Monday, September 30, 2013

Next Community Conversation

We are excited to announce that we will hold the first in a new series of Community Conversations, meetings to discuss neighborhood gun violence, on October 17th. Our goal is to begin a process that will lead to community-based strategies to reduce gun violence and violence of all kinds in Crown Heights. Please join us to share your thoughts, and discuss community action with your neighbors. The event will be from 6:30-8 pm at the Launch Charter School.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Hair Me Out" Goal Sheets Initiative

“Hair Me Out,” the mobilization project designed to strengthen the involvement of barber and beauty shops in S.O.S.’s anti-violence work, provided shops with goal sheets for their young clientele to fill out during the first week of school.  Goals include “increase my school attendance,” “join after school programs,” and “do my homework every day,” with suggested tasks such as “set my alarm for earlier in the morning,” and “ask for help when I’m not sure how to complete an assignment.”  

One of the participating barbershops
Clients who fill out a goal sheet are given an S.O.S. backpack, notebook, and pair of sunglasses. “So many members of the community want to help young people stay focused on their goals.  It’s our hope that having the barbers and beauticians work with their younger clients on their goals sheets and then check with them on how they are doing during their next appointments, they can be an additional encouraging adult in the student’s life, “ said Program Director Amy Ellenbogen . “Sometimes people want to ‘be a part of the village that is raising the child’ but they aren’t quite sure how to do it, and they also want to mind their own business. These goal sheets will provide barbers and beauticians the tools they need to become a positive presence in the lives of young people and the excuse to be involved."

Friday, September 20, 2013

Save Our Streets Clergy Action Network (S.O.S. C.A.N.) Strategy Breakfast

This past Saturday, September 14th, S.O.S. C.A.N.  hosted a Strategy Breakfast in the fellowship hall of Bethany United Methodist Church. It was attended by 44 faith based leaders, including newly appointed NYC Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo. At this breakfast, Rev. Jones, the Clergy Liaison for S.O.S., strategized with the faith leaders about how to assist and embrace today's young people.

Rev. Jones with Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo
The session began with Brandon Gibson, coordinator of “Make It Happen,” a program geared towards helping young men of color between the ages of 16 and 24 overcome experiences with violence, and succeed in spite of those experiences.  Rev. Jones and Joy Brown shared their vision for an upcoming youth summit entitled “Power Filled Me: An Opportunity to Hear our Youth”, scheduled for October 23rd at Union United Methodist Church, (121 New York Ave) from 6-8:30pm. “Power Filled Me” will be an opportunity for young people to sit on a panel and speak to adults in their neighborhood about their thoughts and what motivates them, along with what it is they need from parents and the community.   

Brandon Gibson, coordinator of Make It Happen!, speaks to clergy about his program

Also discussed were “Peace Month” initiatives, including the 2nd annual “Faith Walk with Prayers” on October 27th, where faith leaders will be gathering on the corner of Nostrand Ave and St. John's Place, walking, singing, and praying on every corner, ending at Troy Ave and continuing inside Beulah Church of the Nazarene for fellowship and refreshments. Rev. Jones asked congregations to host nonviolence services the first two weekends of October. The session ended with networking between leaders and volunteers. According to Rev. Jones, "This was our best breakfast yet. It was emotional, powerful, gut-wrenching, and so passionate."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Free Advocacy Training Workshops from EIO Coalition

Education from the Inside Out Coalition will host a series of advocacy training workshops for formerly incarcerated people who identify as women. During the training, participants will gain tools to advocate and take action around social issues that affect them and their lives directly. The program will run in four sessions during the month of November, and refreshments and childcare will be provided. See the flyer below for more details. Please register by October 14 at

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rev Jones, Man of the Year

On Sunday, September 8th, the Women's Motivational Services of Brooklyn honored Pastor Kevin Jones, C.A.N. Clergy Liaison for S.O.S., with its Man of the Year Award for his community work against violence of all kinds and for his work with people at risk.

Pastor Jones was unable to attend to accept the award and S.O.S. Senior Outreach Worker, Derick Scott accepted the award on Pastor Jones' behalf. In his acceptance remarks, Derick highlighted Pastor Jones; role in organizing pastors of churches across Crown Heights to work beyond their own congregations to engage with the most at risk and the most needy people of the community, particularly young men and women. Derick also explained the work done by Pastor Jones to help create safe havens for women and young people who have experienced violence and remain at risk.

The event was organized and Kathy Elliot, President of the organization and a prominent organizer for Beulah Church of the Nazarene.