Dear Good People,
Neighbors in Action works to create communities where violence is neither needed nor wanted, neighbors have increased autonomy and decision-making capabilities, and the people who want to lead have the skills to do so. This year was a hugely significant year as we shed our twenty-year-old name, the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, and stepped into our new moniker which better reflects the work we do on a daily basis.
Although there are many highlights to share, I can think of no better way to show Neighbors in Action’s impact this year than to share a few quotes from our participants and staff:
We create safety.
“I was involved in violence because I thought that was how I had to be in order to survive. I was afraid that people would think I was soft. But after working with NIA I realize that if this is soft, than I’ll be soft because I want to be recognized for the good stuff.” – WaSun Wilson, participant in multiple programs at NIA
We invest in youth.
“I came into this program shy and I came out as a leader. Now, I don’t see how I can be in a community and not be a help.” – Naomie Azor, Youth Programs Peer Leader
We organize and lead.
“I thought people weren’t as powerful as they are. I thought the problems were for higher-ups to solve. Everywhere you go, people push away your voice. When you come here, you were listened to. Here we get the right tools and the right guidance. Now I use the skills NIA taught me and it makes me feel good.” – Nikkia Varnes, Youth Programs Peer Leader
“You know you want to make an impact, but you don’t know how. Now that I’ve joined Neighbors in Action, I help heal people and it helps me heal myself.” – Mohammad Siagha-Igenio, Outreach Worker, S.O.S. Crown Heights
“These are among the very best, kindest and hospitable, welcoming, and competent service providers with whom I have ever dealt. They not only treat you well and deliver, but they thank you for coming in!” – Local resident at Legal Hand
We make places for community.
“When we told people we were going to have a block party on that block they laughed at us. They said they haven’t had a block party in 40 years. Well, you know what, we did it. And those same people are lining up to help us do it next year.” – Tiffany Murray, Program Manager, S.O.S. Bed-Stuy
We are doing unique and effective work that makes our world a better place. Please join us by contributing so that we can continue.
P.S. For you numbers folks, this year we reached an unprecedented number of young people. See our annual impact numbers below!
Happy holidays from all of us at Neighbors in Action!