Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pitkin Avenue Graffiti Cleanup

The Brownsville Community Justice Center, in partnership with the Kings County District Attorney's Office, provides low-level offender an alternative to incarceration while addressing problems in their community. The goal is doing meaningful service projects in Brownville to improve the community and by targeting litter and vandalism to show that justice works.

The community service program partners with the Pitkin Avenue BID to cover graffiti on Pitkin Avenue.  This week we tackled several locations:
1522 Pitkin Avenue 
If you are a community member who knows of a quality-of-life concern in the Brownsville community that our crew could help address, please contact Dwayne Lashley, at 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mural Dedication

We had a wonderful and inspiring event on Thursday, August 30, 2012 in Brownsville for the dedication of the Groundswell mural "Yesterday I Was ______, Today I Am ________, Tomorrow I Will Be _______",  sponsored by the Brownsville Community Justice Center and which six of our Justice Community members worked on to research plan, design, and install.  Working as part of a team made up exclusively of young men, they spent the summer creating their vision of role models and the male identity.  In addition to these core members who completed their internship working on the mural, other program members assisted with the painting as well.  The project is located at the Student Farm Project a new community garden and teaching space (connected to PS 323), which the Justice Community has also assisted with construction as a community benefit project.  The site of the monumental work is a high traffic area in a prominent location in the heart of the neighborhood and the mural is visible and legible from as far as the train station several blocks away.  The truly amazing design that these young people executed invites all segments of the community, young, old, male, and female into a conversation about changing identity.

The youth artists, our program members, Department of Probation staff, folks from the Center for Economic Opportunity and the Mayor's office, Groundswell staff and board members, neighborhood residents, family, friends, news media, as well as Commissioner Schiraldi, the principal of PS 323, and the founder of the Student Farm Project were all in attendance.   

Members of the Justice Community program also enjoyed meeting some of the animal residents of the farm!

For more on the reaction to this new work, check out this story about Groundswell's summer murals in the New York Times' City Room Blog.