On Saturday, August 17, 2019, Neighbors In Action (NIA) hosted its 9th annual Crown Heights Back to School event. This year’s “Peace and Play Street” themed event was designed by NIA’s Save Our Streets (“S.O.S.”) Staff to promote our organization’s advocacy to end gun violence, improve public health, and celebrate the return of Brooklyn’s future leaders to school.
Fun and laughter filled the air while community members received information and services from caring professionals who greeted everyone with a smile. There were a variety of family activities, including face painting, carnival games, a Bouncy House, and a Bouncy Slide. All community youth who attended the event received backpacks filled with school supplies from S.O.S. Community Safety Team Staff. Additionally, the S.O.S. Community Safety Team prepared and distributed grilled food, drinks, and fruit to all attendees. Brooklyn love and Brooklyn loyalty was vibrant throughout the day and well into the evening.
The highlight of the day was a performance by Javier Goodin of Crown Heights, a 13-year-old prodigy who embraces the art of acting, singing, and encouragement of others. He told S.O.S. Staff that that his daily affirmation is “Inhale Fear, Exhale a Conqueror.” Community members cheered and danced during Javier’s performances, which included quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and El Malik Hajj Shabazz.
This was the third of four outdoor festivals that NIA hosts annually during the summer as part of the NYC Department of Transportation’w Weekend Walks program. Partnering organizations included The Legal Aid Society, MetLife, Modern MD, Moms Demand Action, Youth Potential Academy, the US Census Bureau, and many more.
Be sure to look out for our Back To School Event in Bedford Stuyvesant on September 7th. We hope to see everyone in the community in attendance “spreading love the Brooklyn way.” Together we are stronger. For details visit our events page.