Tuesday, April 27, 2010

YouthBridge-NY Recruiting Student Leaders

YouthBridge-NY, a two-year leadership training program for New York City students going into 11th grade, is recruiting for Fall 2010. YouthBridge Fellows come together for monthly skill-building workshops, specialized action committees, meetings with city leaders, while developing relationships with their peers and having fun.

Contact Monica Merlis at mmerlis@jcrcny.org or 212-983-4800 x122 for more information, or visit http://www.youthbridgeny.org/ to download an application. Applications are also available at the Mediation Center, and are due April 30th.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Census Assistance at Assemblyman Camara's Office

Assemblyman Karim Camara is offering assistance to people filling out the 2010 Census form tomorrow from 10:00am-2:00pm. A Census representative will be on hand to answer any questions and to give forms to people who did not receive them.  If you have any questions, definitely stop by Assemblyman Camara's office tomorrow. Get counted! Here are the details:

2010 Census Assistance
Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
Office of Assemblyman Karim Camara
1216 Union St. (between Nostrand and Rogers Aves.)
Brooklyn, NY 11225

For more information, call 718-771-3105 or click here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

YEP interviews Lillian Jackson

Yesterday the young women in our Youth Entrepreneurship Program conducted an interview with Lillian Jackson, a community member and wonderful cook, to kick off the oral history interviews for their cookbook project. This program is a collaboration between the Mediation Center and the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

Ms. Jackson captivated the group with stories about growing up in the Mississippi Delta and learning to cook by watching her grandmother. She shared some of these dishes that she claimed to be able to "cook with [her] eyes closed" with us-- traditional Southern dishes like collard greens and barbecue chicken with honey glaze, as well as less traditional dishes like shrimp lo mein. Making these dishes, Ms. Jackson shared with us, evokes memories of her childhood.

Ms. Jackson also shared some advice with the group: that while it is a plus to be beautiful on the outside, the most important thing is "to be absolutely beautiful in spirit and to have your brain also. With that, you'll be able to write your own ticket and have the opportunity to do anything you want to do."

In other oral history news, last month a group of students from Brooklyn Generations School spoke with Mediation Center Project Director Amy Ellenbogen and Americorps member Pastor Ken Bogan about Crown Heights and their experiences here and the history of the neighborhood.

Check out another group of young people doing oral history in Crown Heights in collaboration with the Crow Hill Community Association here: http://crownheightshistoryproject.blogspot.com/.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WAAB Fellowship Meeting

Last month the Mediation Center hosted a meeting of the current We Are All Brooklyn (WAAB) Fellowship, a leadership training program for young professionals who work at community organizations and social service agencies in Brooklyn. The group spent the morning learning about Crown Heights and heard from Richard Green (Crown Heights Youth Collective), Pastor Ken Bogan (Greater Restoration Baptist Church), Amy Ellenbogen (CHCMC), and Devorah Halberstam, who spoke about losing her son to a terrorist attack in Brooklyn and how she became involved in activism thereafter.

Devorah Halberstam tells her story to the group.

To learn more about the We Are All Brooklyn Fellowship, click here. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

CITIZENSHIP DRIVE * April 29 * Free assistance to apply for U.S. Citizenship

This spring, the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center is offering FREE ASSISTANCE to eligible individuals to complete the US citizenship application.  

If you are eligible to apply for citizenship, you will be scheduled to meet with a trained volunteer to fill out the N-400 form and receive information about the additional requirements to complete your application.

The next session is April 29 from 4 pm-8 pm.   
 To find out if you are eligible, call (718) 773-6886  
and ask about the “Citizenship Drive.”  
 All information will be kept confidential. 

This event is sponsored by Council Member Darlene Mealy District 41.

Spring Organizing at the Mediation Center

Yesterday the staff of the Mediation Center had a special treat-- a visit from seven members of the New York chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) as part of their GO (Get Organized) Month. GO Month is a national event that was started to highlight the benefits of being organized and working with professional organizers, and the group at our office did just that.

Throughout the morning, each Mediation Center staff member worked individually with an organizer on personal desk spaces as well as common areas around the office. The results were amazing! Collectively, we reorganized desks, sorted through piles and file cabinets, and thoroughly cleaned and organized the kitchen and supply closet.  As an organization that relies on volunteers and has a great deal of turnover each year, sometimes things pile up and it was a great help to have the organizers here.

The Mediation Center greatly appreciates the time and and energy of our friends at NAPO-NY. A recent NAPO survey found that 91 percent of respondents believed they would be more efficient at work if they were better organized. Here at the Mediation Center, we are already beginning to feel some of those effects.