Since the beginning of September, a new coalition has been meeting at the Mediation Center. Organized by Assemblyman Karim Camara and Council Member Letitia James and comprised of organizations, leaders, and residents of Crown Heights, the I am C.H.A.N.G.E. (Crown Heights Area Next Generation's Empowerment) group has taken up the issue of disconnected youth as its focus.
The group has defined disconnected youth as people ages 16-24 who are both out of school and out of a job. In an effort to reduce the numbers of disconnected youth in the community and re-engage them in a positive way, participants in I am C.H.A.N.G.E. have been working together and building partnerships between the various organizations and individuals involved, with the belief that much more can be accomplished through combining our efforts.
In this collaborative spirit, the group has decided that its first event will reach out to the target group of youth in a direct way, through street team outreach. The event will feature a musical performance as well as an array of resources through which youth can become engaged in the community in a positive way.
Though still in the planning stage, the goal of the event will be to engage disconnected youth in a way that facilitates the opportunity for youth to connect with the available resources in area, to build relationships, to illustrate the value and importance of utilizing one's voice, and to be able to move forward after the event in a sustainable way.
Look out for more information on this exciting event in the coming weeks!