Amy Ellenbogen is a serial founder of programs designed to prevent violence through collective and community-led problem solving. Her programs use a trauma informed, anti-oppression and anti-racist lens. Trained as a social worker and community organizer, Amy served as the director of Neighbors in Action (formerly known as the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center) for 17 years. In that role, she founded the first Cure Violence replication site in New York State, Save Our Streets, (S.O.S), an evidence-based local neighborhood gun violence reduction program and oversaw the strategic expansion and rebranding of Neighbors in Action from a mediation center to a multidisciplinary, multi-neighborhood provider of anti-violence, healing, and community building services for community members of all ages.
As of 2019, Amy is the Director of Arts Strategies at the Center for Court Innovation where she is focusing on the creation of opportunities to deploy the arts to influence policy and find solutions to seemingly intractable societal problems, provide economic opportunities, support well-being, promote empathy and understanding within the criminal legal system and in neighborhoods. She is currently designing arts-based alternatives to incarceration, court diversion programs, and working with arts organizations to cultivate safety, a sense of belonging, civic participation, and healing.