Community Building has always been a key element of our work at RHI, recognizing the need to address systemic issues facing the neighborhood alongside our youth development approach. Our programs work toward two goals: to improve the health of residents of public housing in Red Hook and to strengthen the resiliency of the Red Hook community. The work of this program seeks to address the root causes of the issues residents face, positively impacting the lives of over 6,500 Red Hook Houses residents each year.
Our work focuses on addressing the racial and ethnic inequities that perennially persist across the Red Hook Houses community. These inequities intersect with the systems of housing, education, policing and health care and deeply impact the members of the Red Hook Houses community which RHI has historically and will continue to serve.
We bring together youth and adult community members for a training program in organizing and advocacy skills. Participants of the Organizing Academy lead the annual NYCHA campaigns. Youth and community members participate in lobbying and actions to promote policies that will positively impact Red Hook. Advocacy campaigns have included: Fair Fares, SYEP expansion and increased funding for NYCHA.
Anti-Violence in Red Hook
RHI’s youth-led anti-violence team is made up of 11 young adults who grew up in Red Hook. The team first came together in 2018 and issued the ‘Real Rites’ report, and is now leading community building and healing justice events, and analyzing municipal investments in their community as relates to public safety. Based on research and current strategies, the team recommends new investments to alternatives beyond policing.
Young Adults’ Experiences of Violence and Dreams of Community-Led Solutions in Red Hook, Brooklyn
“We are a group of young adults from Red Hook. We grew up in this community witnessing violence, disinvestment, and over-policing. In the summer of 2017, we came together because we were tired of being ignored and harassed and because we were ready to make a change. We took matters into our hands and launched a research study about violence and community-building for young adults in Red Hook. The research was conducted by us, with us, and for us.”
Participatory Action Research
RHI utilizes Participatory Action Research methods in partnership with Public Science Project to explore and understand neighborhood issues and drive campaign and program design. Participatory Action Research puts community members most affected by an issue at the forefront of research design, implementation and analysis. In the past several years, RHI has led Participatory Action Research on issues of transportation, public housing health and anti-violence.
RHI is prioritizing the health and well-being of our community by amplifying and expanding the work of Red Hook Community Health Network Coordinator, to our newest project, Red Hook Farms, which brings over 20,000 pounds of locally grown produce to youth and families. The Coordinator will lead ongoing health-focused campaign work, policy proposals and neighborhood mobilizations addressing health inequities and increase access to health care and health related services.
A Resilient Community
Increase economic opportunities
We create connections to employment opportunities, hire local Red Hook vendors at neighborhood events and activities and host quarterly “Pop Up Shops” with local vendors. Stay tuned, our next Pop Up is on it’s way!
The Red Hook Hub is a free, digital community-led platform for sharing and receiving information relating to the Red Hook neighborhood. Individuals and community groups can post information instantly, add to the community calendar and sign up for a weekly newsletter. Check out the physical HUB boards in front of the Miccio and the Red Hook Library.