fuzzy continued to find ways to organize. As a man of faith, he believed that when one door closed another one would open. 

Fuzzy encourages people to remember that you can’t talk about what’s not going right if you’re not willing to engage and be a part of the solution. He loves the diversity and camaraderie of his community, and continues to work in helping the next generations step up and give back. 

Portrait by

Carly Zavala

Carly Zavala is a Venezuelan-born photographer specializing in personal and empowering portraiture. Grew up in Ithaca, New York, now living in Clinton Hill with her Australian Shepherd. They are Fort Greene Park morning regulars.

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