The United Community Centers (UCC) is a multi-service, intergenerational community-based organization that provides services and support to residents of East New York, Brooklyn.
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"When we first started looking into community-based planning, we discovered that East New York had the largest number of local gardens in the area. UCC was a primary player in helping us establish a farmers market. Now, with East New York Farms!, we're reaching WIC families with the vegetables and fruits. Other neighborhoods have followed our model and since then we've gotten private and public grants, we've gotten youth programs and food coops out of it."
-- Perry Winston, former Architectural Director, Pratt Center for Community Development
Welcome To The United Community Centers
The United Community Centers (UCC) is a multi-service, intergenerational, community-based organization that provides services and support to residents of East New York, Brooklyn. For over 50 years, we've helped foster social change, worked with neighbors to address community concerns, and provided services to help make East New York a better, healthier place to live.
Protecting The East's mission is to create an environment in East New York where young people can develop safe and healthy relationships. Protecting The East works to improve access to HIV prevention information and services, and provides opportunities for young people to lead sex education efforts among their peers. The Project Director manages the Protecting The East project, supervises the team and youth interns, and oversees all project activities.
Our Youth Peer Educators in our 2015 program cycle are trained both as educators, and in the art of material design. Peers design, develop, and produce marketing and educational materials used during their outreach education efforts. First, they learn about marketing: We explore through our curriculum how to convey a positive health message and how to define and target an audience. The youth then they develop the content and design the materials. Through this arm of our program, young people develop computer and design skills, as well as a background in marketing and social media use in a professional setting.
This first piece is a Peer Success Story about a young person who discovers that his partner is unfaithful to him, and recognizes the importance of protection and prevention for sexual relationships. The design mimics a Facebook message exchange between two friends, to appeal to a younger audience in East New York.
Our second piece is another Peer Success Story about a young woman who discovers that regardless of her HIV status, there are still reasons to protect herself. The design features a moody black to convey the darkness of the content of the story, and the bright neon pink is used to highlight and attract attention.
Stay tuned, next up our youth are collaborating to produce a Summer Social Marketing Campaign!!
It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by, and that in that time Protecting the East has been able to double the impact of our work. Our goal is to build an East New York where young people are able to develop safe and healthy relationships, and every day we get a little bit closer.
This year four of our Peer Education Youth Interns moved up to become staff, and we were able to hire 22 new youth as well. Together, we:
-Distributed more than 325,000 male condoms (3 times what we did last year!) and 3,140 female condoms
-Had 25,000 conversations in the East New York community, promoting safe sex, testing and healthy relationships
-Worked with 66 local businesses (3 times what we started with!) to distribute condoms and information to customers
-Facilitated 30 workshops for young people in East New York (twice as many as last year!)
We are proud of what we’ve accomplished, but there is so much more to do. We need your support more than ever. Here’s how our friends, lovers, and biggest fans can continue to support our work as we head into 2015.
$1100 covers the cost of a Peer Education Youth Intern-- a donation of this size means we can hire a new young person!
$150 covers the cost of a workshop for youth, or the cost of outreach to 100 people in the community
$60 (or $5 a month) covers the cost of performing our play that explores how HIV affects our community
$15 buys a rain poncho with the Protecting the East logo so we don’t lose work days due to inclement weather, and can promote the program while we’re out there!
$10 buys a patch with the Protecting the East logo to promote visibility for our street team
This has been a special year for UCC as we celebrated our 60th Anniversary. We’ve brought new leaders into our community, grown our programs to increase our impact, danced, reminisced and planned for the future. The East New York community has come together to mark this major milestone in our history, and we are immensely grateful to everyone who has celebrated with us and helped ensure our continued success with donations and support.
We are incredibly proud that we have been able to sustain our work for 60 years, with the support and involvement of our community. We need your support to continue so that our work will go on for the next 60 years and beyond. We are seeing an increase in large nonprofits from outside our community moving here to run programs and compete with us for grants. To keep succeeding, we need each member of our community to invest whatever they can to support us. Please consider making a donation, either by sending a check to 613 New Lots Ave, Brooklyn NY 11207 or by visiting www.ucceny.org to become a “60 for 60” Monthly Sustainer or make a one-time online donation.
Keep reading to hear more about UCC's accomplishments this year!