Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Black History Month Celebration

Earlier this month AmeriCorps, Peacemaking, Youth Programs and Women in Touch joined together to Celebrate Black History Month! We held a fundraiser auctioning off photography from past JustArts: Photography classes and special art pieces created by AmeriCorps members, Peacemaking participants and Alice Tapia. We also had a dance performance from two of our very own Youth Court members.

Special thank you to everyone who made food and art donations. Lastly, thank you Sequoia from our AmeriCorps program for leading the charge and all of the AmeriCorps members and staff who stood late to clean up!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Another Successful Bridging the Gap Event!

This week the Youth and Community Programs department here at the Red Hook Community Justice Center were fortunate enough to put together and host their 3rd installment in their Bridging the Gap Series: Youth, Community and Police titled GAME NIGHT!
We had over 100 participants in attendance in just two hours, including more than 25 officers present from various local precincts (PSA 1, 76th, 72nd and PSA 9). With crowd favorite games such as a Birthday Line Up, Family Feud and Pictionary games just to name a few and ending the night with a “Juju on that Beat” dance off we were able to host a successful and fun-filled event!
We understand that teambuilding is crucial in strengthening relationships, and our main goal is to also allow local youth and community members to partner up with officers. Many of our young people have expressed wanting to connect with officers but just did not know where to start.  The purpose of our series is to come together, break down most stereotypes and promote positive interactions between police, youth and the community and it was such a fun night and complete success.
We would like to shout out Good Shepherd Services for collaborating with the Justice Center, promoting the event and gathering youth to attend the event in addition to our program participants.

 Lastly, all the officers who came out and participated especially our NCO's and PSA1! With such a great outcome we are already in the process of planning our fourth one for the Spring (April).
#GoRedHook #BridgingTheGap

Follow the link and enjoy a slide show of photos from the event, we would like to thank Lauren Henschel for putting it together. https://vimeo.com/201037835 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bringing in the New Year!

The month of January has been very busy for the Justice Center! 

We recently inducted and swore-in thirteen new AmeriCorps members for the Red Hook Community Resilience Corps program. Honorable Judge Calabrese spoke a few words and welcomed the new cohort to the Justice Center. They will be working within the various departments in the building and also assisting in creating community events. Stay tuned to see their work throughout the year! 

Also, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. AmeriCorps members, youth court members, Good Shepherds Services, staff from the JC, youth and members of the community all joined together for a day of service. The day consisted of a screening of "My Friend Martin" which is a short film about Martin Luther King, his legacy and overall mission during the civil rights movement. 

Followed by the screening, Leslie (AmeriCorps Program Coordinator) and members led a discussion of what the kids learned from the video. Shortly after we all participated in face painting and an arts and crafts session where everyone made signs and colored peace and doves signs in preparation for our march.

Immediately following, we all gathered together and walked through the community in a Peace March with Dr. King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech playing in the background. At the forefront of the march was a beautifully hand-painted banner created by the Alice Tapia and leading the charge with chants like "No Justice, No Peace" and "The people, united, will never be defeated" was the Justice Center's very own Ross Joy.

The day was fun, educational and inspirational. We would like to thank you to Leslie, all our members and Good Shepherds Services staff for their hard work in organizing this successful event! 


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Red Hook Youth Courts Fall Graduation & Induction Ceremony!

This week the office of Youth and Community Programs held their Fall Graduation and Induction Ceremony. The current cohort of Red Hook Youth Court members were recognized for all of their work within this past year. While a few of them will continue serving on the court, others will be moving onto other programs and begin preparing for college. Twelve brand new trainees were officially inducted after successfully completing training for the past eight weeks.

There was a full house, with Justice Center staff, family members, friends and officers from the 72nd, 76th and PSA1 precinct who came out to show some support. Selena Rodriguez, a Youth Court alumni also came to speak to everyone about her experience as a member and offer advice to the new trainees. Special guest included Judge Calabrese and Karen Broughton from Assemblyman Felix w. Ortiz Office.

Congratulations to our members, we are looking forward to the New Year! #GOREDHOOK 

Judge Alex Calabrese sharing a few words to Youth Court graduate and inductees.

Officer Terence Williams swearing in the new cohort of members.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Keeping up with the Office of Youth & Community Programs!

 As an addition to our long running internship fair, and community need for employment and educational services the Office of Youth and Community programs hosted our first annual College & Career Fair!

