Go Newark. Live Green. Love Pink.

"He who knows his WHY in life can live through any HOW" - Victor Frankl

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Help Bring a Better Tomorrow ...Mentor Newark Youth Today!

The Weequahic Park Super Neighborhood Community Covenant & The Art of Survival Corporation are hosting the "Picture Me Tomorrow Extravaganza" this Friday, October 31, 2008 from 3:30 PM until 8:30 PM.

The "Picture Me Tomorrow Extravaganza" is a Parade, Mentor-Meentee Networking Social, Talent Showcase & Professional Address, a full program at George Washington Carver Elementary School- 333 Clinton Place Newark, New Jersey. It is also a pilot run for a long-term Mentoring Program that will roll out in January during National Mentoring Month.

The event hosts are still in need of mentors to participate during the networking hour, which will take place roughly between 4:30 PM and 6:00 PM. If you or a professional acquaintance are able to donate a small portion of time to the mentees, please send an email indicating [NAME] [CAREER FIELD] [TIME AVAILABLE] & [PHONE #] to
The Brickerati: info@brickeratigreen.com.

The events of this weekend in Newark and Chicago reaffirm the need for the greater urban community to draw strength from each others trials and become increasingly supportive of our youth. We must guide them on an alternative, positive path. This is why the Picture Me Tomorrow concept is so powerful. It attaches a significant meaning to the idea of dressing in costume. Dressing in career-inspired garb tells our children to envision and embrace an honorable and rewarding future that IS within reach.

From the hand of...


Friday, October 24, 2008

Hey Newark! Do Something


So the scum of the Earth challenges my cities safety, confidence, and opportunity for growth again. This time, they endanger my brothers and his friends lives, and not a single store owner, pedestrian, crossing guard, or passerby knows how or why? I am so sick of Newarkers (and non) casually forgetting evidence and clues that can lock up the God-less creatures that are responsible for Newark violence.

I love Newark. There is nothing that can happen here that can change that because this is the home that has made me who I am today. But I don't have to like those Newarkers (people who live-work-play in Newark), who want to point the finger of blame to Republicans, Democrats, Mayors, City Council, and Community Organizers for "not taking action," when you Mr. or Ms. Newarker refuse to call the anonymous tip line to report what goes on outside your window.

There are certain problem areas in Newark--no kidding. And if you live there you know this even more so. Yes, the police should be patrolling 24-7: documenting reoccurring unethical activities. But they can't do everything alone. It requires a constituent-wide effort to get the dangerous and malicious off our streets.

It is not an easy task. It is not a simple one. And we can't expect a leader to penetrate the impenetrable. A mother knows if her son is a killer, the disconnect, the deceit, the hours away from home, the money without the job, the inability to look in her eyes. It's a reality that no mother should ever have to face. But it must be faced if shot up teenagers on school grounds is an intolerable concept.

My heart is aching and tears are streaming. I have so much hope for Newark's future, but we must face the present. Violence occurs for many reasons stemming from poverty, destitution, and pain. Hopelessness is a disease as burdening as end stage cancer. We can point the finger of blame anywhere that enables us to sleep at night, but it needs to point at ourselves first. If we do not accept the fact that Gangs are real and in our schools, neighborhoods, and homes, and they are the primary vehicle of violence in Newark, then a Green Collar future is far, far away.

We must devise a tangibly logical solution to this multilevel problem that resolves fundamental issues based on community accountability. We Newarkers, do not need a political leader to resolve these issues, we need to be responsible neighborhood stakeholders and aggressive crime stoppers.

I'm tired of seeing posts on websites calling all Newarkers lawless, cutthroat, animal-like, heathens. I am an educated, intelligent, faithful Newark resident, and most Newark residents can sing a similar song. Let's sound the right tune Newark, let's shift the perception of our city. Let's take back our streets, and rid ourselves of those who wish to sit idly
by and let murders pose as neighbors.

From the ANGRY hand of...


Saturday, October 11, 2008

South Ward's Greening Collaborative

It was a great Green Day for Newark as the Greater Newark community celebrated the South Wards first Green Roof Installation on top Level I Bakery on Bergen St. The event marks the ward's first official business Greening as part of the cities continuous mission to set the standard for urban transformation, as expressed by Newark Mayor, Cory A. Booker at the Newark's Green Future Summit earlier this year. The Urban Environmental Institute, Saving Our Selves, Inc., and Building Green Solutions, LLC, were joined by residents, city officials, and supporters to celebrate Green For All's Green Jobs Now national day of action.

A South Ward favorite for over twenty years, Mary Singleton's bakery has been known for homemade pies, fresh pastries, and great coffee. But as Jeanette Mitchell, UEI’s Policy Director explains, Level I is now the epicenter for the districts Greening goals. "I picked Level I because I knew Ms. Singleton had a great, flat roof, and that it would be the perfect location- being almost the epicenter of Bergen Street and this community. When the redevelopment money comes in next year for a couple million dollars it's great because we've already started the green movement here."

The Green movement in Newark goes far beyond recycling or open space redevelopment for aesthetic benefits. Albeit important aspects of the national Green mission, Kim Gaddy, UEI Director, expresses the socio-economic solutions the Newark Green initiative provides. “The Green movement is the only movement that can move our children out of poverty. It is jobs such as this- where you can install a cool/reflective roof with a group of youngsters who are trying to get their lives together.” Participants of Level I’s installation are graduates of UEI as well as SOS, an intervention program that provides former gang members the opportunity to build their resume with meaningful work experience. It is partnerships like these that give communities, organizations, and investors the wherewithal to bring Newark’s Green future to life.

In brickerati style, the collaboration of community volunteers and local supporters resonates through toil and laughter, "We're ready for Green jobs!" making the unique task of Greening an urban community holistically rewarding.