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Safe and Sound: A Community Gathering on Safety in New York

Event promo image for Safe & Sound

Join us for “Safe and Sound: A Community Gathering on Safety in NYC,” an event organized by the Literary Action Coalition’s Writing as Activism Fellowship, in collaboration with PEN America and the Festival of New York. The gathering will be on June 18th, 12 p.m.-4 p.m. at the Julia De Burgos Performance and Arts Center. This event is free and open to the public.

In 2022, most New Yorkers are concerned about public safety. Recent attacks in the subway, national and local concerns about gun safety, lack of mental health resources, and housing issues impacting our most vulnerable are just a few topics we will delve into during this four-hour community gathering.

The afternoon will be divided into three parts. The first part will feature small group activities and writing exercises to think collectively through various safety components. Trains. Schools. Bodegas. Our blocks. Our homes. Where are we safe? What does safety mean in one of the biggest cities in the world? And how can we mobilize our communities to reimagine safety through community activism, writing, and public policy?

The second part will feature bystander intervention training by Nordia Bennett from the Upstander program at the Center for Anti-Violence Education. Nordia will provide attendees with tangible tools and practices for staying safe within a public space. The training will also teach participants how to identify safety threats before an incident occurs, what to do during an incident that threatens someone’s safety, and how to provide proper aftercare to victims.  

In the final part of this community gathering, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a community reflection session, where community members will share their fears, hopes, and visions regarding safety in New York City. The community reflection session will be a space to share poetry, personal anecdotes, and reflections based on what they’ve gathered from the day’s event.

Light refreshments will be provided. Our venue space, Julia de Burgos Performance and Arts Center, has accessibility for elevators and ramps that visitors may make use of. We encourage all of our guests to wear masks during the event.   



headshot of Center for Anti-Violence Education Trainer Nordia BennettNordia Bennett is the Upstander Program Coordinator for The Center for Anti-Violence Education (CAE). Outside of their role at CAE, Nordia works as a Youth Pastor. Nordia is passionate about building immersive participatory experiences where individuals have the space to expand their knowledge and make informed authentic decisions. Nordia holds a Master of Divinity in Theology from Union Theological Seminary. Nordia identifies as a scholar and practitioner with a deep connection to the culmination of black radical imagination. It’s a revelatory process that happens continuously with so much effort to move forward in radical transformation & possibilities!