Monday, October 31, 2011

S.O.S. 101 November 9th, 5:30 PM (256 Kingston Ave.)

S.O.S. 101 
Wednesday November 9th, 5:30 PM
S.O.S. office- 256 Kingston Avenue (between St Johns and Lincoln)

We are in the process of developing a curriculum of trainings and workshops for volunteers and the community to give you the tools to engage neighbors and interrupt patterns of violence in your everyday life in Crown Heights. Join us to learn all about Save Our Streets Crown Heights, including the theory behind S.O.S., the different components to the program, community collaboration and upcoming events, and how all of you can help. Please RSVP to

Monday, October 24, 2011

S.O.S. Week of Peace: Success!

Thank you to everyone who participated in all of the events for the S.O.S. Week of Peace. The week was truly a great success, and we could not have done it without each and every one of you.

Three hundred people marched in the streets of Crown Heights in our second annual Peace March. Throughout Crown Heights, chants like “Don’t Shoot! I want to Grow up!”, “I don’t know what you’ve been told; Bullets kill both young and old…” and “You save my child; I’ll save your child” were heard loud and clear. Everyone in the march gathered around Brower Park in a rally and ceremony to support and remember victims of violence and their families, to celebrate the positive changes we are continuing to make in our community, and to commit to continuing our work as a community to reduce gun violence and promote nonviolence. Three hundred balloons were released into the air with messages of peace, solidarity, and remembrance inscribed on them by community members.

Some other highlights from the S.O.S. Week of Peace:

Houses of Worship across Crown Heights dedicated their services to nonviolence on October 16th and October 23rd. For example, Bible Faith Tabernacle read a poem about nonviolence. The poem will be available on the blog shortly.
At 5:49 PM on Monday October 17th, over fifty people gathered on the northern island of Eastern Parkway at Utica Ave for a youth-organized Flash Mob, which took the form of a dance to Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “Murder to Excellence”. Young and old walked away talking about gun violence and the toll it takes on communities.
On Tuesday, October 18th and all throughout the week, people made posters to share their messages with Crown Heights. See some examples here.

Our Virtual Peace Day on October 19th succeeded in spreading nonviolence across the web. We are two people short of reaching our goal of 400 “likes” on our Save our Streets page. “Like” our page here.

Our Friday, October 21st screening of The Interrupters drew a crowd of over 100 people. Audience members found the movie to be powerful, and many people enjoyed asking questions of our own Crown Heights Violence Interrupters and Outreach Workers after the film. Attendees also had a chance to write notes of support to the S.O.S. team, who really appreciated hearing how their work has had an impact on the community.

Stay tuned for more pictures, videos, and details.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Second Annual S.O.S. Peace March: October 20th, 6 PM, beginning on the North Side of Eastern Parkway and Utica

On Thursday, October 20th at 6 PM, join hundreds of members from the community in demanding an end to the violence, supporting all the victims of violence and their families, and celebrating the positive changes the community has made to reduce gun-violence

We will be congregating on the north side of Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue at 6:00pm, and marching on the sidewalk along Eastern Parkway to Troy Ave, from Troy marching to Sterling Place, from Sterling Place to Kingston Ave. We will be concluding the March with a ceremony around Brower Park. 

We look forward to seeing you and all our community partners there. Register your group for the S.O.S. Peace March online by clicking HERE or print the form HERE and fax it to 718-774-5349.

Last year, hundreds of people came out for our Peace March. See some footage of the March below.

October 16th and 23rd: Non-Violence Sundays

Houses of Worship across Crown Heights will be dedicating their services to engaging their congregants in conversations about non-violence on Non-Violence Sundays on October 16th and October 23rd. Here are a few examples of what faith-based leaders have committed to doing:

- delivering sermons about non-violence
- leading youth activities, such as facilitating a group conversation about non-violence
- having congregants prepare a skit about non-violence
- having the choir sing about peace and non-violence

If you are a faith-based leader and have not yet dedicated a service on October 16th or 23rd to non-violence, please contact the S.O.S. Clergy Liasion Reverend Kevin Jones at 917-837-2032. Contact your house of worship to inquire about the activities they will be including in their services or contact our office at 718-773-6886 for more information.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October 21st at 6 PM: Free Screening of The Interrupters at PS 289

On Friday, October 21st, at 6 PM, P.S. 289 (900 St. Marks Ave at Kingston) will host S.O.S. Crown Heights guests for a screening of The Interrupters, the critically acclaimed documentary about the Chicago CeaseFire project on which S.O.S. is based. The movie follows the stories of three violence interrupters that are doing the same work that the S.O.S. staff do every day. We are especially grateful to Principal Dennis Jeffers and Assistant Principal Shirmell Dolphin for making school facilities available to neighborhood residents for this screening. 

