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One America - Community Action Project

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One America

Program: Community Action Project, Brooklyn, NY
Contact(s): Francois Pierre-Louis, Director: (718) 287-4334
Purpose: To bring together different ethnic and racial groups to address the issues they care about through empowerment, leadership development and direct action

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The Community Action Project (CAP) is a faith-based organization founded in 1992 by clergy and lay leaders in Brooklyn to bring different ethnic and racial groups together to address the social and economic issues that concern them. CAP is a coalition of 15 member institutions, including local churches and neighborhood development organizations. Since its foundation, CAP has been actively organizing residents of the community through empowerment, leadership development workshops and direct action. The mission of CAP is to improve the quality of life in the community and to bring about institutional change in state and city policies on issues that directly affect neighborhood residents.

Program Operations

By working diligently with the business community, public schools parents, youths and immigrant organizations, the Community Action Project has been able to integrate new residents of the community in the political process and has succeeded in bringing resources to address the community's needs. CAP works primarily through empowerment training, leadership development and direct action campaigns. Participants engage in leadership seminars as a way to understand power, relationships, tolerance and self-development. Empowerment classes, taught by CAP staff, are held once a month. Direct action campaigns involve committees from each CAP member institution deciding on issues relevant to their community neighborhood and bringing these concerns to fellow CAP members. CAP then takes these concerns to the appropriate public authorities. Through these direct action campaigns, CAP hopes to make public figures and the city government aware of the community's interests.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

By 1998, CAP has reached out to more than 75,000 residents of the community through its member institutions. CAP is working to build an elementary school in the community and is also in the process of establishing a neighborhood credit union to address some of the banking needs of working people in the community. Since its founding, CAP has held leadership training programs for over 200 people. The Community Action Project is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the New York Community Trust and the Catholic Charities Campaign for Human Development.

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