Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mediation Center's End of Year Report

We’ve accomplished an incredible amount this year at the Crown Heights Mediation Center.

Please enjoy our 2011 end of the year letter from the Mediation Center's director, Amy Ellenbogen.

2011 Crown Heights Community Center End of Year Letter

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kingston Winter Windows Kicks Off In Crown Heights

Youth Organizing to Save Out Streets will unveil their “Kingston Winter Windows” project tonight. With support from the Kingston Avenue Merchants Association (KAMA) festive storefronts have been designed and decorated by individuals ages 14 – 17 in an effort to beautify the commercial district and promote peace.

The youth organizers and merchants will convene at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center at 430 PM, where they will distribute maps for a walking tour of the storefronts. The theme of the storefronts is “Peace in Crown Heights.” Following the tour, the group will gather with friends and family to celebrate their accomplishments and enjoy seasonal treats provided by KAMA.

DATE:             Monday, December 19th 

TIME:              4:30 PM                                             

PLACE:            Crown Heights Community Mediation Center
                         256 Kingston Avenue  
 Brooklyn, NY 11213-3435

  • E & S Dry Cleaners 105 Kingston Ave.
  • Arthurine's West Indian 115 Kingston Ave.
  • MS Design & Assoc. 131 Kingston Ave.
  • Crown Heights Development Corp. 254 Kingston Ave.
  • Crown Heights Community Mediation Center 256 Kingston Ave.
  • Kingston Pharmacy 1106 St. Johns Place
  • Magic Kingston Nursery School 275 Kingston Ave
  • Basil 270 Kingston Ave.
Celebration: YOasis  
221 Kingston Avenue
(Third floor of Church)

Kingston Winter Windows is a co-production of the Kingston Avenue Merchants Association (KAMA) and YoSOS (Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets). KAMA, with support from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Project (NEP), aims to assist merchants in accessing resources to grow their businesses and support a thriving business community. YoSOS is a youth development program that aims to empower young people to become community leaders and organizers.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mural Contest at Weeksville Heritage Center

Celebrate the heritage of Brooklyn with art! The Weeksville Heritage Center is gearing up to move into its new education and cultural arts building and is inviting the community to join in beautifying its new classroom and think tank in one of its historic homes.

Submissions are open to anyone age 6 and up, and the only criteria is that the submission be about celebrating Brooklyn. The deadline for submission is Friday January 13, 2012. Click on the image below for details.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Two Employment Opportunities at D.R.E.A.M.S.

The D.R.E.A.M.S. Youthbuild program is committed to helping young adults become dedicated, responsible, educated, accountable, motivated and self sufficient, by assisting participants in obtaining their GEDs and securing full time employment in the areas of construction, health care, and technology. Along with our traditional YouthBuild Program, we recently were awarded an additional federal SMART grant to provide similar service to young adults ages 16 – 24 who are currently incarcerated, or have been released into specific census tracks in Brooklyn within the past year.

D.R.E.A.M.S. would like to hire a Senior Social Worker and Reentry Specialist.

For the job description for the Senior Social Worker, click here.
For the job description for the Reentry Specialist, click here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Introducing the new S.O.S. Program Manager: Allen James

Allen has twenty-five years of experience as an organizational manager, project director, trainer and mediator. From 2009-2011 Allen worked in New Orleans as a community organizer and mediator focusing on police accountability and criminal justice reform. Prior to his move to New Orleans he was a project director for the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Executive Director of YouthBASE, Inc. in Brooklyn developing school-based HIV, STD and teen pregnancy prevention and violence prevention programs in public high schools. Allen also served as Executive Director of Playing 2 Win, Inc. in East Harlem and as Deputy Executive Director of The Fortune Society in New York City. As a private consultant he has developed projects for Common Ground Community, Inc. HDFC, Non-traditional Employment for Women, NYC, the Single Parent Resource Center, NYC and other organizations. Allen was a Charles H. Revson fellow at Columbia University in 2003-2004.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Success Story

Earlier this week we got a visit from a client who wanted to thank us. She had come in looking for assistance with finding housing, and thanks to the effort of former staff member Micah Weiss, she found it! She came to tell us that she is comfortable in her new home and grateful for our assistance. We love hearing stories like this- it keeps us going and reminds us why we do the work we do.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Crown Heights Farmers Market is Seeking Volunteers

