The CHAMPS are a group of young men involved in the Make It Happen program at Neighbors in Action. Make It Happen is a program that offers therapeutic services, advocacy, and mentorship to young men of color who have been impacted by violence. The CHAMPS (Community Healers And Mentors for Personal Success) are a group of peer mentors who are leaders within their communities. These are their stories.

You can subscribe to the CHAMPS podcast on Apple, Android, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or subscribe by email. Stay tuned for more episodes and listening platforms!

Episode 6: Violence

In the final episode of this first season of the CHAMPS podcast, Make It Happen staff member Steve Dacey talks about the roots of violence, and the way danger and survival manifest in the lives of the young men involved in the Make It Happen program. CHAMPS Carter and Moolah describe their histories of violence, and pass on methods of avoiding violence and knowing your rights.

Thank you for listening to this first season of the CHAMPS podcast! Stay tuned for more stories from our participants in the future.

Peace, the Make It Happen Staff

Episode 5: Racism

Today Make It Happen staff member Carlos M. Torres shares some statistics on hate crimes, and CHAMPS Donte and Melo reflect on how racism shows up in their lives, including being negatively profiled by police and strangers. They then talk about ways to cope with experiences of racism and deescalate danger.

Episode 4: Mistaken Identity

In the fourth episode, Make It Happen director Kenton Kirby contextualizes how mistaken identity can endanger the boys and young men of color served by the Make It Happen program. For the remainder of the episode, CHAMPS JT and JF explain the way that being misidentified poses significant risk in their lives, and can have serious consequences.

Episode 3: Stop and Frisk

In this third installment of The CHAMPS Podcast, Make It Happen staff member Shawn Deverteuil explains the stop, question, and search policy of the NYPD known colloquially as stop and frisk, and CHAMPS Na’Jee and Pablo share their experiences of being stopped by police.

Episode 2: Stereotypes

In this episode, Make It Happen Director Kenton Kirby defines stereotypes, and CHAMPS Russell and Cleon discuss the way that they are personally affected by stereotyping as young men of color living under racism.

Episode 1: Introduction

Welcome to the CHAMPS Podcast. Over the next five weeks, we are going to bring you our first season of stories from our Make It Happen Community Healers And Mentors for Personal Success on topics such as stereotypes, violence, and more. So glad you’ve found us – stay tuned for more.

Neighbors in Action is a project of the Center for Court Innovation. Make It Happen is a program funded by the Office of Victims of Crime. The program would like to thank Jahshua Smith for providing original music for the podcast, and Brittany Buongiorno for her incredible help in producing and editing the show.