 On Thursday, October 27th at the Miccio Community Center we opened our doors to young adults and community members from Red Hook and other parts of Brooklyn in hopes of providing them accessto educational resources, job readiness resources, career advancements and access to employment opportunities.
We partnered up with over 30 local colleges, youth development programs and businesses!

They all came out to help spread information to the public. Some organizations and businesses included, Starbucks, Bottom Line, YearUp and U.S Army Recruiting Center. Colleges included York College, St. Francis College, Franklin Career Institute, St. Joseph's College and Borough of Manhattan Community College just to name a few. We would like to thank everyone who came out and helped make the event a success, we are looking forward to next year!

Also, in order to help celebrate Halloween we teamed up with the Red Hook Recreational Center for a fun-filled and youth friendly event called "Halloween Costume Party!"

The Justice Center had a table where children could create bookmarks, play Halloween bingo and engage in a mummy wrap race. There was snacks, haunted rooms, games, drinks, party bags, face painting and more! It was a great way to celebrate and gather the community together. We loved seeing everyone come dressed up in costumes and get in the Halloween spirit! We hope everyone enjoyed Halloween! #GOREDHOOK 


Join AmeriCorps at the Justice Center!

              The Red Hook Community Resilience Corps will be having a second year!
                  *We are currently accepting applications for all positions*

The Red Hook Community Resilience Corps is an AmeriCorps National Service Program that seeks to make Red Hook a safer, stronger and more resilient community. Corps members will be part of our unconventional programs and services throughout the Justice Center that engage local residents, promote public safety and solve local problems such as Housing Resource Center, Peacemaking, Alternatives to Incarceration, Youth and Community Programs, High School Equivalency classroom and Neighborhood Restitution Crew.

In addition, full time and half time members will serve as mentors to minimum time members in the AmeriCorps program and perform service projects throughout the neighborhood. By the end of the AmeriCorps term, each member will be responsible for planning and implementing their own event for the community.

Full Time members will commit to serve for one year from January 2nd-December 22nd, 2017. They will be responsible for completing 1,700 hours by working 35-40 hours a week. They will receive a total stipend of $12,530 for the year that will be divided into bi-monthly checks and an educational award of $5,730. Applicants must be 18 years and older, have a High School or High School Equivalency Diploma and be legally allowed to work in the United States.

Half Time members will commit to serve six to nine months between January 2nd and September 1st, 2017. They will be responsible for completing 900 hours by working 25-30 hours a week. They will receive a total stipend of $3,759 for the months served that will be divided into bi-monthly checks and an educational award of $2,759. Applicants must be between the ages of 17-24, high school or high school equivalency diploma preferred but not required and be legally allowed to work in the United States.

The deadline to apply is November 15, 2016. There is a one-on one interview and group interview occurring at the end of November/early December.

For any questions please contact Leslie Gonzaga at (718) 923-8242 or LGonzaga@nycourts.gov

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Part 2 of Bridging the Gap: Youth, Community and Police Series

This week the Office of Youth and Community held our 2nd event of our Series titled “Bridging the Gap: Youth, Community and Police” The objective of the event was to educate our youth and community members on how to rebuild and improve relationships with police, and allow them a safe space to interact with and get to know one another on a person level. With many of the unfortunate current events involving police happening this follow up event came at a great time to have these hard discussions.

The room was filled with over 15 officers who came ready and eager to interact with everyone from our local precincts (72, 76 and PSA1) . Staff and Students from Summit Academy, South Brooklyn Community High School, Youth Court members, staff and participants from the Miccio Community Center, Parents, NYPD Youth Explorers, Justice Center staff, Americorps members, Peacemakers and a few of our DA’s were all in attendance.

Like our last event using a circle process, everyone had a chance to ask questions, voice their own opinion and share stories. It was a very powerful event and gave everyone a chance to break down stereo-types. Many of the officers talked about their personal experiences on and off the job and related with attendees in many ways. To close the event we all gathered in one large circle and had a discussion which included ideas for future events, and overall feedback. 

One of the best things taken from this was that many of the participants commented that such a series is necessary and were happy to meet and get to know local officers. Additionally, many of the officers were and are enthusiastic about being a part of more events like this. We have begun initiating the steps to improve relationships and contributing to the much needed change and we will continue to do so.

Stay tuned for future events like this!