The first ever Crown Heights Farmers Market, which began on September 15th, has been a huge success, and they are now seeking volunteers to assist in running the market. All volunteers are welcome, but young people who can get community service and job skills are especially welcome. The market takes place from 1 PM to 7 PM every Thursdays in Hamilton Metz Park at Albany and Lefferts. If you'd like to take part in this exciting, inspiring, delicious new venture, please email or call Nancie Katz at 917-756-4202.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Save the Date: Save our Streets to Speak at John Jay College October 6th at 8:00 AM

Learn about the work that Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) Crown Heights is doing on the ground by attending the Association for Conflict Resolution of Greater New York’s October  Roundtable Breakfast. Lavon Walker and Derick Scott, outreach workers at S.O.S., will speak alongside Amy Ellenbogen, director of the Crown Heights Mediation Center, and Ameena Matthews, violence interrupter at Ceasefire in Chicago and the inspiring subject of the award-winning documentary The Interrupters.  Ceasefire is the innovative anti-gun violence project on which S.O.S. is replicated. The event will take place on October 6th at 8:00 AM. at John Jay College of Criminal Justice: 899 Tenth Avenue (at West 59th Street), Room 630. If you would like to attend, please register online by clicking here.If you have any questions, please email or call (212) 760-4773.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

YO S.O.S. is Recruiting for its 2011-2012 Program

Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (YO S.O.S.), a project empowering young people to become community leaders and organizers, is beginning its new year of programming on September 26th.  We are currently recruiting thirty young people between the ages of 14 and 17.
The first sessions will include an intensive orientation during which the group will work together to create their own community agreements and expectations. They will also go on a scavenger hunt to learn about the resources and history of Crown Heights. The group will speak with community members and listen to their concerns, as well as think about places where violence is most likely to happen and why.

If you, or someone you know, are 14-17 years old and are interested in becoming a youth organizer, click here for an application. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Free Immigration Clinic: Thursday November 10th, 6-9 PM

The New York City Immigrant Advocacy Initiative, a collaboration between the City Bar Justice Center and American Immigrant Lawyers Association of New York, is organizing a free immigration clinic on Thursday, November 10th from 6-9 PM at the Mt. Zion Church of God, 203 East 17th Street Brooklyn, NY. Space is limited so RSVP to (718) 284-1097 or

Join us at the S.O.S. Peace March on October 20th!

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center's anti-gun violence project, Save Our Streets (S.O.S.), is organizing its second annual Peace March on October 20th  at 6 PM. Last year we had hundreds of community members come out in solidarity to join the anti violence movement. Build on the success of last year's march and join us at this year's march. Bring yourself along with family and friends. If you would like to walk in the Peace March as a group or organization, you can register online HERE or print the registration form HERE and fax it in to (718) 774-5349. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Response to Violence: Today, September 8th, at 6:00 PM at the Corner of Franklin and Park

S.O.S is teaming up with the Crow Hill Community Association, Council Member Letitia James, the 77th Precinct Community Council,  and local elected officials to respond to the violence that occured throughout Crown Heights over Labor Day Weekend. The event will take place at Franklin Avenue and Park Place, where two people were shot and killed in a shooting on Monday evening. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Copies of "Crown Heights Eat Healthy/Eat Local" Resource Guide Available

 Last year, our Leadership Training Institute cohort created a fantastic resource guide for eating healthy and local in Crown Heights that includes information on community gardens, educational programming, farmers markets, food justice organizations, and community supported agriculture. We just now re-printed a new batch of these excellent brochures and are excited to share them with the community. Please come by the office and grab a stack to share, or download the brochure and print it out yourself by clicking HERE.
Below is the introduction to the resource guide: 
          You are what you eat. We have all heard this phrase many times. But it’s not always so easy to know what the healthiest food choice is or where to find nutritious options that are reasonably priced.
Indeed, Central Brooklyn, of which Crown Heights is a part, has been identified by many studies in recent years as an under-served neighborhood in terms of access to healthy food, including fresh produce that is both affordable and easily available. Diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses related to the lack of a healthy, balanced diet have become an epidemic in our neighborhood.
Luckily, we do have an increasing number of organizations and businesses in Crown Heights, as well as additional resources throughout NYC, working to improve quality of life by providing nutritional/agricultural education, green space, community and urban gardening options, local, sustainable and organic food choices and exercise and wellness centers. This guide is not meant to be exhaustive; rather we hope that it will start a conversation about what is already available in our neighborhood, what should be made available and how we can all become involved in creating a healthier food environment for ourselves and our neighbors. Eat healthy/eat local and enjoy!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mediation Center on NY1

