Engaging Communities News Archive

  • Is NYC's Crime Reduction Strategy Ignoring Lessons of the Past?

    The Trace

    In a series on gun violence in New York by The Trace and The Guardian, the first article explores New York City's surge in gun crime and how it largely coincides with the pandemic. The article explores new and existing approaches to prioritize public safety, like NeighborhoodStat, that gives public housing residents tools and resources to set priorities around quality-of-life issues has shown to reduce violence across the city. Hailey Nolasco, our director of community-based violence prevention, says "let’s continue to bolster community-led efforts and not cause more harm to our communities."

    Also published by The Guardian, The Bad Old Days: How Policing In New York City Turned Back The Clock

  • Could Less Policing Actually Reduce Gun Violence in NYC?

    The Trace

    In a series on gun violence in New York by The Trace and The Guardian, the second of three articles looks at how law enforcement’s ability to solve a crime, especially a shooting, can build or erode trust between law enforcement and the community affected. The article references multiple studies, including the Center's own report, Gotta Make Your Own Heaven, which documented that young people who carry firearms in communities with higher rates of violence often fear the police, which contributes to their decision to carry. 

    Also published by The Guardian: The ‘Clearances Paradox’: Could Less Policing Actually Reduce Gun Violence In New York? 

  • Brooklyn’s Alternative Approach to Gun Violence Shows Promise

    The Trace

    In a series on gun violence in New York by The Trace and The Guardian, the final article details the complex reasons that shootings have declined in Brooklyn, crediting Brooklyn’s more-developed infrastructure of Crisis Management System groups and its network of community-based organizations, like the Brownsville Community Justice Center. Hailey Nolasco, our director of community-based violence prevention; Mallory Thatch, program manager; and Deron Johnston, the deputy director for community development, share their perspectives on on the changes—both positive and negative—Brownville has seen regarding gun possession and violence.

    Also published by The Guardian: The Borough That Figured It Out: How Brooklyn Reduced Gun Violence

  • Common Council Sets Aside $800k to Help Syracuse Tenants Navigate Housing Problems

    WAER Radio

    The Center’s Syracuse Peacemaking Center will continue operation for another two years, thanks to funding from the city’s Common Council. Program ambassadors are working with community partners and guest speakers to provide residents a safe place to talk and connect them with mental health services. Our Leah Russell tells WAER how the program has “seen firsthand how housing concerns are exacerbating mental health issues.”

  • Interview: Planner and Urban Designer Ifeoma Ebo

    Architectural Record

    Ifeoma Ebo, an urban designer and planner based in New York City, worked with the Center's Brownsville Community Justice Center and tenants of the Brownsville Houses to activate outdoor areas to build safe, shared spaces. In 2019, the Justice Center, young community members, and Ebo came together to create low-cost solutions and organized B-Lit, an event that transformed the park into a multicolored dance floor that welcomed residents of all ages.

  • Staten Island mom continues efforts to feed her neighborhood

    PIX11

    In response to a gas outage, Staten Island community members came together to create their own solution to fight food insecurity. A group of volunteers went door-to-door delivering food and supplies. Leticia Lucero from the Center's Neighborhood Safety Initiatives says the community really came together to do this work, sharing how great it feels to highlight positive things happening in communities, especially among all that's going on in the world.

  • Bronx Nonprofit Holds Winter Wonderland Event to Give Back to Community

    Bronx News12

    Bronx News12 profiles the winter wonderland extravaganza that Save Our Streets recently held at its offices in Morrisania. Bronx Community Justice Center project director, Carmen J. Hernandez, is interviewed and explains the impact and history of the program as well as the plans to expand services throughout the borough. 

  • The Complex Dynamic Between 'Violence Interrupters' and Police

    TIME Magazine

    Josiah Bates of TIME Magazine gives a window into the day-in-the-life of a violence interrupter while spending time with the Center for Court Innovation's Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) teams. Noting the complicated dynamics that are at play in their interactions with both the police and the communities they serve, Rahson Johnson, associate director of community safety at S.O.S. Crown Heights, and Joshua Simon, a violence interrupter with S.O.S. Bed-Stuy, are interviewed and reflect on how to bring resources to help heal the community.

  • ‘Harlem Garden Ladies’ Creating Green Space In Their NYCHA Development

    Pix11

    In an effort to bring the community together, over a dozen mothers, grandmothers, and other family members are creating more green space at their NYCHA development. Thanks to funding from the Mayor’s Action Plan and working along with Neighborhood Safety Initiatives, the “Harlem Garden Ladies” are expanding and adding more green space to the Polo Grounds Towers in Harlem. If you were to ask them, these women say "they are planting seeds and then watching the good in the community grow."

  • As Times Square Makes a Comeback, It’s Time to Help Those Still Struggling

    CityLimits.org

    Many vulnerable individuals who are experiencing homelessness or are in need of other services are shuttled into the criminal justice system. In partnership with Fountain House, Breaking Ground, and the Times Square Alliance, a new community-led initiative in Times Square called Community First aims to interrupt this cycle by building trusting relationships, providing essentials, and learning more about the individual needs of our Midtown community members.