Just Write Community Project

The Just Write Community Project physically launched in 2016 after decades of Coach Tea using writing to stay in touch with those she loved that were incarcerated.

Just Write is committed to using letter writing to stay connected with men, women, and children and youth that are incarcerated. Our quarterly letter writing parties are filled with love, art, and music creating an upbeat atmosphere for community members and volunteer writers. During our events we set letter goals, discuss the impact of incarceration and facilitate an open mic. Our goal is to increase communication with those absent from our communities and strengthen family relationships. We write to stay connected with those we love and work towards eliminating the stigma attached to having a loved one incarcerated.

Past sponsors include The Lineage Project and Bronx Works Betances Cornerstone Community Center.

Youth Speakers Institute

The Youth Speakers Institute (YSI) is a 10 week public speaking training program for youth ages 15 to 23, who have been directly impacted by the youth or criminal justice system. Over a duration of 10 weeks, youth engage in hands-on training sessions focused on presentation and public speaking skills (e.g., telling one’s story, constructing a speech, body language, communicating with the media) and providing background on youth justice and policy advocacy. After completing the program YSI provides a broad range of opportunities for young people to speak at community meetings and events to advocate for community reform. Youth may also have the opportunity to meet local officials, travel to conferences and interact with the media.

Past YSI partners include exalt for youth, Youth Represent and Center for Community Alternatives.

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