Every summer, the Mediation Center comes together to put on two block parties in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy. On June 9th, S.O.S. held the Summer Kickoff in Bed-Stuy, and the Kingston Avenue Festival happened in Crown Heights on June 23rd. View the pictures above, and read some highlights below!

S.O.S. Bed-Stuy kicked off the summer with their block party on Marcy Avenue between Gates and Lexington. It was a beautiful sunny day. Two weeks later, the rain held off for the eighth annual Kingston Avenue Festival held between Bergen and Pacific Street.

At both events, staff members arrived early in the morning to close the street to traffic and began setting up the tables, chairs, and activities. As the neighbors began to arrive, S.O.S. fired up the grill with the help of team members and volunteers. The bouncy houses swelled up with air and balloons decorated the sidewalk.

From one end of the block parties to the other, there was face-painting, cotton candy and popcorn, jump rope, mask-making, and crown-decorating. An array of partner community organizations hosted these colorful activities at tables where they also provided resources on health, education, legal assistance, and recreational programs. A bouncy obstacle course and castle, and carnival games provided more exciting fun, while attendees took home pictures from the photobooth. Members of the S.O.S. team served up cheeseburgers, hot dogs and cold water all day.

On stage, DJ Todd, and S.O.S. Program Managers David Gaskin and Tiffany Murray kept the crowd engaged with dance competitions and prizes. At Kingston Avenue, kids gobbled up mini pies, while adults ate full-size pies with their hands behind their backs. It was an impressive show of stamina and character!

Through these yearly events, S.O.S. seeks to create opportunities for the community to come together for celebration of life and peace. On behalf of all of us at the Mediation Center, we wish everyone a safe and happy summer!

Special thanks to the organizations who tabled at one or both events including, Sneaker Beatz, GetCovered NYC, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Tamra Teahouse, Repair the World, DA Office of Victim Services, Friendship Benches/Thrive, Modern MD, Bailey’s Cafe, Pre-K for All, Blossom Be You, LIFT, Wellcare, Center for Anti-Violence Education, and Legal Aid.