Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mark Your Calendars for the 15th Annual Family Day Picnic

The Leadership Training Institute is working in collaboration with the 71st Precinct Community Council to plan this year's Family Day Picnic. This is a Crown Heights tradition where people from all across the community come together to celebrate one another and spend a fun day with playing on rides, eating food, enjoying entertainment, and gathering information from local organizations. Make sure to mark your calendars for Sunday, June 7th, and come to Lefferts Park between 12:00pm and 5:00pm to join in!

Monday, May 11, 2009

"You Empower People"

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center is beginning to highlight some phenomenal members of this community.
Dorothy Jean Bembry-Guet is an active Crown Heights community member, a Leadership Training Institute participant, a union 1199 delegate, a tenant organizer, a mother, a grandmother, and a New York University graduate. She moved to Brooklyn from Georgia and has lived in the community since 1968. She has a passion for working with people and improving the community. Our staff member Rebecca Steinfeld had a chance to sit down and interview Dorothy.

Dorothy spoke about everything from the richly diverse Crown Heights community that is not reflected in the media, to the importance of not over-committing yourself, to her involvement in the Brooklyn Tenants Union lobbying in Albany for more tenant friendly laws. While talking about her work lobbying for change, Dorothy spoke about the importance of teaching people that they do have the power improve their lives. She said, "You train members of the community that they have this power. You empower people. It's so amazing what you can do. People just don't know the power that they have. It doesn't have to be violent. It doesn't have to be nasty. But the voter, the citizen, they really are in control if they just utilize their power."

You can listen to more of Dorothy's inspiring words here in an edited version of her interview:

Friday, May 8, 2009

AmeriCorps Week of Service is here!

Get Things Done!  Join AmeriCorps.  Go to AmeriCorps.gov
AmeriCorps week of service is celebrated May 9th-16th this year. AmeriCorps is a national service program that gives adults of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to commit to community service through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups. This is a week to highlight and recognize the work done by AmeriCorps members. Individuals and organizations have planned events around the country to celebrate national service. Tomorrow, Saturday May 9, 2009, a local Americorps week kick off will take place from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm at Thomas Jefferson Park. This event will include a celebration to start off a day of service. Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Patterson are expected to attend. This is a great week to take some time to think about how you can contribute to your community by giving of your time and energy.

The Mediation Center is tremendously grateful to its amazing AmeriCorps volunteers. A special thank you to all our wonderful AmeriCorps members: Elizabeth Delmonte, Mollie Spevack, Rebecca Steinfeld, Adam Wasser, Toneise Holmes, and Reverend Ken Bogan. Without you, we would not be able to accomplish the work we do in the community.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Truancy Intervention Program Soars

The Mediation Center coordinates the Truancy Intervention Program (TIP) at Ebbets Field Middle School 352. This year, Cathy Barker has recruited almost 50 students to participate in the program. We help students stay on the right track at school, making sure their attendance level is up to par and that they are functioning well academically. We do this by working individually with students, teachers, and parents, and acting as advocates. This year, Cathy worked with students individually to make sure the rising 8th graders can go to the high schools of their choice next year. Now, 27 out of 30 students have been accepted into their first or second choice schools. She is continuing to work with students on their exit projects, classroom behavior, and attendance records. Thanks Cathy for all your hard work.