For more than ten years, Sistas and Brothas United has been a powerhouse organizing youth to become civic minded change agents embracing the idea that a new world is possible. These young people are creating a vision for the world they want, and they possess the courage and determination to make that vision a reality. Organizing through SBU is creating their leadership to make this start happening right now.
This year youth leaders of SBU took on Stop and Frisk and the over-policing of our neighborhoods. Representing nearly 100 youth of color, from some of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City, SBU organized for Community Policing Reform. Fearlessly calling on the Dept. of Justice to investigate the shooting deaths of Trayvon Martin and Ramarley Graham, SBU members organized a Hands Across Kingsbridge event and then traveled to Florida as part of the Alliance for Educational Justice to participate in the sit-in at the Governor’s office. This organizing was as much a demand for justice for the slain as it was for themselves, as everyday our young people are criminalized.
In spite of a failing NYC school system where less than 60% of students graduate high school, SBU members are pursuing sustainable alternatives to ensure that all public school youth have the opportunity to learn in environments that encourage the best in students. This work currently looks like implementing school based restorative justice practices, college readiness programs, peer to peer mediation and community engagement.
As the year comes to a close and we begin to plan for 2014, we reach out to you for your support and partnership. This important work of engaging young people to be active in their community organizing for social justice will only be possible if we pull together. We encourage you this holiday season to consider a financial gift to SBU through an online donation at www.northwestbronx.org or via regular mail to the NWBCCC (address below).
Your support will contribute to a young person’s ability to attend trainings, become trainers themselves, participate in city wide and national coalitions and receive college readiness preparation so that they create options for themselves. Together, we can continue to nurture the talent and skill in our community by ensuring that the programs of SBU grow stronger and produce some of the most amazing young people in the world. SBU is more than a youth program, it is home to many that believe in hard work, dare to dream big and achieve the impossible.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to working with you in the coming year.
Fernando Carlo, SBU Director
and SBU 2013 Honorees Herminio Reyes, Elisabeth Ortega, Ashley Payano and Adama Diallo