Last Friday, August 19th, 2011, The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center was featured in a news segment on NY1 about neighborhood relationships in Crown Heights today, 20 years after the disturbance of 1991. Director Amy Ellenbogen, and Deputy Director Ife Charles spoke about the work we are doing at the Mediation Center to make Crown Heights a better, healthier, safer place. Check out the clip below.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jewish Week Covers Crown Heights Today

On Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 the Jewish Week ran a great article on Crown Heights twenty years after the violence of 1991 that featured the work of the Mediation Center and the Crown Heights Community Leadership Council. Amongst other things, the article told about our Summer of Celebration Project and the Leadership Training Institute and included quotes from our own Deputy Project Director, Ife Charles, and 2011 LTI member Caroline Nagy.

Check the article out here:
"Time to Reframe the Story: Despite some lingering tensions, there's a greater sense of understanding between Blacks and Jews, activists say."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fall 2011 Guide to Brooklyn GED Classes

This summer, our Americorps intern Sasha Klimczak has been hard at work compiling a resource guide of GED classes available to Brooklyn residents. This list was updated in August 2011 and includes classes that start in September as well as classes that are ongoing. Each post has the contact information as well as basic information like types of classes, when they are, how to register, and the cost. 

You can download our GED Resource Guide by clicking HERE, or you can pick up copies at the Mediation Center.

If you have any questions feel free to call the number of the specific program or call us at the office at 718-773-6886 for more help.

Unifying and Beautifying Nostrand Avenue

Friday, August 12, 2011

Four Openings with S.O.S. and YO S.O.S.

The Mediation has four positions available with our projects Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) Crown Heights and Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (YO S.O.S.). Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Please click the links below to read the full job descriptions for the positions. Refer to each job description for directions on how to apply and deadlines.

S.O.S. Program Manager

S.O.S. Violence Interrupter

Paid Americorps Volunteer Position for Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) Crown Heights Program Assistant

Paid AmeriCorps Volunteer Position for Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (YO S.O.S.) Program Assistant

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Please join us tomorrow.

On Monday, July 25, 2011, there was another death to violence. Unfortunately a young man was found stabbed to death in the stairwell of a building within our catchment area.

We cannot stop shootings and killings without help from the whole community. Stand with SOS Crown Heights and the clergy to send the message opposing violence! Please join us: The response is scheduled for Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at 6 p.m. in front of 1400 Albany.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Mediation Center Positions Available This Fall

2010-2011 New York Juvenile Justice Corps members
The Mediation Center will be recruiting Americorps volunteers to join the CHCMC, S.O.S., and YO S.O.S. teams beginning October 1st. Americorps is a national service program in which corps members commit to a year of service in exchange for a small monthly stipend and an education award following their year of service. Members at the Mediation Center will be part of the New York Juvenile Justice Corps, run out of the Red Hook Community Justice Center.

Full-time members must serve 1700 hours to finish their year of service (about 35 hours/week). Minimum-time members must serve 300 hours. To qualify for Americorps, applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and be a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident. The ideal candidate for all positions will have a passion for nonviolence, positive youth development, and community engagement!

We expect to post full job descriptions and application instructions by the end of the month. Check back often.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fresh Air Fund 2011 Update

Here at the Mediation Center, we have had the opportunity to be a Fresh Air Fund site now for the past two years. The Fresh Air Fund provides free summer experiences in the country to New York City children through their Friendly Towns program which places 6-12 year olds with host families, and the Fresh Air Fund Camps which cater to children ages 9-15. Over the last four months the Mediation Center has presented these free summer vacation options to community boards, walk in clients, the community at large, and hosted information sessions. So far we have successfully collected and submitted 25 applications for children throughout the Crown Heights Community and are still accepting applications until all spots are filled. Americorps volunteer Vanessa Babb commented that, "It has been a wonderful experience working with the Fresh Air Fund application process. I have enjoyed meeting parents and/or Guardians that sought this fun filled summer opportunity for their children whether it be Friendly Towns or Camps".

Youth Justice Board is Still Recruiting!

