I hope this note finds you well. I am writing to share some news with you. After 17 years of working as the Director of Neighbors in Action (formerly Crown Heights Community Mediation Center), I am now the Director of Arts Strategies at our parent organization, the Center for Court Innovation. It has been a tremendous honor to have served these communities with so many phenomenal staff members, volunteers and community members whose capacity to care, love, and act has stretched my appreciation for humanity. Together we accomplished so much. We grew from one storefront to four offices, expanding from one neighborhood to two, and from a staff of four to 38. We’ve consistently been at the forefront of many developments within the anti-violence world: the first to replicate the Cure Violence model in New York State, and the first Cure Violence site to introduce a component to address young men of color who are victims of violence, and the first site to introduce a robust, staffed youth organizing component. Many of the practices we introduced are now embedded in sister projects across the country.
We have an all-star team running and evolving NIA. Brian Cunningham (who you might have recently heard on the Brian Lehrer show) is directing all of S.O.S. programming both in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy, Heather Day is leading NIA Youth Programming out of 1644 St. Johns Place and Ife Charles is providing leadership and direction. More updates about new members of our team and upcoming events will be coming shortly from the team.
I’m looking forward to taking everything I’ve learned and focusing on how the arts can be used as a tool for creating safer, healthier and more just communities. I hope to have the opportunity to continue to work with many of you in this new capacity.
Going forward, I can be reached at email@example.com. For Neighbors in Action S.O.S. Programming, please contact Brian Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org and for Youth Programming Heather Day at email@example.com.
With deep appreciation, gratitude and hope for a better future,