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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.
CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute;
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.
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.
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.
In 2011, The McKnight Foundation partnered with a set of districts and schools in the Twin Cities area, all serving high-needs students, on a PreK–3 literacy initiative. The Pathway Schools Initiative aims to dramatically increase the number of students who reach the critical milestone of third-grade reading proficiency, an indicator predictive of later academic outcomes and high school graduation. This report focuses on findings from Phase I of the Pathway Schools Initiative (2011–2015).
Center for Health Equity, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene;
This report focuses on Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville, two predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods where more than one-third of households live below the federal poverty level. In 2011, there were 2,495 live births in Bedford-Stuyvesant and 1,491 in Brownsville.9 Of mothers participating in the WIC program in 2011, only 3 percent from Bedford-Stuyvesant and 1 percent from Brownsville were exclusively breastfeeding at six months.
By interviewing Black and Latina women in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville, this study sought to better understand how soon-to-be-moms make infant-feeding decisions. Interviews took place before giving birth and then again four weeks after their babies were born. By speaking with the women's family members, we were also able to learn more about the factorsthat support or hinder breastfeeding in these communities.
James Irvine Foundation;
This report explores art programming in unusual spaces for new audiences in an effort to understand the impetus behind the work and what lessons can be learned from leading examples of it. It builds on other recent efforts that discuss participation and location by placing the trend in its historical context, and it challenges the assertion that the trend is a recent one. Unusual locations are as much a part of the history of art as are the venues that are today considered more usual. Likewise, the venue that is unusual to some is often quite usual to many others including, importantly, new audiences that the arts seek to reach. A typology of this activity follows the historical survey, with some suggestions as to the vocabulary that might be used to describe what is happening. A series of case studies are then presented, indicating the range of outcomes possible when arts programming is pursued in unusual places. Lessons from these case studies, as well as from the broader survey, lead to some conclusions about the future of the work and its significance. The hope is that this report is inspiring to practitioners who have begun experimenting with work in unusual places as well as those who are eager to join in.
Brooklyn Community Foundation;
This report documents the findings from conversations with nearly 1,000 residents, advocates, and leaders to discuss Brooklyn's future, and to put their voices and ideas at the forefront of our work.
From the bustling sidewalks of Sunset Park, to the lush gardens and farms of East New York, to the vibrant neighborhood blocks beyond the boardwalk in Coney Island, the Brooklyn Community Foundation learned about the intense challenges facing residents, and the opportunities they see for bettering their lives. Over six months, we discovered more than we ever imagined, and repeatedly heard about five major themes that thread through all of our communities.
National Center on Time and Learning;
This report looks deeply inside 17 schools that stand at the vanguard of the current revolution in teaching. It reveals the substantive ways in which these schools are providing their teachers with more time to reflect on, develop, and hone their craft, by very explicitly leveraging an expanded-time school schedule and calendar. These schools' expanded time (on average, they are in session almost 300 hours more per year than the national norm of 1,170 hours) affords not only more hours and days focused on classroom instruction, but also a full array of professional learning opportunities.
Wallace Foundation, The;
These "Stories From the Field" describe five Wallace-funded programs working to expand learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children, so they can benefit from the types of opportunities their wealthier counterparts have access to, from homework help to swimming classes. The report details each program's approach, successes and challenges, offering a well-rounded picture of the effort nationally to expand learning opportunities for low-income children -- and the work that remains.
Make the Road New York;
In 2007, the City Council passed the Safe Housing Act, groundbreaking legislation that took a targeted approach to improving the worst living conditions for New Yorkers and authorized the creation of the Alternate Enforcement Program (AEP). Each year, through the AEP, the City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) selects 200 of the city's most poorly-maintained residential buildings and notifies their landlords that the buildings require wide-scale repairs. If a landlord then fails to make those repairs, HPD may intervene to have the repairs made and recoup the cost of the repairs from the landlord.
Nevertheless New York City continues to face a housing crisis, with much of its affordable housing stock falling into disrepair and many low-income tenants living in appalling conditions.
After hearing reports of landlords taking advantage of the AEP to force low-income tenants out, renovate the apartments and then rent to young professionals willing to pay a significantly higher rent, MRNY conducted a survey of tenants in AEP buildings. MRNY surveyed 85 tenants in AEP buildings in the area surrounding MRNY's Brooklyn office, surveying tenants from a range of building sizes and covering buildings from all five years of the AEP. Here, we report the results of those surveys. After five years of the AEP, they provide significant insight into the functioning of the AEP from the perspective of AEP building tenants -- both in terms of those aspects of the AEP that function well and should be expanded upon, and those aspects of the AEP that may require improvement. They also point the way towards other enforcement mechanisms that might better preserve New York City's housing stock and ensure that all tenants live in conditions that are safe, sanitary and comfortable.