(NEW YORK)– On June 18 from noon-4 p.m. the NYC Literary Action Coalition in partnership with PEN America will sponsor a community event focused on public safety that will include writing exercises on the topic, a training to help people cope with street harassment and an open mic for discussion.

“Opinion surveys show New Yorkers are concerned about public safety. Recent attacks in the subway, mass shootings in the city and nationally, a lack of mental health resources, and housing issues impacting our most vulnerable are all affecting our perspectives on public safety and crime,” said Alejandro Heredia, Community Outreach manager at PEN America. “This event will try to connect the dots on these various issues and give people a forum to air their thinking, while also offering concrete ways to meet the moment.”

“Safe and Sound: A Community Gathering on Safety in NYC” will take place from noon-4 p.m. on June 18 at the Julia De Burgos Performance and Arts Center (1680 Lexington Avenue) in Manhattan. The event is organized by the Literary Action Coalition’s 2022 Writing as Activism Fellows. Participants are asked to RSVP:  https://penamerica.typeform.com/to/PXsxntE3

The afternoon will be divided into three parts. The first part will feature small group activities and writing exercises to think collectively through aspects of safety on trains, in schools, stores, neighborhoods, and at home. The exercises will address: 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 a street harassment training that will offer attendees tangible tools and practices to deal with street harassment. The training will also teach participants de-escalation tactics if they witness someone else being harassed in public.  

In the final part of this community gathering, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an open mic to share their fears, hopes, and visions regarding safety in New York City. The open mic will be a space to share poetry, personal anecdotes, and reflections based on the day’s event.

Light refreshments will be provided.

What: “Safe and Sound: A Community Gathering on Safety in NYC

When: Saturday, June 18th, 12-4 pm

Where: Julia De Burgos Performance and Arts Center, 1680 Lexington Avenue, New York

RSVP requested: https://penamerica.typeform.com/to/PXsxntE3

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.

About the Literary Action Coalition

The NYC Literary Action Coalition brings together the literary community to address issues of social justice and free expression most pertinent to New York City communities. Learn more