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The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day March for Visibility Against Hate in Bay Ridge. This year, Bay Ridge for Social Justice and cosponsors will hold their visibility march in the spring when warmer weather will bring out greater numbers to demonstrate that hate has no place in Bay Ridge, South Brooklyn, or anywhere. As an alternative to our annual march, this year on MLK Day we will host a day-long community education forum entitled “Who Keeps Us Safe?”

This day will be devoted to envisioning community safety alternatives that address conflict resolution and mitigate harm through building strong communities and a culture of trust and accountability.

This forum will consist of morning bystander intervention training, afternoon break-out sessions and a midday meal with neighbors to build bridges and strengthen bonds in our community.

Childcare will be provided!

Event Schedule

Morning Trainings11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch with Community12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Afternoon Breakouts1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Share Back and Next Steps3:30 pm – 4:00 pm

This is a deep task that requires truly imaginative and transformative thinking, as a step in a multi-generational shift. In the words of Dr. King, wherever you are in your trust and reliance on police and other formal security institutions, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Breakout Groups

Who Keeps Our Kids Safe?

A dialog about how community can support the wellbeing of children and youth as well as their caregivers. We will review the current responses when families face crises with their children, discuss how much they help or harm, and brainstorm together what our ideal community responses could look like.

Led by Naethra Sreekrishna (she/her), LCSW, Family therapist in child welfare, and Zaynab Tawil (she/her), DV Case Manager, Arab American Association of New York.

The Muslim Community Patrol and Services (MCPS) and the Direction of the NYPD and Community Policing

This workshop is meant to address MCPS’s role in our community as a self-described “community safety patrol” and to engage in a critical conversation on how the MCPS can operate as an extension of the NYPD and mass surveillance.

Led by Zachariah Barghouti (he/him), an organizer with Take On Hate NY and David Kanj (he/him), a youth organizer with the Arab American Association of New York.

Controlling the Narrative Despite Ruthless, Evolving Power

From closing Rikers to building four “community jails?” What advocates must understand about fear from within and danger posed to grassroots-led campaigns for positive change + power mapping.

Led by Sami Disu (he/him) Professor at John Jay College, organizer with No New Jails, Free CUNY, and 7KOS.

Suggestions & Tactics as an Alternative to Calling 911

The NYPD is required to respond to 911 calls, including those for medical and mental health emergencies. Unfortunately, the murders of Mohamed Bah, Deborah Danner, Dwanye Jeune, and Saheed Vassell along with the near-death shooting of Davonte Pressley, demonstrate how calling 911 can result in the murder or brutalization of a community member or loved one.

In 2017, Equality for Flatbush began developing community driven suggestions and tactics as an alternative to calling 911. We firmly believe the more self-reliant we become as a community to create solutions and resolve issues, the less likely we will be to turn to the police.

Led by Imani Henry (him, his, Imani, Family) Lead Organizer with Equality for Flatbush (E4F).

Get Involved

Consider donating to Bay Ridge For Social Justice to help cover the cost of this event! Or, if money isn’t your thing, consider bringing some food to the potluck lunch!