Divas for social justice is proud to be a community partner to power laurelton.Nyc, an online platform developed to encourage civic engagement, online organizing and information sharing. In less than year the website has created an online community space that represents the beauty of laurelton. Divas for social justice was inspired to create the website because the community based organization saw it as the perfect vehicle to engage laurelton community residents inter-generationally in the importance of digital literacy and preserving the history of laurelton in an interactive form. The organization also recognized while other communities have hyper-local online newspapers, laurelton did not.
Divas for social justice also wanted to provide a platform that could share the history of laurelton and also the positive stories of the community. The organization saw news articles only pertaining to violence when a search was done. Initally before the launch of the site the organization put out a call to community leaders to contribute to laurelton.Nyc. Divas for social justice also integrated a community journalism curriculum into their after-school program so the youth could serve as a news teams representing their school. Divas for social justice provides programming in three local schools in laurelton (the linden sda school, p.S 156, p.S 132) so the organization was able to have to three separate news teams reporting stories about the community. The children in the organization’s after-school program gain experience in critical thinking, digital literacy skills and expanding their knowledge of web 2.0 skills. Divas for social justice is currently pitching the site at local community events to increase contributors to the site and has encourages all local community and civic based organizations to contribute to laurelton.Nyc and will be providing on-going instructional workshops at laurelton library in the future for community residents and other organizations to contribute to laurelton.nyc.
Laurelton.nyc is predominanlty used as an online platform to promote and provide a space for all local residents to tell the stories of laurelton in their own voice. The voices of laurelton are amplified by this platform through local community residents, and the youth community journalism section. Since the launch of laurelton.Nyc the site has been used as a bridge to bring community members together and create an interactive space that serve as an ongoing interactive archive of the community of laurelton. The site has been in existence for almost a year and has had a wonderful impact on improving the community of laurelton. A great example of why the voices of laurelton need to be amplfied in this platform is the laurelton operation clean up. In late spring a coalition of civic and community based organizations and community residents launched the laurelton operation clean up. The mission of operation clean up was to get residents of laurelton to organize to clean and beautify merrick boulevard by meeting the first Saturday of a four month period.
Divas for social justice contributed to this project by writing articles and documenting the progression of laurelton operation clean up. The first time residents came together was very inspiring because over 50 people showed up to clean up merrick boulveard and it gave voice to the unspoken desire of residents wanting more and the pride in the community. The article written about laurelton operation clean received almost 3000 hits to the website and was shared on social media and it helped grow the movement. The initial article can be seen at: http://www.Laurelton.Nyc/2017/05/06/laurelton-community-launches-operation-clean/divas for social justice also then had the p.S 132 news team come and document the next operation clean up meet up to use laurelton.Nyc further as a platform to encourage more residents to get involved and our youth participants interviewed volunteers on camera at: http://www.Laurelton.Nyc/2017/06/04/laurelton-operation-clean-hosts-second-event/in addition to writing and providing a platform for laurelton.Nyc, divas for social justice and the other organizations of operation clean won a technical assistance grant with habitat for humnity’s brush with kindness program to have the landscaping and a new mural designed at the laurelton lirr station. The proposal requested a mural be created that represented the beauty of the tudor homes in an abstract form including silhouettes of the elders of the community who have made a difference in the community for over 30 years. The previous articles written about laurelton operation clean helped leverage the opportunity and provided a visual and literal accounts that led to the project receiving an award. The project was completed on September 14, 2017. Having access to the platform laurelton.Nyc directly provided environmental and social change this community and has ignited a coalition of organizations. The article can be seen at: http://www.Laurelton.Nyc/2017/09/11/laurelton-residents-come-together-habitat-humanity-nyc/