Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Crown Heights Feasts on Pie and Remembers What We Have to be Thankful For

Tuesday evening November 25th, participants from all Mediation Center programs, including S.O.S., YO S.O.S., and Make It Happen gathered to remember our gratitude and feast on pies. Pies were fresh baked by staff and community members and also donated by our neighbors at Fine Fare Supermarket as well as Momofuku Milk Bar in Williamsburg. Pies included pumpkin, pecan sweet potato, apple, squash, and coconut. 

There was also a photo booth staffed by volunteer photographer Brittany Buongiorno with decorations donated by Mimosa Floral Design on Kingston Ave. The interactive photo booth gave community members, volunteers, and staff an opportunity to recall why we stand against violence and what tactics we can use to peacefully resolve interpersonal conflicts. An evening of food, connection, and games helped us remember that we have a lot to be thankful for in Crown Heights! 
Check out our Facebook next week for photos from the booth!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

S.O.S. Staff Attend "A Call To Men" to Challenge Sexism and Promote Healthy Masculinity

From left: Kenton Kirby, David Grant, Juan Ramos

On November 3 – 4 2014, SOS Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights staff attended a professional development opportunity at A Call to Men. The organization, geared toward engaging men and boys in healthy masculinity and challenging sexism, was attended by over 75 participants, mainly men.

The conference covered many topics including men’s roles in ending violence against women, positive masculinity, historical context of race in America, and community organizing with men in mind.

The S.O.S. members present participated and allowed themselves to be challenged to think outside the traditional male box, in order to avoid unhealthy masculinity and choices for men at the expense of women, girls and other men.

Neighbors Gather with S.O.S. Bed-Stuy to Celebrate Thanksgiving

On Saturday November 22, 2014  close to 200 community residents turned out to be part of the Thanksgiving dinner at Herbert Von King Park (Tomkins Park).
The dinner was sponsored by the Von King Recreation center, 500 Men, Save Our Streets Bed-Stuy, A2B, Order of the Feather and Brooklyn Excelsior Charter School.
The S.O.S. Bed-Stuy team help prepare the center for dinner, assisted in serving food and helped bag canned and other goods for residents to take home. Among the food to take home residents will also find pub-ed material on S.O.S. Bed-Stuy, which was put into every bag.

Overall the entire day was a huge success for all organizations involved in the organizing and service. S.O.S. Bed-Stuy was able to generate a buzz among community residents who showed interest in our work and a genuine urge to end the gun violence which plagues our community in Bed-Stuy.
The event also helped S.O.S. Bed-Stuy sign up 15 new volunteers all interested in participating in events and shooting responses.

Our team as usual shined in the moment as they embraced community members in memorable conversations and expressions of love for the Bed-Stuy community and its future. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

S.O.S. Organizes Rally for Shooting that Occurred at Pacific St. and Troy Ave.

The evening of Thursday, Nov 20, over 20 people gathered at the corner of Pacific St. and Troy Ave. to acknowledge a shooting that took place early the previous morning. Several Youth Organizers were present, along with members of Mosaic Baptist Church, Mediation Center staff, S.O.S. staff, neighbors, and volunteers. Revs. Woodley Victor and Michele Quick offered prayers for peace. Thanks to all who stand with us against violence on our streets!

Friday, November 21, 2014

S.O.S. Bed-Stuy team greets parents and families at neighborhood PAL

On Thursday, November 6, over 25 parents came out to attend the SOS Bed-Stuy community event at the PAL aimed at introducing SOS to the community and generate possibilities for community involvement. 


At the end of the presentation parent after parent raised their hand to say thank you and declare their support to the SOS team and they committed themselves to volunteering for future SOS events.

Monday, November 17, 2014

S.O.S. Outreach Workers Discuss Cure Violence Model

Last Friday, November 14, S.O.S. Outreach Workers from our sites in Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy, South Bronx and Morrisania came together to talk about how they are able to prevent gun violence in our neighborhoods. The panel took place at the Center for Court Innovation in midtown Manhattan with about 65 people in attendance. S.O.S. staff also spoke about how the Cure Violence model began in Chicago, and how the Chicago model led to the beginning of S.O.S. in 2009 in New York City.

Barry Wiles, an Outreach Worker from S.O.S. Bed-Stuy, spoke about the message he tries to send young people every day, saying, "Conflict don't always have to end in physical violence ... you could walk away from that."


Fifth Fish Fry in the Fall Fries Up Some Fresh Fish!

Friday night, November 14th, S.O.S. Crown Heights had its Fall Fish Fry on Kingston Avenue.  We cranked up the music, Outreach Worker Rudy Suggs cranked up the outdoor burner and fried up fresh tilapia, and the rest of the outreach team served sandwiches and soft drinks to over 100 program participants and neighborhood residents. Our own Jazzi Z. served as coordinator, greeter, and animator. Fish Fry in the Fall is an annual tradition of the S.O.S. team.  This is the fifth fish fry we've organized since the program activities began. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Crown Heights Neighbors Discuss Community Issues

Over 25 community members gathered Wednesday evening at the Mediation Center to connect with one another and discuss issues of importance to the neighborhood. Through a "World Cafe" style conversation, neighbors had the chance to mingle with one another to talk about the strengths of Crown Heights as well as ideas for future improvements.

Participants discovered some of the assets of Crown Heights: artists, lawyers, parks, transportation, and more!
Participants also listed some of Crown Heights' needs: more jobs, access to fresh food, gardens, access to childcare.

Special guest and community organizer from New York Communities for Change  Nefertiti McCaulay presented herself as a resource for community members who want to organize for change in Crown Heights.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

S.O.S. Bed-Stuy Takes Part in Open House with Police Athletic League

On October 11, 2014 Veterans Day the SOS Bed-Stuy team was part of a community open house at the PAL. We were able to table at the event providing the community and the teen’s information about SOS and our work in the community, while challenging them to consider joining our efforts by volunteering their time.  
Our team also manned the grill on the street, which provided food and beverages to the teens who came out and the residents who joined.
This was a complete community event, even the police got into the mood and setting as they played basketball with the teen boys and danced to the Bobby Shmurder song.

Everyone who came enjoyed themselves. Community residents seems happy to see something different happening in the neighborhood and the Teens all had only one future request, they want to see the SOS bed-Stuy team play the police department in some B-Ball…. To be continued.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

S.O.S. Participants Discuss Community in Crown Heights

Monday night, 12 S.O.S. participants joined Outreach Workers David Gaskin, Rudy Suggs, Lavon Walker, and Craig Alexander at the Mediation Center to connect with one another and discuss the meaning of community in their lives. 

When asked what he learned during the event, one participant said, " "I always had a negative outlook on everything. So when people,  including SOS would approach me to deliver a positive message, I would shun them. Until I was shot and SOS came to see about me in the hospital. So I learned never mind the messengers.  Pay attention to the message." Participant events are a great opportunity for people in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy to form connections and think critically about their lives.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bed-Stuy Parents Support S.O.S.!

Last night over 25 parents came out to attend the S.O.S. Bed-Stuy community event at the Police Athletic League. The event aimed to introduce S.O.S. to the Bed-Stuy neighborhood and to generate possibilities for community involvement.

At the end of the presentation, parent after parent raised their hands to say thank you and declare their support to the S.O.S. team. They committed themselves to volunteering for future S.O.S. events.