Brooklyn Community Services Holds “Youth Action Summit” with Top NYC Youth Advocates...

Brooklyn Community Services Holds “Youth Action Summit” with Top NYC Youth Advocates February 28

BCS "Youth Action Summit: Voices for the Future of Brooklyn" has moderator/keynote: C. Nicole Mason, PhD, Policy Expert/Educator and panelists that include Bill Chong, Commissioner, NYC Youth & Community Development


Leading New York City youth advocates will examine critical issues facing at-risk youth in Brooklyn’s low-income neighborhoods at Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) Youth Action Summit: Voices for the Future of Brooklyn, a panel discussion and youth action resource hub on February 28 at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street in Brooklyn from 5:30pm – 8:00pm. It is free to the public and will be broadcast live on BCS Facebook.

This community event will be moderated by C. Nicole Mason, PhD, a noted policy expert, economic justice advocate, educator and author. Mason is Executive Director of the Center for Research and Policy in the Public Interest (CR2PI) at the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, lives between Brooklyn and Washington, DC. She is the author of Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey from Nothing to Something in America and her commentary and writing have been featured in The Nation, Marie Claire, USA Today, ESSENCE, New York Times, Huffington Post, CNN, MSNBC and NPR.

“Given the barriers and challenges faced by young people in low-income communities, strong family, community and school networks are critical to their long-term success and opportunity,” explained Mason. “We should all be working together to ensure that all students have a fair chance at reaching his potential regardless of where the student begins in life.”

At the BCS Youth Action Summit, a panel of leading youth advocates will examine impactful strategies and methods that attendees can utilize to support youth initiatives. Topics will focus on pressing problems affecting Brooklyn’s at-risk youth, such as: education, self-esteem, job readiness, immigration, police community relations and crime. The panelists are:

Bill Chong
Commissioner of the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD)

Bill Chong is the Commissioner of New York City’s lead agency for youth employment programs. He oversaw the launch of the Out-of-School Time Initiative, the largest afterschool program in the nation. Also, he led efforts to redesign the City’s system to serve runaway and homeless youth and helped create the Cornerstone community center program in public housing.

Kaberi Banerjee Murthy
Vice President of Programs at Brooklyn Community Foundation

Kaberi Banerjee Murthy leads grantmaking, programs and advocacy work to “spark change for a fair and just Brooklyn.” She currently serves on the Steering Committees for the NYC Fund for Girls & Young Women of Color.

Marlon Peterson
National Criminal Justice Advocate, Educator, and Founder of The Precedential Group

Marlon Peterson is a national social and criminal justice advocate, writer, organizational trainer, and educator who spent 10 years in New York State prisons. He is the 2015 Soros Justice Fellow, Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar, a 2015 Ebony Magazine Power 100 honoree and TED Resident.

Aber Kawas
Youth Lead Organizer at the Arab American Association of New York

Aber Kawas has worked with several organizations in the city around issues such as immigration, police surveillance, racial profiling, etc. and hopes to work to improve the conditions of immigrants in the New York area by providing programs and services to both them and their children.

Dana Edell
Executive Director of SPARK Movement

Dana is an activist-scholar-artist working towards anti-racist gender justice. Through her writing, presentations and media appearances, she advocates for girls’ activism and the need for performing arts experiences for girls.

Frances DePaolo
Student, BCS Brooklyn High School for Leadership and Community Service

Frances DePaolo is a student leader who helps organize her school’s weekly open mic event and is a part of the “Scholar’s Squad” student group. She is from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and is currently an intern at Sean Casey Animal Rescue.

There will be a Youth Action Summit resource hub, which features 23 Brooklyn youth-based nonprofits providing information, volunteer and mentorship opportunities and networking to inspire attendees to get involved in activities and programs in their neighborhoods. At the resource hub, nonprofits working on youth issues in Brooklyn will be available for networking. Some of the nonprofits include: Usher’s New Look, St. Nicks Alliance, Chinese-American Planning Council Inc., PAL Brownsville Beacon, CAMBA, Made in Brownsville, Children of Promise, NYC, DIGITAL GIRL INC, Per Scholas, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, 826NYC, Housing Works, Repair the World NYC, Reading Partners, viBe Theater Experience, Turning Point Brooklyn and Crown Heights Community Mediation Center.

For 150 years, BCS has been committed to providing resources, tools and support to help low-income youth in Brooklyn reach their personal goals. BCS continues this mission through conducting education, leadership and development programs that empower youth and strengthens Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Today, BCS has several leading youth programs in Brooklyn that focus on education and empowerment for over 2,000 young people, these include: Gary Klinsky Children’s Centers After School Programs, BCS Cornerstone Community Centers, Youth Stand United, Youth Stand Academy and the BCS Brooklyn High School for Leadership & Community Service.

For more information on the BCS Youth Action Summit, please check (…). Join the conversation with Brooklyn Community Services on FACEBOOK and also connect on Twitter and Instagram at @wearebcs.