After the screening, S.O.S. Violence Interrupters, Rudy, Kenneth, Leon and Aaron Jones, will answer questions from the audience about their own work in Crown Heights preventing shootings on the streets with the S.O.S. Crown Heights Ceasefire Project.

There is no charge for admission to the screening. Seats are limited, so folks are encouraged to be prompt and arrive by 6 PM. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 19: Virtual Peace Day

S.O.S. is taking over the virtual world on Wednesday October 19th to make the message of non-violence go viral! There are three things you can do to participate:

- Change your Status:

Step 1: Like the Save Our Streets Crown Heights Facebook Page

Step 2: RSVP to the Second Annual Peace March

Step 3: Update your status with the following, AND MAKE SURE TO TAG US:
Today is @Save Our Streets Crown Heights Virtual Peace Day. I am dedicating my status to say that shootings and killings are unacceptable. Make this your status and change your profile picture if you agree! I'll be showing my support in person at the @S.O.S. Second Annual Peace March on October 20th. Stop Shooting. Start Living.

- Change your Profile Picture:

Tag yourself in the Don’t Shoot photo on our page and make it your profile picture for the day. Download it off our page

- Submit a Virtual Shooting Response

Draw a picture, write a few words, take a picture, or do whatever is in your heart to respond to gun violence in your neighborhood. Upload your response to Facebook and tag it with “Save Our Streets Crown Heights” (you have to like the page first) or e-mail your response to with the subject line ‘virtual shooting response’, and it will be published on facebook and the SOS blog.

S.O.S. Week of Peace Press Release

October 13, 2011

CONTACT: Amy Ellenbogen, 718-773-6886,

Crown Heights Families, Victims of Gun Violence and Clergy Organize

The Week of Peace will send the message that shootings and killings are unacceptable;
The 77th Precinct has seen more than 40 shooting victims so far this year.

BROOKLYN — From Sunday October 16th to Sunday October 23rd, Save Our Streets Crown Heights (S.O.S.), a neighborhood-based violence prevention program modeled on the Chicago CeaseFire program, is sponsoring a WEEK OF PEACE to amplify its message of non-violence and give the community an opportunity to express that gun violence in its streets and parks is unacceptable. Community activities for the WEEK OF PEACE kick off with local houses of worship focusing on nonviolence in their services on Nonviolence Sunday, and will continue with a youth action day, a Peace March, a screening of the film The Interrupters, and a closing Nonviolence Sunday on October 23rd. The main event of the week will be a Peace March during which hundreds of community members will march through Crown Heights demanding an end to the violence, supporting all the victims of violence and their families, and celebrating the positive changes the community has made to reduce gun violence. 

In response to the gun violence that has affected so many individuals and families and claimed so many lives, residents of Crown Heights, including youth, clergy, and victims of gun violence, will be participating in the week’s activities. The goal of the WEEK OF PEACE is to create a space for the community to speak out and take action against senseless violence. During the week, S.O.S. Outreach Workers and Violence Interrupters will be present at the events to connect with those who are at high risk of involvement in gun violence.

Allen James, S.O.S. Program Manager, states, “Violent response to conflict is a learned behavior that can be unlearned and replaced with peaceable resolutions. S.O.S. and the community are asking young men and women to lay their guns down. Crown Heights is unwilling to simply tolerate the continued killing and shooting in our neighborhood.”

S.O.S. Week of Peace
Sunday, October 16th
Non-violence Sunday
Monday, October 17th
Youth Expression of Peace
Wednesday, October 19th
Virtual Peace Day- dedicate your social media to nonviolence
Thursday, October 20th
Peace March, leaving from Utica Avenue & Eastern Pkwy at 6pm
Friday, October 21st
The Interrupters, 6:30pm PS 289
Sunday, October 23rd
Non-violence Sunday

About S.O.S. Crown Heights
  • S.O.S. Crown Heights is a community-based effort to end gun violence in our neighborhood.
  • S.O.S. Crown Heights provides immediate intervention whenever a shooting occurs and works closely with neighborhood leaders and businesses to articulate the message that shooting is an unacceptable behavior.
  • The S.O.S. program began in 2010. In the S.O.S. catchment area, a defined section of the 77th precinct on which S.O.S. focuses, shootings reduced 60%, from 20 incidents in 2010 to 9 in 2011. The 77th Precinct has had a 37.5% decrease in shooting incidents since last year.
For more information:

See a PDF of the Press Release here

This post has been modified: the press release originally stated that there have been more than 62 shootings so far this year in the 77th Precinct. The number of incidents in the S.O.S. catchment area in 2011 was originally listed as 8, but has since increased to 9.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shooting in S.O.S. Area in Crown Heights

We are saddened to share with you that there was a non-fatal shooting in the S.O.S. target area of the 77th Precinct on October 9th. This is the third non-fatal shooting in two weeks. This is unacceptable.

