Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Spread The Word: Youth-2-Youth Town Hall

The Brownsville Community Justice Center will host the 1st Annual Youth-2-Youth Town Hall meeting at 444 Thomas S. Boyland St, Brooklyn, NY 11212 from 4pm-7pm. Brownsville's younger leaders will be discussing solutions to youth violence, youth homelessness and increasing youth civic engagement among the neighborhood's youth.

Don't miss out on the chance to hear straight from the source! Young people get real about the challenges and highlights of living in Brownsville.

Need more information? Here's the flyer: 

Here's a sneak peak:

Spread the word and tell young people in your Brownsville network! We hope to see you there! 


The Brownsville Leadership Project graduated 50 participants Friday, January 28th, 2016. It was the biggest graduating group yet! Participants from the Brownsville Youth Court, Sounds of Brownsville, Brownsville Project Runway, Brownsville Visual Media, and BOLTS were celebrated for their awesome work. Participants worked from October through January on  projects that focused on a specific art form.

The crowd enjoys a slideshow of memories as graduation is about to get started. 

The Brownsville Youth Court was presented with their awards by Sharese Crouther. Sharese worked with this cohort on several projects throughout the summer of 2015. They worked on projects such as Be On Belmont, and fundraising bake sales.
The Brownsville Youth Court pose with their awards one last time with Sharese Crouther. 

Brownsville Visual Media Project graced the audience with a funny and cheerful SNL parody entitled "Brownsville Matters" The short video included skits that reflected conflict in Brownsville, politics, and current events/news. They also included lots of laughs and put smiles on everyone's faces.
Brownsville Visual Media participants pose with their awards with their teaching artist Robert Hairston.

Brownsville Project Runway participants worked the stage in all black, showcasing their creations. The group worked hard on creating fashionable but timeless tote bags. Some bags were made of vinyl fabric, African print fabric, and much more. Many of the participants put a creative spin on their bags by making them reversible. Some participants even created makeup bags and wallets to match! The  bags told stories and highlighted each individual's personality. 

Brownsville Project Runway participants show off their creations as they pose with teaching artist, Shakira Jackson.

Sounds of Brownsville hit the stage lastly, performing some amazing music written by the participants. Although some participants caught a bit of stage fright, the others truly set the crowd on fire with their musical performances. The music touched on some emotional aspects of their lives, as well as the dreams and goals that they have set out for themselves. 

Sounds of Brownsville participant: Trejhour Lewis performs his amazing self written song. 

The Staff at BCJC couldn't be more proud of the young leaders of the Brownsville Leadership Project. It is truly an honor to watch these young people blossom into leaders and agents of change through the arts right here in their own community, Brownsville Brooklyn. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Seizing Opportunities and Redefining Brownsville!

As February begins, the inaugural cycle of the Opportunity Youth is almost complete! The Opportunity Youth program (OY) is a new initiative of the Brownsville Leadership Project. Opportunity Youth is a 14 week program that aims to provide valuable work readiness experience for youth ages 16-24 who are not in school or employed. Each participant is assigned an internship placement based on their interests, talents, and desired career path. Currently, we have participants working with various community based organizations including Neighbors Together, Made in Brownsville, and Brownsville’s very own State Assemblywoman Latrice Walker’s office.

Participants have been gaining skills and exposure to various fields and professions. Participants are also working with our Hines Documentary Fellow on various documentary and media projects. At Neighbors Together, participants are gaining experience in the culinary field, while working with an organization that aims to tackle hunger in the community.  But mostly importantly, all of our participants are gaining opportunities to earn an income and begin to build their professional experience.

In addition to the internship component, the Opportunity Youth participants have come together as a group they named Redefining Brownsville to learn about community organizing and put that knowledge to work to create positive change in Brownsville. Interns have decided to take on the issue of violence and it's impact on the community of Brownsville. Participants have been learning about the roots of violence and have participated in community organizing classes over the course of the program. The group is planning a community wide event to engage youth around this issue. Look for more details to come on this project soon!

Redefining Brownsville Interns get inspired at the Brooklyn Museum! 

Redefining Brownsville Interns deep in discussion during class 

Interns present their work during BLP Family Night! 


The College Tour Series at the Brownsville Community Justice Center Continued this December at Delaware State University! By 7am leaders were geared up and ready for an exciting bus ride to Delaware. This is the Justice Center's first of the series outside of the Tristate area, and the very first
Leaders first walked the campus and were granted the opportunity to view new constructions, and a phenomenal Greek yard! As the day progressed, our leaders got the true college experience by dining at Delaware State's main cafe! They enjoyed all you can eat brunch, desserts, and more. More importantly, they were given a VIP tour of HBCU visit, which included the campus classrooms, lecture halls, and dormitories.

By far, visiting Delaware's single dorm rooms was our leaders favorite, and seemed to be an additional motivator to getting a higher education.

Leaders touring one of Delaware State's lecture halls. Here they were given the opportunity to sit in classrooms and lecture halls.

Youth Outside at Delaware State. Exploring the campus and getting ready to be shown the Greek yard.

 Some of our leaders dining campus life style at Delaware's main cafeteria.

 The College Tour Series will pick up again after the holidays. After visiting Delaware, Brownsville leaders are interested in visiting more out of state colleges/universities like Kentucky, UConn, and Miami! Although we may not get as far as Kentucky or Miami, there are still quite a few schools on the bucket list to visit. The BLP College Tour Series continues to motivate and inspire our leaders to work hard, so that they can one day make these visits their reality.