Thursday, January 28, 2016

Young Change Makers: Introducing the Brownsville Builders!!!

In November 2015, the Brownsville Community Justice Center launched an exciting new youth program aimed at empowering Brownsville's youth to effect positive change in their community. The Brownsville Builders is a service-learning program for young people age 14-18 living in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Over a school year, 10-12 young people are trained in community organizing, civic engagement, design and city planning principles in order to address issues of public safety and economic justice in their community. Funded by the State Farm's Youth Advisory Board, the Builder's have been off to amazing start. 

The Brownsville Builders consists of young people who live or attend in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The builders work with residents, businesses, and stakeholders to help create safer, cleaner, family friendly spaces through neighborhood planning. The Builders are focusing on Belmont Avenue (between Rockaway Ave. and Mother Gaston Blvd.). Belmont Avenue is an important part of Brownsville that has been in rapid decline. The Builders hope to reduce criminal activity and improve physical conditions by re-imagining physical spaces and providing positive activity for young people. 

Since November, the Builders have spoken with Community Board 16 District Manager, Viola Green-Walker; the Youth Services Committee (CB16); Transportation Alternative and Assemblywoman Latrice Walker. Additionally, the Builders have been actively engaging the community by completing 250 resident surveys to gain resident perspectives about the current conditions and services on Belmont Avenue; presenting at the Monthly Community Board 16 meeting;volunteering at community events and providing a list of recommendations to improve resources for disconnected youth in Brownsville to Assemblywoman Latrice Walker.  

To learn more information about the Brownsville Builders, please contact Ionna Jimenez at

Check out some of our highlights below: 

Some of the builders in uniform

Team Building Exercises

Discussing possible solutions for some of the area's most dangerous intersections

After meeting with Transportation Alternatives

Sharing their recommendations with Assemblywoman Walker

Team Building Part 2

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