Good People —

I’m writing today to ask you to donate to support the Mediation Center’s work in the fight against gun violence, specifically the tremendous work of Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets, YO S.O.S. This is obviously a critical moment in the ongoing national struggle against gun violence. The S.O.S. Violence Interrupters and Youth Organizers have been playing a critical and effective role in reducing the gun violence in Brooklyn. Your contribution will demonstrate that you believe that Black and POC youths’ work is valuable—and of course will help them have the resources to succeed.

I won’t lie: The well-deserved attention of the incredible youth from Parkland landed in a complicated way for me.  As the impressive and inspiring Parkland youth have themselves highlighted, Black and POC have been dealing with gun violence and organizing grassroots innovative solutions for decades with little effective public outcry or support.  But now, a moment for action has opened up and youth organizers with YO S.O.S. want the stories of their experiences with gun violence–and their proposals for solutions–to be heard and responded to.

Help us get them to DC this 24th so they can join with other youth and  build power by attending the March for Our Lives. They want to learn to be better organizers through paid internship opportunities. They want to amplify their voices and the voices of other Black and POC youth who have been doing this work for a long time. These efforts of the Youth Organizers at the Mediation Center require financial investments from people like you. Help us raise  at least $10K by the end of March. This is a critical juncture in this enormously important struggle and we deeply appreciate all who support us.

Here’s how to donate: Click here and choose YO S.O.S. from the drop down designation from the Center for Court Innovation/Fund for the City of New York’s donation site.

If you want to hear more about this directly from some Youth Organizers, and see an example of a campaign they did to inspire conversations with their peers about gun violence, you can hear from them  here  and here.

With gratitude,

Amy Ellenbogen and the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center Team