Brooklyn United (BU) is one of Brooklyn’s most effective Music and Arts Programs. It is a program that offers a creative and safe space for minority inner-city youth. Throughout the years, the program has operated out of churches and other dance studios. During their time at these establishments, BU has been, and continues to be, an inspiration to all who have had a face-to-face encounter or have seen them perform.
Residing in New York city, the youth face several challenges and dangers. We all know that an idle mind and too much (unsupervised) free time can change the trajectory of their lives. Brooklyn United has provided an alternative to spending so much time unsupervised. While operating out of the establishments previously mentioned, Brooklyn United has been able to offer an afterschool program, Saturday program, programming during school breaks, Summer camp and more for inner-city youth. During the school year, Brooklyn United offers homework assistance to younger members of the program, character and leadership development seminars, tutoring, SAT Prep classes, mentors, dance, band and more. Annually they perform in their very own Off-Broadway Production entitled BU Live at La Mama Theatre.
Unfortunately, due to COVID 19, all programs came to a halt. Eventually, a few classes were held on Zoom and the youth of BU rose to the challenge. When the city reopened, they began rehearsing in city parks and they were beyond excited. In August, the parents of Brooklyn United Music and Arts Program were informed they were losing the place they called home. BU was informed they had to vacate the premises by September 1, 2020. Although Brooklyn United is currently homeless, their spirits are high, and their confidence has not been affected in any way. As BU ponders upon the current situation and the course that lies ahead, their mission remains the same. They work diligently to provide inner-city youth ages 5-21 a positive marching band experience while promoting academic support, character development, skills building, and performance opportunities
While Brooklyn United is displaced, the BU village continues to instill, enforce and demonstrate the six pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Responsibility, Respect, Fairness, Forgiveness, Caring and Citizenship. See below how the six pillars are instilled, enforced and demonstrated at Brooklyn United.
- Trustworthiness by following through with what they said they would do.
- Respect and accept the feelings, experiences and differences amongst themselves and others
- Take Responsibility for their actions, reactions, words written or spoken. They have always been taught to utilize self-control. Most of all they have been taught to be a good example for others.
- Although life is not always fair, Brooklyn United has taught the youth about Fairness. They should never take advantage of anyone and always play by the rules. They are expected to treat each other and whomever they encounter fairly.
- Forgiving someone is hard to do, but at Brooklyn United we tell the youth Forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about you. When you do not forgive someone, it prevents you from progressing and walking in your purpose.
- The BU village is the epitome of Citizenship and Caring. Brooklyn United loves their neighbors and lends a helping hand where needed. They participate in community affairs and are always looking for ways to improve the community.
We do not want to hear of more male black youth (BU or Non-BU members) being killed by police officers or other black youth. We want the young ladies, current and future, to have respect for themselves and build each other up. This is what Brooklyn United is about. We focus on providing our youth the best experience possible. We strive to provide them resources and life skills to prepare them for tomorrow.
We are grateful for the partnerships we had with the other establishments. However, this time around, BU has decided to do things a little different. The Founder and Director has stated, it is time that Brooklyn United have their own space “The Brooklyn United Community Center.” The center will serve all inner-city youth. He has found a location, but he does not have the funding. Guess what, you can play a vital role in transforming the lives of young people in New York City, not just in Brooklyn. To continue offering the programs and skills previously mentioned, we would greatly appreciate if you could contribute to the Brooklyn United Building Fund.
If you wish to support us, please visit our GoFundMe page at,
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