Newark Community Street Team

What is NCST or Newark Community Street Team?

Today I spoke with the Project Administrator,for Newark Community Street Team,  Nathaniel Burkard.  Mr. Burkard, is a volunteer who spoke about what the organization does for the community. IMG_1359

NCST is a community base violence reduction strategy that enlists the help of community outreach workers to promote neighborhood safety and reduce violence in the streets. The outreach workers include former gang members, victims of violence and formerly incarcerated men and women. They strive to help their community through intervention and mentoring.  

NCST is dedicated to Violence Reduction, it works on preventing retaliation from gangs and individuals.  They also do high risk intervention geared towards men and women form the ages of 18-30 who live in the South Ward.

The Organization is funded mainly by the Victoria Foundation and the Prudential. The VictoriaFoundation is a private grant making institution, which was founded in 1924 by Mr. Hendon Chubb in honor of his mother, Victoria Eddis Chubb. Since the early 1960’s the Foundation’s trustees have targeted giving to programs that impact the cycle of poverty in Newark, New Jersey. In the 1970’s, a second priority was initiated to protect the environment throughout the state of New Jersey. Within Newark, funded projects address K-12 education reform, neighborhood revitalization, and strengthening youth and families.

NCST meets every other Tuesday at 400 Hawthorne Avenue, Newark New Jersey, from 10 am-12 noon. 





On February 27 2010, I lost my son Reggie to street violence. He was only 17 years old.

On the year 2016 I was invited to join the Convalescences Group, founded by Rodney Gilbert. He brought together women who lost their children to gun and street violence, not only in Newark, but all of New Jersey.

Months later we met again at Rutgers University-Newark for a creative writing class. A creative writing class, and what this class has to do with us? You may ask. For the first time we wrote through grief, hence the title of the class, “Writing through Grief.” As we sat there telling our stories, sharing our pain and connecting, I had an idea.

Our stories are in the need to be told. Yes, the world needs to know we are grieving mothers that want to hold each other, counsel each other and be there for each other regardless the condition or matter in which our child had died. We were connected for life.

Newark Speaks 2U, Professor Jennifer Wager and Fernando Dilsa, are making it possible for our stories to be told. I will also like to thank groups like “Mothers in Charge,” “Newark Anti Violence Coalition,” and Mr. Lawrence Hamm for supporting us.

Mr. Lawrence Hamm, (Civil Rights Activist, Humanitarian, Lecturer) Hamm has been a relentless advocate for African-American people and the cause of human rights for more than 30 years. Raised in Newark New Jersey, he attended public schools and emerged at age 17 as a forceful and articulate spokesperson for the educational needs and aspirations of Newark students and the community.
We hope to help others through this documentary, we hope that we are able to build bridges and I hope people start getting involve in building stronger communities.

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Newark’s Malik Withaker


Malik Withaker is a young and talented Newark resident.

56e41b9f-8960-44b8-ae0c-033cc0f1fc1fIn the inner city art has a different meaning, maybe art is concept only seen in a book or in a local museum. Art is to be shared, art is to be talked about and learned in a non­traditional way. Malik Whitaker is an artist, born and raised in Newark giving him a connection to the community where his art can be viewed. The city Newark, Essex County College and East Orange High School share his work. Whitaker’s art reflects the history of African­Americans, telling a story through his art. The Jazz mural, the hands chained in East Orange H.S. with a great message to boost self respect and the beautiful mural at Lincoln Park, “The Emancipation Mural” a celebration to freedom and achievement. Not only does Malik tell the history of African­Americans, but through his painting, “Invoke Africa,” he reflects the root, the beginning and the remembrance of heritage forgotten. “Invoke Africa,” is painted with watercolors and paper, which is no easy task in achieving such a smooth work without looking like a first grader painted the picture.


NEW YORK city is a place were growth, expression and freedom has been determined by few. Women today expressed their disgust, their fear and their hate for 45th President of the United States.

Disgust for his speech, fear for what it is to come and hate because this is not the way our country was intended to be governed.

We will fight fire with fire every step of the way. This is not how our country will end, this is just the beginning of what it’s to come. We are powerful and we will not go down unheard.


Women in the World: A Visual Perspective.

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It was an impressive night with phenomenal women. Teachers and students standing side by side. Friends and strangers all with one common goal, to listen to wonderful women speak about their art, their freedom and their uniqueness.

Among them I met one more time with Gladys Baker Gauer.  You can watch this video were she speaks about her art and her talented students .   click here for the link

CITI 100

Art is a wonderful way to tell stories. I visit New York City last week were I enjoyed an splendid art exhibition.

The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, brought together a hundred Puerto Rican artists. They gave us different medium, different concepts, but one love. Puerto Rico was that love, all of the artists recreated in one way or the other the history of the Island. As a way to remember the past and continue to fight for the future.

Many of the artist I met gave me an insight of the changes Puerto Rico is going through. The changes that are coming like a freight train ready to hit a wall.

Art its always the bridge to social engagement. Censorship, does not occurs as long as art exists. We can write it, you can sing it and you can paint it. It can be carved, it can be spray painted and it can be photographed. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, but the ability to protest with art is mightier than any gun we can pick up.

Liberty and justice will always become art as long as we are never silent.

The Search for Khadijah’s reading

On Monday, January 25, Essex County College hosted the stage reading of the book, The Search for Khadijah, A memoir of peace and acceptance.

The book speaks about the struggles of mental illness and how everyday relations affect our behavior.

As a sufferer of Bi-polar disorder and the author of this short memoir, I believe we need to educate our communities about mental illness and how to end the stigma associated with the mentally ill.

The readers; Alisa Lemon, Carla Caraballo, Amerah Shabazz and Halimah Mahmaoud. A group of beautiful, talented women came together to send a message about mental illness, peace and acceptance. They did an extraordinary job delivering such strong message.

I would like to say thank you to Professor Jenifer Wager and theMedia Department students. Great job guys!!!!

As Newark Speaks 2U grows stronger we will like to create a more personal dialogue with the Newark’s communities. Talk about our son’s and daughter’s, about our blocks and about mental illness. We are in need to work together. UNITY is the only way we can and will create a better communities.