BROOKLYN, NY – On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, Central Brooklyn’s Crown Heights Community Mediation Center is changing its name to Neighbors in Action.

“Over the last 20 years, our work has grown far beyond our original goal of community mediation,” says Neighbors in Action director, Amy Ellenbogen. “Our new name encapsulates the range of tools we use to promote healing and safety—from violence prevention to youth activism to artistic placemaking. The new name also demonstrates our commitment to community-driven ideas and accountability.”

The organization has made a significant impact within the communities of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant. In 2017, through its outreach workers and violence interrupters, Save Our Streets Brooklyn [S.O.S.], a program operated by Neighbors in Action, helped to de-escalate more than 370 violent conflicts and completed 40 high-risk mediations. Also in 2017: more than 10,000 residents of all ages attended Neighbors in Action community events, including block parties, art galleries, and the annual talent show; more than 500 young people were served through youth programs; and more than 3,000 community members received free legal assistance and services at Neighbors in Action’s Legal Hand office.

Program manager of S.O.S. Crown Heights, David Gaskin, reflects, “What makes this organization special is the fact that it serves as a hub for the community. Whether you’re struggling with an interpersonal issue, in need of support, or looking to give back, we have something for you. Our staff and the community members who make up this organization literally are neighbors in action. Neighbors taking action to shape our future.”

The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center started in 1998 amidst a surge of racial and religious conflict in Crown Heights. The Mediation Center’s original goal was to improve relations among the neighborhood’s different groups, address interpersonal disputes, and build the capacity of residents to solve their own problems. Two decades later, Neighbors in Action now includes multiple sites in central Brooklyn and a variety of youth development, violence prevention, and community-building programs.

Neighbors in Action, a program of the Center for Court Innovation, has several special events coming up to celebrate the name change, as well as continuing with its usual busy schedule of community-oriented activities. Press are invited to attend any of the events below. Please R.S.V.P. Libbie Pattison at pattisone@neighborsinaction.org.

Upcoming events: