At a recent Talent Development Council event, our staff practiced their interview skills with rounds of speed interviewing and networking exercises with other non-profit professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders from across the Center. The Council works across our agency to attract, motivate, and retain productive, engaged employees.
Art vs. Mass Incarceration
Two New York City artists, Derek Fordjour and Shaun Leonardo, work with Project Reset to provide an arts-based alternative to court and a criminal record for people arrested on a low-level charge. Derek welcomed our team into his studio to discuss this work on our podcast, New Thinking. Photo credit: Samiha Amin Meah
B LIVE Combines Music and Community
Brownsville residents cheer on local artists performing original music at the B LIVE Music + Arts Festival, a youth-led pop-up concert at Dr. Green park in Brooklyn. The B LIVE program at Brownsville Community Justice Center offers workshops and internships to teach young people marketable skills and culminates with a youth-organized event to build community connections and give voice to positive stories.
Positive Vibes in Red Hook
The Red Hook Community Justice Center runs numerous youth programs. This summer, in collaboration with Progress Playbook, the Center helped 17 teenagers create and design a brand of clothing. They learned about starting a business and also used the brand to send a positive message to the community. Justina, Jamel, and Anais show off their t-shirts, which the young entrepreneurs sold at a neighborhood pop-up shop. They also got many purchasers to volunteer at least an hour of their time to help local non-profits. Photo credit: Lloyd Cambridge / Progress Playbook
National Night Out
The annual National Night Out promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood unity to
make our communities safer. Many of our programs participated in local National Night Out events in their neighborhoods, including our Saint Nicholas Neighborhood Safety Initiative team, whose local event had over 200 participants. Photo credit: Darius Richards, Saint Nicholas Houses Resident Stakeholder.
In the immediate aftermath of last week’s mass shooting in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the Brownsville Rapid Response Coalition took shape. Neighborhood-based groups, including our Brownsville Community Justice Center, came together to demand greater funding for community-based anti-violence work. Council member Alicka Ampry-Samuel (with microphone) was one of many voices calling for more support and less stereotyping of the historically under-resourced community.
Inspiring Latin America
More than 30 civil and criminal justice practitioners from seven countries in Latin America came for a week of site visits, including our Brooklyn Justice Initiatives and Midtown Community Court, and workshops on procedural justice and community problem-solving. Many said they'd been inspired to bring lessons from their visit home to their own jurisdictions. Photo credit: Samiha A. Meah
Reimagining Your Community
At an event hosted by NYS Heath Foundation, our staff shared stories and strategies to engage residents in reimagining public spaces. Placemaking improves community health, builds trust among neighbors, and increases community safety. From left: Leah Russell, Near Westside Peacemaking Project; Deron Johnston, Brownsville Community Justice Center; James Brodick, director, Community Development and Crime Prevention; and Bronwyn Starr, moderator, NYS Health Foundation. Photo credit: Samiha A. Meah
Arts and Wellness for a Stronger Community
The Midtown Community Court takes its middle name seriously, actively building bridges to the community. Neighborhood residents, workers, and visitors enjoyed the court’s recent Summer Solstice: Arts & Wellness Community Summit, which included games, music, free HIV testing, and an Alvin Ailey Arts In Education workshop led by Ethel Calhoun. Photo credit: Samiha A. Meah
Students Study Innovative Justice
Students from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Victoria, Australia, visited our programs to learn how we engage communities. During a week-long tour, they visited our Newark Community Solutions and Express Newark, a Rutgers University program focused on local issues and leaders, community art spaces, and programs that work with incarcerated youth.
The Bronx Rocks Da Block
Bronx Community Solutions’ Rock Da Block party included an official ribbon cutting ceremony of the new neighborhood program site with Council Member Vanessa Gibson and Judge George Grasso and a graduation of the first cohort of Youth Court members. Three hundred friends and neighbors came out for games, food, face painting, and festivities. Photo credit: William Harkins