Tuesday, June 25, 2013

S.O.S. responds to 2 shootings

Sadly, there were two shootings in the S.O.S. catchment area last week, on June 16th and June 19th. S.O.S. held a community rally at the site of each shooting. On June 18th, a rainy Tuesday afternoon, S.O.S. staff and many community members stood in solidarity at the corner of Troy Ave and St. Johns Place to speak out and mark the shooting incident that took place there on Sunday, June 16th.

On June 21st, several community members joined S.O.S. for a rally on St. Mark’s Avenue between Kingston and Albany in response to the June 21st shooting. S.O.S. Program Assistant Aaron Dorfman described it as “a very powerful moment of reflection and hope.” The shooting had occurred in an area densely populated with children and teenagers, and many members of the Crown Heights community turned out to show that the shooting was not appropriate.

Thank you for your support. We could not do it without you.

Monday, June 24, 2013

S.O.S. C.A.N. Faith March

On June 15th over 150 people gathered in Crown Heights to call for an end to shootings and killings.  The group was led by local faith leaders and specifically Save Our Streets Clergy Action Network (S.O.S. C.A.N.) S.O.S. C.A.N. The network is led by the S.O.S. clergy liaison Reverend Kevin Jones.  

Below is a message from Rev. Jones about the event and the effect he hopes it will have on the neighborhood as a whole.
"The beginning of the summer started with violence. The first weekend in June 25 people were shot across the city and two were killed in Brooklyn. While most of us read the paper or watched the news and shook our heads in disgust and disbelief, God was raising up an army to take a stand against gun violence.

Last week I, on behalf of the S.O.S. C.A.N., Rev. Alpha Sylvester, Rev. Wenton Fyne , Pastors, Clergy, Politicians, and approximately 150 men and women from various faiths and religions took to the streets. They gathered on the corners along St. Johns Place in Crown Heights and marched to spread a message. Fervent Effectual prayers and highly spirited songs of inspiration filled the streets and created a powerful atmosphere. The group marched with banners letting the neighborhood know first that the churches care about the neighborhood, and second that our children's safety is a paramount concern.

It was not about which church you were from, or one’s denominational affiliation, which tends to divide us, but about the church’s presence in the community. Each block walked together as we sang, “O when the saints go marching in.” We stopped and said prayers for Mercy, Grace, Love, and Peace. A different pastor was in charge of each corner, and we stopped to hear their messages at every block.  
We chanted, “WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER!” After the march the group assembled inside Bethany United Methodist Church for refreshments and fellowship. The entire day was an awesome display of the faith community working together. During and after the event, the sense was palpable that, together we can Save Our Streets! 

 The march was so successful that we have plans to make this an annual event and are also planning another for this October."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Community Responds to June 2nd Shooting

Photo by Ariana Siegel
On Tuesday, June 4th, S.O.S. organized a neighborhood rally at the corner of Albany Ave. and Bergen St. in response to the fatal shooting of Damien Powell that occurred on Sunday, June 2nd. As many as 50 persons attended the 30-minute rally, including local residents, ministers and advocates from other Brooklyn Neighborhoods. At the close of the rally, S.O.S. Clergy Liason Reverend Kevin Jones brought people standing around the block together into a tightly knit circle, and as each person put a hand on the other's shoulder he said to the group, "Let us stand together against gun violence." 

Photo by Andrew Hinderaker