Bed Stuy

Shneaqua Purvis

Shneaqua Purvis is one of the most fiercest women I know. She is my personal Superwoman. She has been helping the community since she was just a little girl. She would take kids from her community out of the neighborhood to experience life outside the neighborhood on her own dime. Shneaqua makes it her duty to help her community, no matter how small it is, she will always try her best to help. She would give out prom dresses, business attire, collect feminine products for hygiene for the women and young girls that she sees around her neighborhood. 


Just like some others, she had her calling at a young age to wanna see more than the projects, to experience the other side of those building, to be on top and actually say she did it. And she has.

Unfortunately, Shneaqua was face wit a lot of bumps in the road but she kept going. That should tell you how important her community means to her in her many years of work in anti-gun violence. She has put many high risk kids into high school so they can get their diploma. She has offered her home for the youth that have been kicked out of their homes. Shneaqua has played many roles in life and Community Hero is one of many. 


Shneaqua endured some pain when she lost her sister to a stray bullet in 2002. Ever since then, her goal is for nobody to endure the pain she has endured. Shneaqua knew she couldn’t run from the pain because everywhere she goes she will always wanna help. She once told me “There are 5 Elements of your community.  People, churches, schools, police, hospitals. No matter where you go,  there will always be those 5 elements to any community.”


Knowing Shneaqua, she will always try to help. She even gives advice on how you should go about learning your community by getting to know your community board, precinct, block association president, tenant association president. These people’s job is to look out for your community, so you should know them personally and be able to call them any time on speed dial. I ask Shneaqua if she can tell me one inspirational quote that she will carry on for the rest of her life and she told me: “There’s No Community Without Unity” 

Portrait by

Yuvraj Khanna

Yuvraj Khanna is a documentary photographer from India currently based out of Crown Heights, New York City.

Text by

Shaniya Purvis

Shaniya Purvis is Shneaqua Purvis’ second Daughter, The Youngest Daughter. “When My Mom Told Me She Was Being Nominated For Community Hero I Was So Excited For Her. Then She Told Me That Community Hero’s Are Allowing The Youth To Interview The Community Hero’s I Was Excited To Interview My Mother”

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