Dear Crown Heights,
October has been an exciting month at the Mediation Center.
We began a new year of our youth program, Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets, with a fabulous group of Youth Organizers. They have done a lot in the few weeks since they got started, including exploring the neighborhood with a Crown Heights scavenger hunt, learning about techniques for conflict resolution, and beginning to discuss the roots and causes of violence.
Youth Organizers outside the Brooklyn Children’s Museum as part of their scavenger hunt
Our program for young men ages 16-24, Make It Happen!, began last week, with a new group of participants.
On October 16th, we hosted the New York Legal Assistance Group’s mobile legal clinic at the Mediation Center, providing free legal services to more than 20 community members.
The S.O.S. team, along with community residents, held two rallies in response to shootings within the catchment area. Both rallies received a turnout of about 20 people, and reinforced our message that gun violence must not go unnoticed.
Neighborhood residents at the October 10th rally against gun violence
We held our first Community Conversation of the winter season, bringing together a diverse group of 25 neighbors to discuss experiences of and causes of violence within the community. The conversation sparked a dialogue that we will continue into our second Community Conversation on November 21st.
The S.O.S. Clergy Action Network held a youth symposium, called Power Filled Me, in which over 50 community members came together to listen to a panel of young people share their lives, struggles, and experiences. The annual S.O.S. C.A.N. Faith Walk had a fantastic turnout, with over 200 attendees walking from Nostrand Avenue to Troy Avenue on St. Johns Place, raising community awareness with prayers for non-violence.

Audience listens to youth panelists at Power Filled Me

We welcomed two new staff members to our team – Farrah, S.O.S. Program Assistant, and Frankie, Youth Program Assistant.
We are looking forward to November, when we will have a number of events. NYLAG will bring their mobile legal clinic to the Mediation Center on November 13th. We will hold our second Community Conversation, on November 21st, 6:30 pm, at Launch Charter School on 1580 Dean Street. We will also hold an S.O.S. Fish Fry on November 22nd. All are welcome!

As always, thank you for your continued support, and we always welcome your ideas about how to make Crown Heights safer and healthier for all.