The organization formerly known as the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center started in 1998 amidst a surge of racial and religious conflict in Crown Heights. Since then, the organization’s goal has been to improve relations among the neighborhood’s different groups. Two decades later, Neighbors in Action has expanded to multiple sites in central Brooklyn and provides a variety of youth development, violence prevention and community-building programs year-round.
The annual conference convenes victims, service providers, a myriad of stakeholders and community members to discuss trauma and healing for young men of color. This year’s theme, Healing Equity: From Practice to Power, aims to expand the lens beyond the conference’s usual focus to also include healing strategies deployed by members of the LGBTQ/GNC community, undocumented communities, people with disabilities, and women and men of color who have survived violence.
“We will be bringing people together who do, can do, want to do and should do this healing work into a robust dialogue and learning space,” Neighbors in Action stated. “We will focus our attention on promising strategies that work for people from myriad backgrounds who have survived violence, so we leave them with concrete tools and deeper hope.”
Educator, writer, organizer and criminal justice advocate Mariame Kaba will deliver this year’s keynote address. Kaba is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization dedicated to ending youth incarceration.
Kaba, an educator who has taught high school and college students in New York and Chicago, sees herself as a builder of ‘containers’ to encourage and promote social justice and change. A blogger at Prison Culture and the recipient of numerous honors for her work, she uses her extensive experience with issues of racial justice, gender justice, transformative/restorative justice and multiple forms of violence to catalyze various projects.
The day-long conference will also be accompanied by a number of breakout sessions to facilitate in-depth discussions between presenters and participants.
As space is limited, community members interested in attending the free conference are highly encouraged to register online.
When: Saturday, April 6 | 9:30am – 4:30pm
Where: St. Francis de Sales School for the Deaf, 260 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11225