Friday, July 31, 2015

Justice Community Plus: Somethin' Is Cooking In The Community

On July 24th 2015, two communities came together to offer opportunities and possibilities to a group of young people over grilled hot dogs and hamburgers.  The meet and greet took place at the S.O.S Crown Heights Mediation Center where youth from Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights gathered to hear about innovative youth programming offered through the Brownsville Community Justice Center.  

Participants we’re excited to find out that Justice Community Plus (JCP) came to recruit and usher in the next cohort for the upcoming year! Our Justice Community Program Coordinator, Kayin Latson and Youth and Community Engagement Specialist Tarisse Iriarte introduced the benefits of the JCP program to over 20 attentive listeners.

Potential participants learned that they have an opportunity to earn OSHA certifications through Click Safety, take courses like graphic design through our partners at City Tech and explore a wealth of career options through our job readiness intensive. Additionally, youth were excited to know they would be giving back to their communities by participating in community benefit projects in Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.  Tarisse explained how rewarding the program is to young people who are in pursuit of their goals and just need support getting there.

We are looking forward to the community celebrating these young leaders while ushering in the newbees!  This will be a memorable time for everyone as we are so proud of all the great work our youth have done and will continue to do in the Bedstuy/Crown Heights Communities. 

Two Brownsville Justice Community Program Graduations In One Week

The Brownsville Justice Community Program graduated two separate groups of young people in one week. The first group was a part of our Justice Community Main program, a program for young people who live in the larger Brownsville community. The second group was a part of the Marcus Garvey Justice Community program, a program for young people who live in Marcus Garvey, a development located in Brownsville. Both groups worked extremely hard at their goals and also learned some new things that they can take with them. While both groups spent most of their time in their respective tracks of interest based learning, they also spent time giving back to their community and making powerful changes throughout.

Justice Community graduates and alumni across programs from Brownsville, Crown Heights, and Bed-Stuy return from their graduation trip to Six Flags Great Adventure
Justice Community main learned some awesome skills in the interest-based learning tracks that were offered. Some young people choose to work in the ReelWorks track, a track facilitated by ReelWorks staff that taught young people the ins and outs of filmography. Another track that was offered was the Young Adult Entrepreneurship track. In this track young people learned the basics of starting their own businesses by working closely with an experienced entrepreneur. The Community Benefit Projects track took a spin this go round, by working with landscaping and designing Brownsville's own MGV Pops lot on Mother Gaston Boulevard.

Participants in the ReelWorks track celebrating the premiere of their documentaries at the New York Institute of Technology
Participants in the Community Benefit Projects track touch up the facade of a local business on Belmont Avenue.
Ciara, a participant in the Young Adult Entrepreneurship Program track, plots and explains her business plan.
Meanwhile in Marcus Garvey, the young people worked hard at tackling the issues around public safety working closely with BCJC staff and Made in Brownsville, an organization that works with youth to create a future vision for their community through advocacy and education. The Marcus Garvey Justice Community program was the first in its kind. Offering this opportunity to young people specific to one development gave those young people the skills and the know how to create positive changes in their community. Even though this group of young people have graduated, they will continue to be positive agents of change in Marcus Garvey and the larger Brownsville Community. 
Justice Community participants from Marcus Garvey Village present their vision for the future of their development to students and architects from Columbia University.
Justice Community Participants from Marcus Garvey Village present their visions for the future of their development to the Marcus Garvey Village Tenant Association.

Congratulations to our newest Justice Community Graduates!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Justice Center Launches the Insight Initiative

The Insight Initiative is the newest program to launch under the Brownsville Leadership Project. Insight Initiative is a youth leadership development program which focuses on providing participants with invaluable tools and skills needed to successfully re-enter and navigate their communities. The Insight Initiative incorporates aspects of the One Circle Foundation and Rites of Passage youth work models. Insight Initiative’s vision is to ensure that all Insight youth have the abilities needed to tap into their potential and actualize their goals, and are provided with immeasurable amounts of support on their journey.

Take a look at a few pics from our Brownsville Leadership Project Community Day held to welcome Insight Initiative participants to the community!  


Insight Initiative and other BLP members playing a game of 2K!

Nothing builds community like a good game of Uno!

All in all, it was a great day of community building and celebration of our new Insight Initiative members!