project leader
Stefanie S
Malcolm X Boulevard Between Marion and Chauncey
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the project

Jackie Robinson Park Playground located on Malcolm X Boulevard between Marion and Chauncey Streets is an underused gem. This summer we aim to transform the playground into a haven for the community. Rapid gentrification in Bedford-Stuyvesant has changed the demographics but it hasn't changed the heart of the neighborhood; it is a place where people care about each other whether it is just by saying good morning or offering a helping hand. The recent spate in gun violence, especially around the Fulton/Jackie Robinson Housing Complex has brought to the forefront the inequities in housing, access and the community's ability to control what happens in the neighborhood. The community is collectively rising up to make the neighborhood more livable for everyone, regardless of economic status, race and gender. We see opportunity to focus these efforts around the Jackie Robinson Park Playground this summer as a place where the diverse members of the community can gather through sports, creative expression, discussions, etc. For the past few years, HQ Tennis has been offering tennis classes to all ages and abilities. Coach Frances' dream is to create a more honest reflection of the community on the courts by offering community classes that will cater to Black and Brown residents who might not believe that tennis is accessible for them. We are also collaborating with B.R.O Experience, who has started to work with a group of young men living in the Fulton Houses to grow positive, authentic leaders in the community.  Our campaign goal is to both support HQ Tennis and to bring together the residents of the Fulton Houses with the larger community to build productive, meaningful relationships that will ultimately improve everyone's quality of life.

the steps

Earth Day, April 22nd - Meet and Greet and Clean Up the Park Playground

Meet the ten young Leaders/Advocates from B.R.O. Experience and plan weekly and monthly events to take place from mid-May to late August, both at the Park Playground and the courtyard at Fulton Houses.    

HQ Foundation will host 8-weekly 2-hours of open court time for young people and adults who don't normally have access to tennis classes

Open court time leads to bringing diverse groups from the community together to play, create, address issues of importance to the group and problem solve

Using the resources we have in the community, we train and educate eachother on other ways to resolve problems:  restorative justice, peace circles, etc.  

why we're doing it

The pandemic has brought with it a spike in gun violence throughout the five boroughs but it has particularly bad in Central Brooklyn. Last fall, the area around the playground saw a number of fatal shootings, mostly related to gang rivalries and old feuds. As I am writing this I just learned that there was another shooting in the vicinity of the park playground. Children were outside playing and were told to run inside; everyone is feeling, frustrated, tired and fearful of the warm days ahead. Despite this persistent violence, we believe breaking down real and imagined barriers to forge authentic relationships is the only way to address the violence. The community surrounding the park playground and the Fulton Houses is taking up the charge to push back against the violence and to use the resources we have, not relying on the police or politicians to make our community a safe, livable, friendly supportive environment for everyone. This campaign is just the beginning of what must become a foundational shift in how the residents think about where they live. Our focus of concern must be much wider and deeper than the four walls of our homes. This summer is just a beginning. By choosing a manageable space like the park playground, we hope to begin to establish a new culture—one of compassion, inclusion and trust; based on the belief that we all want to live a productive, meaningful life that is not consumed by senseless rage and violence.


Disbursed budget 5.26.21

The extra $1146 we have raised will be used towards Restorative Justice/Peace Circle training for community members, prioritizing residents of the Fulton Houses.  We will use this funds to start what we want to be a longtime process of embedding building trust and empathy.  

= $11,146 ($1,146 greater than original budget)

TOTAL RAISED = $11,410.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $264.00

Original Budget:

Stipends for ten young men who will serve as Leaders and Advocates - $300 apiece = $3000

Equipment- tennis rackets and balls; arts & craft supplies, sound system = $2000

Refreshments- water and healthy snacks = $500

Salary for Coach Frances Ferdinand, HQ Tennis = $1500

Salary for Barry Cooper, Lead Facilitator/Founder, B.R.O. Experience = $1500

Promotion/Advertising = $500

Insurance and Court Fees = $500

Cleaning Supplies/PPE = $500


ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)

Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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