Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Special Day for the Red Hook and Brownsville Youth Courts

Yesterday we celebrated the joint graduation of the Red Hook Youth Court and Brownsville Youth Court members, along with the induction of our newest members at the United States District Court of the Easter District of New York.

Honorable Judge Gleeson gave the key note address
 
Judge John Gleeson gave the Key Note Address, and emphasized the importance of treating the respondents who come to youth court with respect, because we serve them.

Patria Frias-Colon gave the Partner Address

Patria Frias-Colon, Borough Chief of the Brooklyn Family Division of the NYC Law Department, gave the Partner Address. She praised our youth courts for doings their part to reduce the disproportionate contact our criminal justice system has with minority youth.

Captain Justin Lenz and Community Affairs Officers Vincent Marrone of the 76th Precinct were also present. They joined dozens of family members, friends, and staff to celebrate the great achievements of our youth courts.

Judge Gleeson swears in the newest Brownsville and Red Hook Youth Court members

Brownsville and Red Hook Youth Courts

This was the first time Brownsville and Red Hook held a graduation together and the first time we hosted the graduation at the US District Court. There were 17 graduates and 12 inductees from the Red Hook Youth Court. There were 14 graduates and 8 inductees from the Brownsville Youth Court. A total of 7 seniors from both youth courts are graduating high school and starting college in the Fall.

Sabrina Carter and Sharese Crouther, Youth and Community Program Coordinators from Red Hook and Brownsville congratulate all of the members.

Greg Berman, Director of the Center for Court Innovation, Greg Berman also came to celebrate, and you can read his take on the graduation here: http://www.gregberman.org/2014/07/youth-court-in-brooklyn.html.

We are very grateful to the staff at the US District Court of the Eastern District of New York for their contributed support of our Youth Court program.




Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Good-Bye Mr. Swanson

Today the Justice Center said a heartfelt good-bye to Mr. Peter Swanson. After six years of volunteering with our GED program, Mr. Swanson is retiring. Mr. Swanson tutored dozens of students in math and helped them earn their GED. Mr. Swanson previously worked as a NYC high school public teacher. Mr. Swanson's grandfather settled in Red Hook, and he was born and raised in Red Hook. Mr. Swanson often shared his stories of the "old" Red Hook with staff and students. Mr. Swanson also attended Visitation Catholic School, which is now the current home of the Justice Center. We can't thank Mr. Swanson enough for his service, we'll miss him dearly, and wish him the best.

Mr. Peter Swanson 

Mr. Peter Swanson with Ms. Jasmin Bobis, GED Teacher; and Joshua Pacheco, GED Teaching Assistant

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Red Hook Responders

In February, the Red Hook Community Justice Center launched its newest program the Red Hook Responders.  The program responds to social service needs throughout the Red Hook community which remain post-Superstorm Sandy.  The Responders also build resiliency within the Red Hook community by making sure residents are better prepared for and have the resources necessary to recover from a disaster. Since its launch, the Red Hook community has quickly come to recognize our Responders by name, due to their consistent presence at local meetings and events. 

The Responders work towards this goal through a three-pronged approach to community resiliency.
Community Education
The Red Hook Responders develop and conduct educational workshops for the community. In collaboration with the Justice Center’s Housing Resource Center, the Responders have developed a workshop on repairs and housing court, which was presented to seniors at the Red Hook Senior Center, many of whom live in public housing. The workshop included role plays and round table discussions. Each participant went home with a better understanding of the repairs process and more empowered to effectively advocate for themselves. Following each presentation, the Responders met privately with participants to discuss their specific needs and offer further assistance.
 
Social Service Needs
The Red Hook Responders provide one-on-one case management to Red Hook residents in need of social, mental health, crisis management, educational, and employment services. When a Responder opens a case, the client can expect more than just a weekly meeting.  The Responder is available to meet their client wherever they feel the safest, be it in an office, home, or within the community.  By working with the whole person, the Responder ensures that each client determines their own priorities.  The goal is to educate and support clients in advocating for themselves, thereby increasing the community’s resiliency and capacity to make positive change. 
 
