Brooklyn Community Services Hosts "Engagement" Summit For Non-profits

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Monroe France

Groundbreaking Summit to explore community partnerships, volunteerism, and philanthropy

To strengthen and empower Brooklyn residents who live in poverty, Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) will host the groundbreaking Community Engagement Summit, a collaboration with local nonprofits to create positive change through community partnerships, volunteers and philanthropic giving on December 2 at Saint Francis College, 180 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights, from 5:00pm – 8:00pm.

It is free and open to the public. The BCS Community Engagement Summit will bring together over 20 nonprofits with active programs and services that make a difference in Brooklyn’s low-income neighborhoods.

The summit features a Community Engagement Hub networking session and panel discussion.  Panelists who will discuss engagement strategies for nonprofits and volunteers include: Mark Winston Griffith, Executive Director, Brooklyn Movement Center; Matt Cowan, New York City Program Director, iMentor; Cindy Greenberg, Director, Repair the World, New York City; Dr. Melony Samuels, Executive Director, Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger and Eva Vega-Olds, Assistant Director of Civil Rights Division, Anti-Defamation League.

“As a longtime New Yorker and recent resident of Brooklyn, I am proud to participate in the BCS Community Engagement Summit," said Monroe France, panel moderator and Assistant Vice President for Student Diversity and Director of the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs at New York University. "Conversations about poverty are necessary, but uncomfortable for many.  As a community, we must address the core issues that generations of Brooklynites have struggled with because their lives matter,”

France has 20 years of experience as a professional trainer, consultant, strategist, and keynote presenter. In 2004, he co-founded Envision, a social justice training and consulting agency. France is also an adjunct faculty professor at NYU.

Some of the core issues facing Brooklyn’s underserved communities will be discussed at the BCS Community Engagement Summit. It will look at activism in the “new” Brooklyn. Tactics on how youth and young adults can make a positive impact in their neighborhoods will be showcased. There will be techniques on effective volunteerism. In addition, there will be opportunities for companies and foundations to learn first-hand about the needs of the nonprofits working in underserved neighborhoods.

“At BCS, we want to inspire people to get involved with the organizations that are helping our underserved neighborhoods,” said Marla Simpson, Executive Director, BCS. “BCS is committed to partnering with Brooklyn’s community groups, particularly in the neighborhoods we serve like Coney Island, Brownsville, East New York and Bedford Stuyvesant.  The summit is a pathway for nonprofits to connect with potential funders, corporate partners and community residents who have been seeking a way to get involved and provide vital support.”

Some of the nonprofits at the Community Engagement Hub include: Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, St. John's Bread and Life, Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, Black Women's Blueprint, Mythic Bridge, Repair the World, Nontraditional Employment for Women, ARTs East New York, Dare 2 Dream Leaders Inc., Digital Girl, Inc., That Suits You, Neighbors Together, The Diamond Club, Make the Road New York, iMentor, Citizens Committee of New York, Power of 2, Diaspora Community Services and others.

BCS Community Engagement Summit’s community sponsor is Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City. BRIC Arts is a media partner.

For more information on Brooklyn Community Services’ Community Engagement Summit, call Kristina Reintamm, Director of Community Engagement at 718-310-5614 or check out the website at

Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) celebrates the strength of the human spirit. Our mission is to empower at-risk children, youth and families, and adults with mental illness or developmental disabilities to overcome the obstacles they face, as we strive to ensure opportunity for all to learn, grow and contribute to ONE Brooklyn Community. 

In 2016, BCS will be celebrating its milestone 150th anniversary.


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