Do you work with or know any young people between the ages of 14-18 who want to make a difference in their community, are interested in policy and justice issues, and are looking for something to do after school next year? the Youth Justice Board is an after-school program that brings together young people to study and propose solutions to the public safety challenges that most affect them. The application deadline has been extended until Friday, July 22. Youth can apply online at

Friday, June 24, 2011

S.O.S. is Hiring a Program Manager

The Mediation Center is seeking a Program Manager to run the Save Our Streets Crown Heights Program. The Program Manager will operationalize the five core components of the S.O.S. approach: outreach, community mobilization, public education, faith leader involvement and relationship with local law enforcement representatives.

To apply: No phone calls please. Please fax to 718-774-5349 or email your resume and cover letter in Word to by July 22nd, 2011. Include the job title, “Save Our Street (SOS) Program Manager” in the subject line.

Note: Although applications can be submitted through July 22nd, 2011 they will be examined on a rolling basis, and a hiring decision is likely to be made prior to this deadline.

Click HERE to download thefull job description for the S.O.S. Program Manager.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Free Prostate Cancer Screenings all Week at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center

Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center is offering a week of free PSA (prostate cancer screenings) for men. This event is tied into Geoffrey A. Davis' "Love Yourself Coalition" initiative, an effort that encourages community residents to be vigilant in the areas of health, anti-violence platforms, community development and organ, eye and tissue donor registration.
When: June 20-24, 11:00am-4:00pm
Where: Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center,
             585 Schenectady Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11203
Contact: (718) 604-5201 or (718) 221-2911

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mediation Center Family in the News

At the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, we are lucky to benefit from having Micah Weiss, a participant in AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, as a member of our staff. Check out this great article in the New York Times Blog "The Local" this morning.
Also today, check out this article in the Daily News highlighting the Mediation Center's fellow Center for Court Innovation project, Bronx Community Solutions', Re-Entry Working Group, and a very special staff member, Ramon Semorile.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mediation Center is hiring immediately

The Mediation Center is looking to hire an Americorps Research Assistant who will work 300 hours between now and September 30th, 2011. The job will focus on researching and organizing information about resource providers in Crown Heights and getting this information out to the community. For more information, click here to see the job description. Ideal candidate will begin immediately.

Leadership Training Institute Graduation - you're invited!

Please join us next Wednesday, June 15th as we congratulate the graduates of the 2011 Leadership Training Institute. After weeks of workshops and trainings, these 20 fabulous leaders planned and organized the Crown Heights Connects resource fair as part of the 71st Precinct Community Council's annual Family Day Picnic. The event was a huge success, with over thirty different vendors giving out information about resources and opportunities in Crown Heights, and thousands of attendees. Come celebrate these upstanding citizens and learn more about the Mediation Center and the Leadership Training Program.

An LTI member gives away balloons at Crown Heights Connects.

Light refreshments will be served. The event will be held at LaunchPad, 721 Franklin Avenue, from 6-8pm.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Crown Heights Connects Resource Fair at the 71st Precinct Community Council's Family Day Picnic

We hope to see you tomorrow at the annual 71st Precinct Community Council's Family Day Picnic at Hamilton-Metz Park. This year's LTI cohort has been working tirelessly to organize a resource fair in conjunction with the picnic called Crown Heights Connects. Highlighting the areas of health, education, employment and culture, Crown Heights Connects hopes to promote awareness of the many exciting services and organizations in Crown Heights. In addition, there will be free food, live music, rides for kids, and a fun-filled atmosphere for all.

When: Sunday, June 5th, 2011 11:30am-5:30pm
Where: Hamilton-Metz Park (East New York Ave between Kingston and Albany)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Art to End the Violence; an S.O.S. Community Event

Please join us tomorrow, Thursday, May 26th 2011, for the culminating event of the Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) Crown Heights Multimedia Contest. The contest engaged talented youth and adult artists to create public service announcements, video and radio shorts, and posters for the S.O.S. public education campaign that convey the message that shooting and killing are not acceptable in Crown Heights.

At the event, winners of the contest will be announced and awarded their prizes. Additionally, S.O.S. will be awarded the coveted Martin Luther King Jr. Award from the Fellowship of Reconciliation, one of the oldest and most storied civil rights organizations.

