Leadership Talk with The Brotherhood/Sister Sol
The Brotherhood was created in 1994 in Providence, Rhode Island by Khary Lazarre-White and Jason Warwin, childhood friends from New York City, and seniors at Brown University. The founders began the program at the John Hope Settlement House on the South Side of Providence with 13 Black and Latino youth. The youth targeted for the program were considered to be “at risk” by the Settlement House due to their economic status, their often negative behavior, and their academic standing. The Brotherhood was so successful it became a perpetual program of the Settlement House and continues to be facilitated by John Hope staff.
Upon graduating, the founders returned home to New York City and established The Brotherhood, Inc. during the autumn of 1995 at Central Park East Secondary School in East Harlem and at East Side Community High School on the Lower East Side. Since then, the network of Brotherhood chapters has expanded to reach youth throughout New York City, from Harlem, to the South Bronx, from the Lower East Side, to Brooklyn. In the fall of 1998, the Brotherhood expanded to include Sister Sol, an initiative that provides support and guidance to young Black and Latina women. Sister Sol focuses on the particular needs of young women and provides equally holistic services. Development and implementation is being led by Co-Director, Dr. Susan Wilcox, who in addition to extensive experience coordinating and leading youth development programs, holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College and a masters degree in Education Technology from Harvard University.
The organization is now known as “The Brotherhood/ Sister Sol” and maintains seven chapters (5 male/2 female) that serve approximately 100 youth in schools in Central Harlem, East Harlem, the Lower East Side and the South Bronx, and an Alumni chapter that includes 15 brothers. The organization is led by a “Directors Circle,” comprised of three equal Co-Directors: Khary Lazarre-White, Jason Warwin, and Susan Wilcox.
Khary Lazarre-White and Susan Wilcox will answer your questions and discuss:
The Brotherhood/Sister Sol is comprised of five interdependent programs. Together, these programs encompass a fully integrated model of youth and community development:
The Brotherhood/Sister Sol Development Program establishes partnerships with public secondary schools consisting of 12-18 boys or girls. Chapters meet on a weekly basis during which participants are engaged in a process of knowledge and skill-building, self-discovery and chapter bonding.
The After-School Program offers academic support and a variety of extracurricular classes and athletic activities - both a learning environment and a safe space in which to “hang out” during the critical after school hours when youth often “get into trouble” for lack of having constructive alternatives.
The Community Outreach Program enables the Brotherhood/Sister Sol 1) to simultaneously serve the broader community through conducting workshops on their curriculum issues at community based organizations (CBOs), schools, group homes and prisons; and 2) to connect their members to an array of resources and services using their network of CBOs.
The Summer Leadership Program allows members to study overseas, attend sleep away camp and obtain paid internships that build on the learning and growing begun during the school year. The Brotherhood also conducts a recreational day camp each August.
The Liberation Program has been created to support youth who are concerned about the problems within their community, and who want to be active in the struggle for positive change. Over the course of the summer Liberation School, participants examine the historical legacies of oppression and the subsequent liberation movements that emerged in response. During the school year graduates of the Liberation School join the Liberation Collective and work together to organize campaigns around the issues of their choice.
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