Longstanding and rising income inequality, combined with a history of racial residential segregation, has led to startling health inequities, quality education access, and lack of employment attainment between neighborhoods. Such negative circumstances tend to cluster in places that people of color call home and where many residents live in poverty, diverting what could be a dream realized and achieved. This is the case in Brooklyn, East New York which has a population of 0ver 183k, with a minority base of 52% Black residents and 37% Hispanic. Policies and practices based on a history of racism and discrimination (often referred to as institutional racism) have created neighborhoods with high rates of poverty and limited access to resources. 30% of residents in East New York live in poverty and lead the city in categories detrimental to overall wellness; 35% rate of obesity with only 5% of food establishments being supermarkets, 14% educational attainment for residents over 25 receiving a college degree, and an unemployment rate of nearly 10%. The practice of removing funding or refusing to provide funding to communities of color has caused poor outcomes to cluster in these communities. A person’s health, access to education, employment, nutrition, and achieving their dreams should not be determined by his or her ZIP code.
Dreams Achieved understands that education and fostering genuine relationships with the community are the foundation for positive change for its residents. To drive systemic change to address systemic issues Dreams Achieved will focus on a four-year multi-phased plan, addressing Nutritional Education for Youth and Adults, Mental Health Outreach connections for ENY residents, educating them on identifying and the value of seeking mental health when needed, Mentorship program for youth (utilizing college students, recent grads, and professionals), providing tangible examples of possibilities for post-secondary education completion, and Employment education and attainment outreach referral.
To that endeavor, Dreams Achieved will not only partner with local agencies, schools, and community leaders but implement a strategic plan to engage community residents and begin to close the socioeconomic gap.