Every neighborhood has its own unique challenges that inhibits growth in some way, whether that is a broken education system, crime, income inequality, or demoralization due to institutionalized injustices.
One of the challenges that we heard from some of the young people in Marcus Garvey Village in our ‘Start an Empire’ entrepreneurship program in partnership with Brownsville Community Justice Center was a lack of unity and safe spaces, which prevents residents from being able to move throughout their neighborhood with confidence and without exposure to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm.
Many of the participants expressed that they felt unsafe going to certain parts of their neighborhood and avoid going down specific streets.
Looking at the problem through an entrepreneurial lens, the 4 young founders, developed, The Alliance, a startup with a mission to create unity in Brownsville, Brooklyn primarily by identifying and promoting safe spaces.
Below are some of the solutions that they developed and executed to date:
Identified 10 Safe Spaces in Brownsville: The Alliance started their journey by identifying 10 safe spaces in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where anyone can go to if they feel unsafe and need support.
Created a Safe Space Creed: The Alliance then developed a safe space creed with 10 core principles that governs residents way of thinking and actions at the safe spaces and throughout Brownsville.
Created a Branded Marketing Campaign: To encourage unity and to promote the message, we are stronger together than apart, the Alliance designed a t-shirt with their brand and all of the housing developments in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Engaged their Community around Safe Spaces: At the unveiling of their brand at a local pop up shop, they asked their customers and neighbors to identify additional safe spaces on a map of Brownsville, that they can promote and where the safe space creed can be placed.
We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential no matter where they are born or reside, and removing every barrier of progress such as feeling unsafe in your neighborhood is our duty and responsibility if we desire a more prosperous Brownsville, NYC, United States and world.
This starts with each of us viewing ourselves as change makers and not just having a me focused agenda.
Kudos to the founders of The Alliance for choosing to be a solution in Brownsville and beyond.