Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reentry Resource Fair a Success

The Reentry Resource Fair held by Councilwoman Letitia James in collaboration with the Mediation Center on Saturday, November 22nd was a success!

17 different organizations serving formerly incarcerated people and their families were present and took the opportunity to network and build partnerships in addition to providing information and services to the community members present.

The fair was even featured on Brooklyn Channel 12 News!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Reentry Town Hall Forum

The Mediation Center is collaborating with District Attorney Charles J. Hines, State Senator Eric Adams, ComAlert and Medgar Evers College to present an Ex-Offender Reentry Town Hall Forum. The event will be held at Medgar Evers college on Tuesday evening, December 9th at 7pm.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

December Food Stamp Program

Another Food Stamp Program has been scheduled for December 9th, from 10am-3pm at the Mediation Center office.

This will be an opportunity to get eligibility information and help filling out food stamp applications. To submit applications, participants will be referred to their nearest HRA or food stamp office.

Appointments are available now!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Navigating the Fiscal Crisis

Project CARE and the Mediation Center are partnering with We Are All Brooklyn, JCRC and a number of other organizations to present a forum on Navigating the Fiscal Crisis for Brooklyn non-profits.

Wednesday, December 17th
Office of the Brooklyn Borough President
209 Joralemon, Courtroom

RSVP to:
Hoi Chan
212-983-4800 x136

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reentry Resource Fair

The Mediation Center is sponsoring a Resource Fair for formerly incarcerated men and women and their families.

This is the place to find information about housing, getting a job, health care, education and more.

The fair will be Saturday, November 22, at the Calvary Community Church at 1575 St. John's Place from 1-3pm.

All are welcome.

AVODAH training

AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, is an Americorps-like program for Jewish college graduates, who live communally for a year, volunteering in service organizations across the city and the country. This is the Mediation Center's second year partnering with AVODAH.

Last Friday, November 14th, our current AVODAH fellow and another staff member met with all of the New York AVODAH fellows to conduct a training in conflict resolution.

One of the participants had this to say:

"I loved learning about conflict styles. I feel that often in a conflict, I feel the other party doesn't care or isn't taking it seriously, but that exercise helps me plan to consider simply different approaches . . . The training definitely exceeded my expectations. I felt it was very real and very application-oriented, rather than theory-oriented. And that's great because the theory of conflict resolution doesn't get you very far. Eleanor and Mollie worked very well as a team. And I thought it was so great that the training made us feel great about ourselves as a community, while also opening our eyes to way we can improve."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Food Stamp Program a Success!

Two staff members from the Human Resource Administration spent the day at the Mediation Center last Thursday, providing information on Food Stamp eligibility to over 25 community residents.

The program was so successful, we have tentatively scheduled two more Food Stamp information programs for December!

Unexpected Connection

Last week, several Mediation Center staff members experienced a wonderful little moment:

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center is working on establishing a new youth court in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg precinct. Several of our staff members traveled to the Red Hook Community Justice Center to observe Red Hook's youth court in action. After much concern about the cost of a car service, because we were running late and because there were four of us, we decided to call a car.

After a bit of wrangling, our director, Amy, talked the driver down to $17 for the fare. On the way there, she sat in the front seat and explained to the staff what we were about to see.

In four police precincts that neighbor the Red Hook Community Justice Center, if a young person commits a minor offense and is given a YD card, she or he has the option of going before a jury of her or his peers. The youth court members are made up of young people who live in the community and are interested in pursuing careers in law and criminal justice. Jury members question the young person who has committed the offense to find out more about what happened on the day of the offense and also more broadly what's going on in the young person's life and what she or he aspires to. With this information in hand, the youth court members work to craft a fair and beneficial sanction, composed of some combination of essays, workshops, community service, and social service referrals. Upon completion of this sanction, the young person's YD card is neutralized.

When we arrived at our destination, our driver said that he really supported the work that we do. He explained that when he was a young person he got himself into trouble and that there were lots of people around who supported him and helped him. He wanted our program to "spread and spread all over the city and all over the country." He said he wanted to help in any way he could and he would start by reducing our fare to $12! It is a great way to start our new program!