Here are some ways you can join us in ending this senseless violence:

- We will be holding a response to make a statement that this senseless violence must stop tomorrow, October 12th, starting at 6:00pm at 247 Schenectady Avenue between Lincoln & St Johns. The response will last about 30 minutes, so please be prompt.

- Join in the S.O.S. Week of Peace, October 16th-23rd. We need you and your loved ones to join us for the Peace March on October 20th.We will be congregating on the north side of Eastern Parkway at Utica Avenue at 6:00pm. If you would like to walk as a group, register here

- Subscribe to our blog below, "Like" our Facebook page, and follow us on twitter to stay up to date on what you can do.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Unity for Brower Park

On Wednesday, September 28th, S.O.S. and community members gathered together at Brower Park and created a human chain of hands encircling the park as a gesture of community, unity and care. Ife Charles, Reverend Kevin Jones, and Phil Hawkins from Friends of Brower Park spoke and Senator Eric Adams attended spoke about the importance of Brower Park to the community and as a safe space for all residents. Senator Eric Adams wrote about the event in his weekly newsletter. Residents also wrote down a few words to express what Brower Park means the community. See a few examples below.

What does Brower Park mean to me?

Enjoyment, conversation
A safe place for all
Peace, Loving Sharing
A great place with kids. We have to keep it together.
Family come together.
Kids have a place to go.
A beautiful piece of green in the midst of limestone brick and brownstone
A safe, fun, beautiful place to bring my dogs
A place where my children can play and grow up
A place to connect to the earth/ a respite from the concrete jungle
People that live near one another- coming together in one spot often
Family Unity/Fellowship

What does Brower mean to this community?

A Jewel
Life, Energy, Renewal and Vegetation
Have fun all day!
Peace, Joy, Happiness
Serenity, Community, a place to regroup with nature, human, et al.
Love, Peace, Joy Friendship

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

S.O.S. Week of Peace Full Schedule of Events

S.O.S. is getting excited and energized for the first ever S.O.S. Week of Peace from October 16th to October 23rd. Join us in the movement to end violence and save lives. See the full schedule of events above and here.

The main event of the week will be a Peace March on October 20th, 2011. Join hundreds of members from the community in demanding an end to the violence, supporting all the victims of violence and their families, and celebrating the positive changes the community has made to reduce gun-violence. We will be congregating on the north side of Eastern Parkway at Utica Avenue at 6:00pm. If you would like to walk as a group, please register here or print and fax this form to 718-774-5349.

Religious leaders throughout Crown Heights will commence and close the S.O.S. Week of Peace with “Non-Violence Sundays” on October 16th and October 23rd by dedicating their religious services to the message of non-violence. Check with your religious leaders about their programming, or talk to them about being involved. There will also be a screening of The Interrupters, the award-winning documentary about the Chicago Ceasefire anti-violence approach on which the S.O.S program is based, on Friday, October 21st at 6:30 PM at PS 289 (900 St. Marks Ave at Kingston).

Since February 2011, the work that S.O.S. has done with the Crown Heights community has shown that when we all work together and focus on gun violence reduction, we can save lives. Let’s continue to work together to end the senseless shootings and killings. We look forward to seeing you at the Peace March and the S.O.S. Week of Peace.

If you would like to be involved, please contact Eliana Horn at

S.O.S. 101 New Volunteer Training: Wednesday, October 12th at 5:30 PM

Do you want to get involved with S.O.S. and help stop shootings in your neighborhood? Have you seen S.O.S. flyers around Crown Heights and want to learn more?
Join us for an S.O.S. volunteer training on Wednesday, October 12th at 5:30 PM at 256 Kingston Avenue (between Saint Johns and Lincoln). Learn what S.O.S. is, where S.O.S. works, how S.O.S. works, and, most importantly, how you can get involved.  Volunteers will have the opportunity to support canvassing, shooting responses, and marches, table at community events, make outreach phone calls, and help run other special events. S.O.S. cannot do this work alone. We need your talents, time and efforts to make this program work to help create a safer Crown Heights for all. Email Eliana Horn at for more details.