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Red Hook Initiative;
In the summer of 2017, the Real Rites Researchers - a group of Red Hook young adults - came together after being tired of witnessing violence, feeling ignored and harassed, and being ready to make a change. The Researchers grew up in Red Hook witnessing violence, disinvestment, and over-policing. After taking matters into their own hands, the Researchers launched a participatory study about violence and community-building for young adults in Red Hook. The research was conducted by, with, and for their community. This report details their findings and reveals young peoples' desire to be at the forefront of change in their own community.
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation;
Across New York City and the nation, low-income and working families with young children endeavor to raise strong, healthy children; maintain their family's health; find and keep decent jobs and affordable housing; create safe communities; and claim a voice in shaping their neighborhoods. At the same time, within these communities, resilient families and children, skilled and experienced leaders, and many established civic organizations with a history of organizing to improve their neighborhoods have shown the power of local action to promote health, equity and community development.In this policy brief, we describe one effort to mobilize community assets to develop a comprehensive and integrated approach to supporting well-being, prosperity, increased community power and pathways out of poverty. For the past five years, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration) has used its farm to early care program as one foundation for an integrated approach to community development. In telling that story, this policy brief seeks to inform efforts to develop the next stage of farm to early care in Brooklyn, inspire others to adapt this approach to their own communities and cities, and share the lessons Restoration has learned from this work. These experiences can also inform initiatives to use improvements in institutional food programs as a starting point for transforming other systems such as senior centers, afterschool programs, and health care centers.
Citizen's Committee for Children of New York;
Historically, much of the data used to describe the status of children and families has focused on needs and risk factors, and these indicators are commonly collected through a variety of state, local, and federal government sources. For example, CCC's Community Risk Ranking examines data related to child poverty, family homelessness, infant mortality, educational test scores, teen idleness, and violent felony rates among others. Yet we know that children's outcomes are defined by a complex interplay of both risk factors and the assets or resources that exist to help children and their families overcome barriers to well-being. We also know that in order to effectively improve outcomes for children and families, we must target our solution-seeking at the most local level and engage community stakeholders in our efforts to unearth the opportunities that are present. For these reasons, CCC has undertaken a comprehensive effort to establish a method through which to identify assets or resources in New York City communities, starting with the neighborhood of Brownsville in Brooklyn. We began by leveraging our Keeping Track database to provide a foundation for our understanding of the needs of Brownsville's children and families. We then met with colleagues in government, nonprofit, and academic organizations to identify data on key assets or resources that should be present at the community level. Asset data were then collected from a wide range of local government agencies to illustrate the services, supports, and infrastructure that exist in Brownsville. To ensure we presented a complete picture of the challenges, strengths, and opportunities present in Brownsville, we engaged residents and organizations working in the community throughout our process. These conversations helped to identify issues that were revealed through the data that required closer examination, raised additional areas of concern for which data needed to be explored, and provided a deeper understanding of the story the data was telling from the perspective of those living and working in the community. This was instrumental in gaining insights on issues such as a lack of sufficient resources, conditions within the community that limit access to services, and concerns about quality that may drive residents away from available resources.
Journal of Urban Health;
In New York and other cities, substantial evidence documents that community food environments interact with inequitable allocation of power, wealth, and services to shape the distribution of diet-related diseases and food insecurity. This case study shows how one Central Brooklyn community organization, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, has launched multiple coordinated food initiatives in order to reduce the burden of food-related health problems and boost community development. The report used standard case study methods to document the implementation of the New York City Food and Fitness Partnership in Central Brooklyn. The case study shows how two distinct strands of activities, a Farm to Early Care Program that ultimately brought fresh food to 30 child care centers, and a food hub that sought to make fresh local food more available in Central Brooklyn, intersected and reinforced each other. It also shows how organizational, community, and municipal resources and policies in some cases supported these initiatives and in others served as obstacles. Finally, the case study shows that multiple coordinated strategies have the potential to empower low-income Black and Latino communities to act to make local food environments healthier and more equitable.
Freshmen in a "learning community" at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY, moved more quickly through developmental English requirements, took and passed more courses, and earned more credits in their first semester than students in a control group. Two years later, they were also somewhat more likely to be enrolled in college.
Why would a law-and-order district attorney in one of the toughest, most crime-prone areas in the nation develop a faith-based alternative to incarceration for youthful offenders? District Attorney Charles J. Hynes credits his faith and a strong conviction that society can't prison-build its way out of the crime problem. Hynes established Youth and Congregations in Partnership (YCP), an innovative local program operated by the Kings County (Brooklyn, New York) District Attorneys Office. Through mentoring and other services, the program aims to reduce criminal recidivism, subsequent adult criminality and self-destructive behaviors among young offenders. This report chronicles the YCP experience; we hope its insights inspire similar innovations throughout the nation.
