Photo of Jeffrey by Chris Randall.

Jeffrey first started taking pictures with a polaroid camera when he was around 8 years old. He developed a love of photography that continues through his current projects. He is particularly interested in attempting to capture the essence of the people he photographs. Primarily a photographer of people, his work centers on portraits and documenting people in the context of their lives.

He is a founder of the popular I LOVE NEW HAVEN documentary photography project dedicated to the people and places of New Haven, Ct. Jeffrey also volunteers in a number of community photography projects such as Inside Out New Haven and Help Portrait. He served as the official photographer for CT Roller Girls in 2013 and 2014.

Bio

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Raised by working class parents in Connecticut, Jeffrey attended public schools and delivered newspapers from age nine for extra money.  His father was a truck driver and his mom cleaned houses. Winning the Arthur Gabler Scholarship in high school helped him afford a B.S. in Environmental Education. After graduating, Jeffrey worked at the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center and the Department of Environmental Protection’s Kellogg Environmental Center.

His commitment to social change grew through volunteering as well as through the Audubon Expedition Institute, where he earned his Bachelors. This unique program focuses on developing students into agents of social change through detailed and experiential exploration of complex social issues. These experiences include learning from the people and places involved on different sides of a multiplicity of issues, from old growth logging in the Pacific Northwest, environmental racism in New Mexico, the collapse of cod fisheries in Newfoundland villages, to migrant labor struggles in Florida. This unconventional exploration of opposing sides has helped detail the complex nature of not only these issues, but the complex solutions required for them to be addressed.

After several years teaching environmental education, Jeffrey decided to enhance his skills at implementing change by individuals and communities by attending Columbia University where he earned a Master of Science in Social Work. There, he realized making social change takes time, courage and devotion.

As an emergency room clinical social worker, he helped form the Union of Social Workers at Cambridge Hospital to end unfair pay structures that allowed new hires to earn more then those with 10+ years. He was proud to be part of a progressive unionization effort guided by Kris Rondeau’s “community building.” Jeffrey’s father has been a member of Teamsters most of his life which provided healthcare and a living wage to his family growing up.

From very early in his life, Jeffrey has been involved in his local community, having served as volunteer fireman, reader to the blind, assistant scout master, community mediator among a number of other roles. He is a founding member of New Haven Citizens Action Network (NHCAN), a grassroots effort to hold the City of New Haven to higher standards and to organize the community to become more engaged in the political and budgeting process. These efforts culminated in a grassroots, clean election candidacy for Mayor of New Haven where he was outspent by a 20 year incumbent $760,000 to $53,000 while loosing by just 1600 votes after a 5 month campaign.

Married to Pei Ye since 2002 after meeting on the NYC Subway in 1998, they make their home on Lyon Street in New Haven where the couple makes their home. They have two Australian Shepherds, Luka and Murphy.

Contact

mobile: 203-676-0880
snail mail: 43 Lyon Street, New Haven, CT 06511 map
email: jeffrey.kerekes@gmail.com
IM: YahooIM AIM Google Talk Facebook Skype
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