Light refreshments will be served and entertainment will feature 2011 Leadership Training Institute member DJ M Dot.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mandala of Compassion in Crown Heights

Last week at Launchpad on Franklin Ave, the venerable Lama Tenzin Yigyen constructed a Mandala of Compassion. Mandalas, sand paintings that are designed to represent wholeness, are an ancient Tibetan tradition. In a viewing on Thursday, Lama Tenzin explained that each symbol and color in the mandala is linked to compassion, which he considers the key element of a happy, fulfilled life. He compared external activities—such as going out or buying new things—to the junk food we eat, something which may give us pleasure in the moment but which will ultimately not make us happy or healthy. But compassion he compared to water, without which there would be no life. CHCMC Americorps volunteer Lizzie DeWan visited on Thursday and said, “Although the mandala was visually stunning, and the Lama’s attention to detail inspiring, the true value in visiting this exhibit was hearing Lama Tenzin’s message of love and compassion. I could not help but think of my colleagues at the Mediation Center and S.O.S., who live compassion every day by supporting the community and working to end violence in Crown Heights. This work does truly seem to bring them happiness, even though that is not their motivation.”

On Friday, Lama Tenzin dismantled the mandala and offered the sand back to the earth. Let us reflect on this impermanence of beauty and remember that the mandala itself is only a reminder of the true beauty found in love and compassion.

Thanks to Urban River Arts and Launchpad for putting on this great event.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Write-Up of Anti-Gun Violence Mural Project

Today we received a wonderful suprise at the office. Greg Todd, local real estate broker, gardener at Imani Gardens, and friend of the Mediation Center featured our anti-gun violence mural next to Brower Park on the cover of his newsletter Upside. Look for a copy around the neighborhood, or you can just read the story and see the pictures below.

To learn more about local agriculture and permaculture at Imani Gardens, come out to their next work day on Sunday, May 8th 2011 at 12:00pm at 87 Schenectady between Dean and Pacific.

Monday, May 2, 2011

S.O.S. Wins MLK Jr. Peace Award

We are proud to announce that the Fellowship of Reconciliation, one of the oldest and most storied civil rights organizations, has awarded the Save Our Streets Crown Heights Team the Martin Luther King Jr. peace award for 2011. The award honors those who make a significant contribution to advancing the cause of nonviolence. Stay tuned for information about the awards ceremony.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Need some help getting ready to find a job? Check out this great event in Crown Heights this weekend.

Mediation and Conflict Resolution Training

On February 23rd, two CHCMC staff members led a conflict resolution and mediation training for a group of advocates and counselors from Good Shepherd Services, one of the city’s leading social services agencies for youth and families.

Sharon Ife Charles, Deputy Director of the Mediation Center and a state-certified mediator, and Lizzie DeWan, Americorps Volunteer, used activities, discussion, and role plays to train the counselors in mediation skills such as setting up a mediation, active listening, maintaining order, identifying relevant issues, and brainstorming and implementing solutions. The day was a success, with one participant reporting that it was the best training she had attended as a Good Shepherd Services’ employee.

If you are interested in bringing CHCMC to your school, church, or organization to teach mediation and conflict resolution skills, please call the Mediation Center at 718-773-6886.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

2011 Leadership Training Institute Launches

We are proud to welcome the fourth cohort of the Leadership Training Institute to the Mediation Center family. These 20 excellent participants will combine their diverse talents and interests into a project for this community while growing in their skills and capacities as leaders. During our networking training last night, the group mapped out their overlapping circles of connections and communities, exciting everyone in realizing the wealth of resources LTI brings together and what an exceptional group of people they are.
Over the course of the next three months, the LTI cohort will have weekly trainings on diversity, coalition building, community organizing, conflict resolution, media strategies, event planning, non-violence, fundraising and grant writing from experts in these fields. The program will culminate in a project for the community organized and executed by LTI. Stay tuned for more news from the group as the program continues.

Free Summer Vacations for New York City Children

The Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer experiences to New York City children from low-income neighborhoods since 1877. The Fund is currently registering girls and boys, ages six to 12, for the volunteer host family program as well as eight to 15-year-old boys and eight to 12-year-old girls for The Fresh Air Fund camps. On a Fresh Air visit, a child will enjoy new experiences outside of the city, such as running barefoot through the grass, gazing at a star-filled sky, or swimming in a lake. If you are interested in the opportunity of The Fresh Air Fund for your child, the Crown Heights Mediation Center (256 Kingston Ave.) will be registering children this spring every Tuesday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and every Thursday from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. To learn more, visit or call (800) 367-0003.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Staff Non-Violence Training

Last week the Mediation Center and S.O.S. staff participated in a two-day training from the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence located in Providence Rhode Island. The trainers are part of a program similar to S.O.S. that also utilizes street outreach workers to interrupt potential gun violence.
The Mediation Center staff was inspired and invigorated by this two-day training. S.O.S Violence Interrupter Marlon Peterson explains that he realized MLK Jr. wasn’t acting passively, but rather out of disciplined love, and that it’s “this disciplined love for our community of people [that] allows us to do what we can to Save Our Streets. If enough of us can pass this concept forward, then success as King saw it, is possible.”