Black Male Donor Collaborative;
Brooklyn's Community School District 16 (CSD16) is a chronically low-performing district that encompasses the eastern half of Bedford-Stuyvesant, a section of northeastern Crown Heights, and a small portion of Brownsville. CSD16 consists of 26 traditional public schools with a total enrollment of 9,900 students. Eighty percent of CSD16 students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. CSD16 serves 11 public housing complexes.In CSD16, 45% of girls and 34% percent of boys in grade three tested at or above grade level for English Language Arts in 2010-2011, as compared to 56% and 55% respectively for New York State overall. Similarly, 52% of girls and 49% of boys in CSD16 tested at or above grade level for math in grade three, as compared to 60% and 59% respectively for New York State overall. Of the CSD16 students who were in grade nine in 2006-2007, 50% received Regents diplomas in 2010-2011. CSD16 had a 44% graduation rate in a city where 59% is the average.The metric used to determine college and career readiness, however, is even more troubling. Students are considered college ready in New York when they score 75% or higher on their English Regents and 80% or higher on their Math Regents. Of the four high schools located in CSD16 with 2011-2012 graduating classes, two had a 5% college readiness rate among graduates over a four year period, one had a 3% rate, and the remaining had a college readiness rate of 0.0%.In citing these statistics, this report makes the case that CSD16 has significant challenges that severely undermine the efforts of Black and Brown families to provide opportunities for their children to thrive educationally. At the same time, CSD16 has strengths. For example, there are strong nonprofit institutions and a civically engaged working-and middle-class, which offer opportunities for individual community-based donors, established foundations, and public sector agencies to team up with local stakeholders to improve the educational outcomes of students in CSD16.
Advocates for Children of New York;
Since 2002, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) has attempted to reverse the city's severe drop-out crisis through a large scale restructuring of high schools, focused mainly on closing large, comprehensive high schools and replacing them with small high schools that offer a more personalized learning environment. Unfortunately, this reform effort initially included a policy that allowed new small schools to exclude English Language Learners (ELLs), and many small schools still do not provide the programs that ELLs need. Lack of access to new and promising programs is reflected in ELL performance data. While the City's overall graduation rate climbed to 52.2% in 2007 from 46.5% in 2005, the rate for ELLs dropped from 28.5% to 23.5% over the same period.To understand how the small schools movement has affected ELL students in New York City, we studied the restructuring of two large Brooklyn high schools -- Lafayette High School in Bensonhurst and Tilden High School in East Flatbush.
New York Industrial Retention Network;
joThe Brooklyn Navy Yard's (BNY) annual economic output, that is, its "gross domestic product" for New York City, is nearly $2 billion. It is responsible for 10,350 direct and indirect jobs and $390 million in earnings. That economic activity in turn induces another $2 billion in earnings in the local economy and another 15,500 jobs. By 2015, these impacts are expected to increase to $2.35 billion in recurring annual output; over 30,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs; and $2.37 billion in induced additional earnings.The formidable economic impact the BNY has achieved despite its high-cost environment provides insight into the future of manufacturing in cities in which high costs or other conditions pose simliar challenges. In this report, the Pratt Center team identifies and evaluates the factors that have driven the BNY's success and discusses how these factors might be applied in other cities. We describe the particular cases of Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit to illustrate how city leaders can assess the possiblity of replicating the Yard's key features, identify relevant local assets and opportunities, and consider what resources they would need to similarly catalyze urban manufacturing efforts.
Center for Court Innovation;
In 2010, the Center for Court Innovation began exploring the possibility of creating a community court in Brownsville, Brooklyn. A community courtis a neighborhood-focused court that attempts to harness the authority of the justice system to address local problems. As part of the planning process community members were asked to voice their opinions about their neighborhood and community through an "Operation Data" survey, a tool to assess community needs and inform future initiatives. In October 2010, 815 residents, merchants, or people who work in Brownsville completed the survey. Their perceptions of quality of life, safety, services, and youth issues in their neighborhood are presented in this report.
Center for Court Innovation;
This report presents the findings and recommendations of the Youth Justice Board, a group of New York City teenagers who study public policy issues that affect young people. Since August 2010, the Youth Justice Board has focused on reducing youth crime in New York City using the neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn as a case study. This report presents ideas about how to reduce incidences of youth crime in Brownsville and neighborhoods that face similar challenges. In 2011-12, the Board will work to implement many of the ideas contained in this report in conjunction with the development of a new community justice center in Brownsville. The Board's ultimate goal is to make Brownsville a safe, supportive neighborhood for young people that provides for their social, emotional, and educational needs. Over five months, the Youth Justice Board conducted interviews with over 30 individuals involved in the city justice system and the Brownsville community. The Board visited four community justice centers and conducted three focus groups with young people involved in the justice system to learn about the experiences and perspectives of youths. The Youth Justice Board developed 10 recommendations designed to reduce youth crime in Brownsville and make the community a safer, more supportive place for youths to grow up.
New York City Coalition Against Hunger;
The Atlas shows the extent and location of Brooklyn's most severe food-related problems. It also shows the network of community based non-profit organizations working hard to address the issues.