Monday, May 23, 2011

Bed-Stuy Leads the Way!

Your roving Community Watcher is back and this time steps into the community of Bedford Stuyvesant at the Drug Free for Bed-Stuy Prevention Coalition meeting!  The coalition is underway of a leadership transition and has begun to review the roles and responsibilities among current members. As the group decided how they would like to split their duties, they also got down to business to form their next community event.  That event is the Parent Workshop, which will take place at Brooklyn’s Macon Avenue Public Library on Tuesday, June 14th, start time 5:30 PM until 7:30 PM. The workshop focus is to invite parents from the neighborhood to discuss ways as to what they can do when their children are out of school during the summer months. The topics for the workshop varied from Cracking the Secret Code (Understanding Slang Words for Drugs & Violence) to the Pressure on Being a Teen in Bed-Stuy. The group hasn’t determined a guest speaker as of yet but has enlisted a coalition member to bring her experience and expertise to the table.

And if you would like more information about June 14th Parent Workshop, please contact Community Development Specialist, Christine Fonseca at 212-252-7001 or

And for more information on their next coalition meeting….

Date: Tues, May 24, 2011
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Place: Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza,
1368 Fulton Street, 6th floor conference room
Travel Directions: Click Google Maps

RSVP: Email Deirdre Williams at

More to come from this Do and Thrive neighborhood.  Now onto the next community!


Time to Figure Out Who They Are

Fresh off the heels of their very successful “Blame it on the Alcohol” youth summit, the Central Harlem Coalition (CHC) finds itself in territory familiar to many coalitions, especially those who are in the beginning stages of the coalition building process. Under their new name and Identity the Central Harlem Coalition is now in a position to build a community-changing, network-building, coalition machine. However, they must figure out the answers to some very important questions. They need to answer some of the identity defining questions that at times can present early obstacles for coalitions in their position.  They must now begin to clarify their vision and mission, membership and recruitment, and develop the very important Memorandum of Understanding.  The coalition has worked hard to get to this point and they are now challenged with the task of building off of and maintaining the momentum that has been established thus far. Although there are many tasks that lie ahead of them, they seem poised to continue this process and begin building the coalition that so many in the community have been asking for.

Until next time,


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Harlem Youth Take A Stand Against Underage Drinking (CHC)

Over 70+ kids attended
the Youth Summit
Underage Drinking 

"Even though the title says Blame it on the Alcohol, I have to take full responsibility for what I did."  Those were some of the powerful things that ex-NBA player Luther Wright said to a group of 70+ Harlem teens last week.

Luther was the keynote speaker at the Blame It on The Alcohol: Youth Summit Against Underage Drinking" sponsored by the Central Harlem Coalition and help this past Friday, April 29th. 

As a recovering addict that has turned his life around for the better, Luther casted a large impression (he's also 7'2) on a roomful of kids and adults that gathered to learn about the harmful and negative effects of underage drinking and alcohol abuse, sharing his story of personal struggle of substance abuse, addiction, and redemption.  Following his speech, students engaged in a two-way conversation asking about some of the reasons for his addiction, his fallout and exit from professional sports, and how he is able to cope today with his demons.

A speaker from the DUI panel tells about
her choice to drink & drive

Students were also able to attend two workshops, provided by the Department of Transportation.  The first covered the Physical, Emotional, and financial effects of drinking under the influence.  Students were stunned to learn that one DUI can translate into over $50,000 of fees and payments to a variety of insurance companies, legal and court systems. 

The second was a panel discussion featuring DUI offenders that gave students a realistic view of the impact of drinving drunk, the penal and court system, and allowed them to hear first-hand accounts of what the wrong choice involving alcohol can have on their lives.  

A great job by the Central Harlem Coalition to spread the word about the dangers of alcohol and underage drinking.