Disaster Response
The Red Hook Responders are also available to respond to disasters large and small. In the morning of March 30th, a fire tore through an apartment in the Red Hook Houses, leaving 11 people injured and one family displaced.  Within 24 hours, the Red Hook Responders went door-to-door throughout the building, speaking with residents and leaving information on where to get help.  Many reported to a number of trauma reactions following the fire.  The Responders were able to normalize these reactions and provide immediate psycho-education and trauma counseling. 
You can contact the Red Hook Responders at 718-923-8238. Or visit them at the Red Hook Community Justice Center at 88 Visitation Place, Brooklyn, NY 11231.
 

Monday, May 12, 2014

From Red Hook to the Guggenheim

This Spring, twenty students from the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Red Hook and Sunset Park are participating in another exciting JustArts Photography Program, a digital photography workshop that teaches students the art and technical skills of photography. As part of the program, the students had a field trip to the Guggenheim Museum and later did a photo shoot in Central Park. For many of the students, it was their first time visiting the Guggenheim.


JustArts Photography Program Group Shot at the Guggenheim Museum
 
JustArts Photography students explore professional equipment with Teaching Artist Russell Frederick

JustArts Photography student capturing a moment with a guest artist Kisha Bari
 
You can see more photos from the trip and the program here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brooklynartscouncil/sets/72157644218009851/with/13971663361/

The Program is a project of the Brooklyn Arts Council and the Red Hook Community Justice Center. The program is taught by professional photographers and teaching artists, Sam Barzilay and Russel Frederick.The program will culminate in an opening exhibit of the student's work at the Red Hook Public Library later in June. Stay tuned for more details about the exhibit. Funding for this program is provided by City Council Member Carlos Menchaca and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Connecting Teens to Summer Internship Opportunities

Over 200 teens came out to our 5th Annual Youth Summer Internship and Job Fair in Red Hook this week. You can see a news report from Channel One News here: http://www.channelone.com/jobs-for-teens/



 
 
The Red Hook Community Justice Center began organizing the Summer Internship and Job Fair in response to high unemployment levels among local teens and their strong desire to find work during the summer. Students gain valuable skills that help them academically and professionally. Most importantly, we want young people to have meaningful activities during their summer break.



Over 15 organizations came out to recruit, including: Year Up, Uprose, Green City Force, Brooklyn Community Pride Center, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, Northern Manhattan Employment Group, Project Reach Youth, Grounswell Mural Project, Youth Made Media, Teens Helping Each Other, Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (YO SOS), the Youth Justice Board, the Red Hook Youth Court, and the Red Hook Community Justice Center Summer Internship Program. Thanks to all the great organizations for coming out and to Good Shepherd Services for co-hosting with us.

 
 
 
 






Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Play Ball!

The Red Hook Community Justice Center celebrated the 17th season and Opening Day of the Red Hook Youth Baseball League this Saturday April 26th. City Council Member Carlos Menchaca and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz were on-hand to throw out the first pitch.

The League was founded by a partnership between the Justice Center and community members 17 years ago to provide more recreational opportunities for Red Hook youth. The Red Hook Youth Baseball League is under the management of SAYO Grays, and is dedicated to seeing its student athletes excel in the classroom and on the baseball field with the end goal being the pursuit of higher education.






Monday, April 21, 2014

How We Use Innovation To Improve Civic Engagement

ArtsFwd has selected the Red Hook Community Justice Center's work with the Center for Urban Pedagogy as an Innovation Story in Public Access Design for our "Rents, Rights, and Repairs" guide for public housing tenants in Housing Court. ArtsFwd created a short documentary that highlights this collaborative and creative process to improve access to Housing Court for tenants.

http://artsfwd.org/public-access-design/



The creation of this Innovation Story was supported by the Rockefeller Foundation's NYC Cultural Innovation Fund.