in a two-step process
NEIGHBORHOOD BENCHES (NB) is a small, grassroots organization devoted to educating young people from communities of color on leadership and good practices that break cycles of youth incarceration and violence.
In underrepresented neighborhoods, with the help of directly impacted people, we are teaching young people to be professionals and act as leaders when finding solutions and implementing it. The solutions offered to students by NB are the roadmap for directly impacted people to #modelchange and #buildcommunity for the next-generation of leaders to #NeverBeCaged physically, mentally or emotionally.
Through the Model Change and Build Community philosophy, we meet with both, youth and adults "where they are" and build upon "what works" to design programs around ways to model changed behaviors and build partnerships that sustain positive community changes.
In collaboration with other institutions (e.g. colleges, nonprofits) focused on a wide array of support, education and enrichment programs, NB engages youth in high-need areas, particularly public housing complexes administered by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), and other underrepresented neighborhoods, where preventative programs are unlikely stationed.
The programs develop criminal justice experienced people from mentors to neighborhood leaders with the drive to implement positive community changes and increase their presence internationally, allowing them access to policies and practices that help sustain positive community changes while continuing to develop their profession and NB philosophy.
Accomplishing this type of leadership will rebuild community, change the narrative for formerly incarcerated and criminal justice involved people, as well as increase opportunities for young people driving down violence and incarceration citywide.