The most substantive piece of the training was learning about Dr. King’s six principles of nonviolence and the six steps of nonviolent conflict resolution.
The Six Principles:
1. Nonviolence is for courageous people. It is a way of life.
2. Build the Beloved Community everywhere you go.
3. Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil.
4. Accept suffering without retaliation, for the sake of the just cause.
5. Avoid inner violence of the spirit as well as outward physical violence.
6. The universe is on the side of justice.
The Six Steps:
1. Gather information.
2. Educate others.
3. Personal Commitment.
4. Negotiation.
5. Nonviolent direct action.
6. Reconciliation.
For more detailed explanations of these ideas, go to the S.O.S. blog and check out their “readings” tab or stop by the Mediation Center to talk with us or read our books. You can also look at the "how to help" tab on the S.O.S. blog for ways you can support S.O.S. in promoting nonviolence in Crown Heights.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"We Are All Brooklyn" Fellows visit the Mediation Center

On Tuesday, January 18th, the Mediation Center hosted participants from the "We Are All Brooklyn" (WAAB) Fellowship.We Are All Brooklyn is an inter-faith community coalition that hosts young, emerging Brooklyn leaders as fellows each year. This session used Crown Heights as an example of how this neighborhood works to utilize diversity as a strength of the community.

Participants heard from a range of speakers, including Rabbi Eli Cohen, Pastor Ken Bogan, Amy Ellenbogen, Richard Green, and Devorah Halberstam. Each speaker had their own perspective to add to the discussion of diversity and relationships in Crown Heights. Rabbi Cohen spoke about the need for communities to get to know each other and work past stereotyping; in this vein, he shared some stories and facts about his community, the Hasidic Lubavitch community. Pastor Bogan from the Greater Restoration Baptist Church added to this message by highlighting the importance of cross-community relationships. Pastor Bogan is a Board Member of Project CARE, an organization comprised of Black and Jewish leaders in Crown Heights who work together to solve problems in the neighborhood that effect everyone. Richard Green spoke about the importance of supporting youth, which he does at the Crown Heights Youth Collective. Devorah Halberstam shared the story of her family’s own tragic encounter with hate and violence, and how this has inspired her to work against inter-community conflict and support young leaders. All of these speakers work together on mutual projects and support each other in their independent projects.

Crown Heights Community Leadership Luncheon

On January 10th, the Mediation Center, Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, and the Jewish Community Relations Council brought together leaders of Crown Heights at the Brooklyn Children's Museum to discuss a vision for the community in the second decade of the 21st century. The luncheon hosted old and new leaders alike who shared the successes they've had and future work to be done in Crown Heights. Coming out of this meeting will be a Crown Heights Advisory Council that will regularly meet and share ideas and resouces across communities and organizations. Contact the Mediation Center if you would like to join this Advisory Council which is working to plan an event that celebrates the community and the youth at the end of August.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Position Available: Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets Program Director

Save Our Streets (S.O.S) Crown Heights, the new anti-gun violence program out of the Mediation Center,  is seeking a Program Coordinator for a new initiative, “Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets.” The Program Coordinator will oversee an intensive community-based project serving young people who live or go to school in Crown Heights and have been affected by gun violence and want to work to stop the spread of gun violence. The Program Coordinator will plan, lead, and maintain all aspects of the program ensuring that a strength-based, holistic, youth oriented perspective is utilized.

Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets is a new youth development and community organizing program that will annually provide life skills to 25 young people, ages 14-17, who are disproportionately affected by violence in Crown Heights. Participants will receive leadership development training, case management services, and service learning opportunities while engaging in grassroots anti-violence efforts. Summer jobs will be provided for participants.

To Apply: Please fax to 718-774-5349 or email your resume and cover letter in Word to Include the job title, “Program Coordinator,” in the subject line. No phone calls please.
Deadline to Apply: January 15, 2011
Click HERE for the full job description.