No Justice, No (Inner) Peace!
Name of Your Organization:
Kingsbridge Heights Community Center (KHCC)
Overview of the Project - Please provide a brief description of the project.
Young people today face innumerable obstacles to maintaining good mental health. Even in the best of times, adolescents must navigate complex social situations, make decisions about their futures, and grapple with inherited historical injustices. The year 2020 brought an onslaught of new challenges—the grief of losing loved ones to COVID-19, the stresses of social isolation under the pandemic, the perpetuation of racial injustice and the killing of Black men and women by the police. The compounded stress and anxiety of all this is extremely deleterious to young people’s mental health and wellbeing; we must do more to support them.
To address these challenges, we propose to host a full day hybrid virtual/in-person mental health conference organized and led by youth. Hosted in the Bronx and open to teens from across the City, the conference will include a wide variety of activities, performances, art projects, and presentations related to maintaining good mental health. Conference topics will bridge the many concerns youth cited in the published Statement of Needs including the pandemic, social injustice, and facing the future. Example activities could include introduction to the practices of meditation or yoga, presentation on planning for the future, topical discussion groups, meeting our therapy dog Buddy, tips for grassroots activism, and art therapy. Activities will be slated throughout the day, with multiple options at any given time; young people can attend as many or few opportunities as pique their interest. A socially distanced “Jam Session” will capstone the day’s events, to be held in KHCC’s outdoor garden amphitheater. The Jam Session will commence with a film screening of youth-created shorts, both one developed by KHCC youth and others developed by youth from other organizations. The event will feature food, a live DJ, dancing, and opportunities for connecting with peers. Any young person who attended at least one conference offering will be welcome at the Jam Session.
Which of the following issues does your project address?
- Issue 1 - Addressing Mental Health
- Issue 2 - Preparation for College and/or Career
- Issue 3 - Youth Advocacy Promotion
Issue 1 - Addressing Mental Health
Youth Engagement - Please explain how you will engage youth in the planning and implementation of the project.
KHCC embraces the settlement house model of community development and involvement; we act as partners, helping the community forge their own destiny. Youth voice and choice are essential components of our programming for adolescents. All our youth development sites operate Youth Leadership Councils (YLCs), or governance bodies comprised of youth participants who spearhead events and initiatives related to youth-determined priorities, mediate peer conflicts, and provide input to inform activities and policies. The proposed project was conceived by our YLCs. To prepare for this application, each of our three YLC cohorts reviewed the Statement of Needs, created a project, and pitched that project to their peers. The intention was youth would vote for one of the three projects to submit; our youth created an alternative pathway forward, instead choosing to merge their three ideas into one unified project, the proposed multifaceted mental health conference
Youth will continue to be at the forefront of the project. The conference will be organized by youth from KHCC’s YLCs. To prepare, youth will conduct research, identify presenters, develop activities, and create a social justice film. Teens will also reach out to other youth-serving not-for-profits across the Bronx to solicit films, art projects, and performances to be included as part of conference offerings. Depending on interest, we can also organize joint planning sessions with other organizations. Emphasizing inclusivity and collective impact, we will strive to include as many youths as possible in the project, so it truly reflects the needs and priorities of young people themselves.
Budget - Your total project budget must equal $20,000 to be placed on the ballot for a youth vote. Please provide a brief description of what the funds would be used for to successfully implement your project. You will also need to download, fill in, and attach a full budget using this template.
The majority of costs relate to hosting the conference. For that purpose we have allocated $2,500 for trainer/presenter fees, $2,500 for food and refreshments, $1,500 for the Jam Session DJ, and $400 for supplies/decorations. To create the youth directed film to be screened at the event, we have allocated $3,600 for contractor Justice by the Pen who will assist with production. Almost one-quarter of the budget will go directly to youth, with each YLC member earning a $300 stipend for participation ($4,500 total). The last budget item is $5,000 for our youth leadership coordinator to oversee the project (our youth leadership coordinator is actually a former member of KHCC’s YLC when he was a teen himself).
Timeline- Please describe the timeline for the implementation and completion of the project. All work for this project must be completed by June 30, 2021, which is the end of the city’s fiscal year and the deadline for the funds to be spent.
The proposed event will be held mid-June, with the preceding three months dedicated to planning and implementation. The process will begin in February/March, when YLCs will begin brainstorming possible presenters and activities. Follow up tasks will be delegated—young people will reach out to leads for more information, then report back to the group for discussion. Some youth will be responsible for connecting with other youth-serving organizations and/or schools to involve young people from across the Bronx in designing conference activities. During April, a final list of activities will be created based on interest and feasibility. At the end of April and throughout May, young people will engage in preparatory tasks such as securing speakers, purchasing supplies, creating the event schedule, and other logistics. They will also create promotional materials and distribute widely.
Project Activity Alignment - How does your project align with at least one of the following topics:
- Leadership skills development: organizing & advocacy trainings
- Stewardship of public spaces: public parks, transportation, etc.
- Youth and student engagement
- Civic education and advocacy
- Community outreach involving residents that have been historically underrepresented in or underserved by city government and its processes
3. Youth and student engagement - The proposed project engages young people in designing an event for their peers on mental health. These young people will conduct research, identify and secure speakers, design activities, and develop art installations. Youth across the Bronx will be able to attend the event to learn, share, and develop new relationships.
What is your organization's area of focus?
- Children and youth related
- Advocacy and organizing
- Arts and culture
- Civic engagement
- Education and literacy
- Emergency management and disaster response
- Employment and workforce development
- Environment and sustainability
- Food access
- Health and medicine
- Homelessness and/or affordable housing
- Human rights
- Human services
- Immigrants and/or refugees
- Justice related
- Legal services
- People with disabilities
- Senior services
- Women's issues
14. Human services
Affirmations - Type "YES" below each statement to affirm that you are eligible to appear on the ballot for this process.
I confirm that my organization will be registered in the NYC Payee Information Portal and in PassPort, NYC’s online procurement system, in order to receive funding from the City of New York.
I confirm that my organization is able to front the costs of implementing this project. Organizations will be paid based on deliverables.
Completion of Deliverables: I understand all deliverables must be completed by June 30th, 2021.
I understand a condition of funding includes submission of a final report upon project completion, and participating in a debrief session with the CEC.
Thank you for your proposal submission! Based on our review, your project is eligible based on the guidelines, and will be included on the ballot to be voted on by youth in February.
Congratulations for making it to the next phase in the process. Please fill out the following survey to help us develop the language that will be used to describe your project on the ballot. Please submit the survey no later than Wednesday, February 3rd @ 6:00pm. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
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