On Wednesday April 20, the Mediation Center hosted a Celebratory Breakfast to welcome Juan Ramos, former Program Manager of S.O.S. Bed-Stuy, as our new Deputy Director! Aside from his experience leading the Bed-Stuy team, he also comes to us with a wealth of knowledge around community organizing, domestic violence, and working with young people who are gang-involved. He is also a national trainer and leading expert in working with men to stop domestic violence.

Juan Ramos’ new position is one of many exciting updates we shared with those in attendance. The event was held in our new Youth and Community Programs Office (267 Kingston Avenue) which now provides a youth-centered space for our YO S.O.S. program. During the breakfast, people also had the opportunity to see our new Legal Hand office (250 Kingston Avenue), where we provide walk-in services and legal referrals.

This event also featured presentations by representatives from each of our programs: Make It Happen, Save Our Streets, Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets, Legal Hand, S.O.S. Clergy Action Network, and Arts to End Violence. Members of S.O.S. Bed-Stuy and S.O.S. Crown Heights spoke about what brings them to this work, how they measure the success of S.O.S., and made asks of audience members. Craig Alexander asked that “When you see these youth tell them you love them. Tell them their life is worth something. They need to hear that.”

We also debuted the original music video “One Shot” which was created by YO S.O.S. youth organizers as part of their multimedia anti-violence campaign #6feetabove.

Thank you to all who joined us at this event and to everyone who supports our work!

Special thank you to Reconnect Cafe for catering the breakfast!