On June 1st, Neighbors in Action (NIA) and Save our Streets (S.O.S.) Bed-Stuy celebrated the Bed-Stuy Summer Kick-off on Marcy between Lexington and Gates Avenues. The event was attended by community members who enjoyed a day of family fun, good music, and safe streets. More than 25 community-based organizations, city agencies, and even members of the US Census Bureau shared resources and information with residents. Children had the opportunity to get their faces painted at the Modern MD Urgent Care table, learn how to create poetry with Youth Potential Academy, and play in the bounce house or shoot some hoops on an inflatable court. Attendees enjoyed free food and healthy drinks prepared by staff to stay cool on the sweltering day. The New Best Utica Market donated fresh fruit cups that were thoroughly enjoyed alongside popcorn and cotton candy treats.

Community members were encouraged to engage with tabling partner organizations to receive stamps in their “passbook,” which could be exchanged for an S.O.S. swag-bag upon completion. Included in the bags were t-shirts emblazoned with “Stop Shooting, Start Living” in bright orange. Council Member Laurie Cumbo of Brooklyn’s 35th Council District shared some inspirational words about community empowerment and local action that were received with thunderous applause. The event also marked the first day of National Gun Violence Awareness Month, and the S.O.S. team had conversations with community members about their anti-violence work.

The event was held in partnership with Weekend Walks and the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), which provided tables and chairs for attendees. It was the second of four block parties to be held by NIA this summer. We hope will you join us for our Back to School events in Crown Heights on August 18, and in Bed-Stuy on September 7. For details, visit our events page.