Red Hook Initiative Holds Street Fair


The Red Hook Initiative, 767 Hicks Street, last week hosted a block party celebrating and educating the community with youth entrepreneurship opportunities and vendors alongside Red Hook Justice Center, Empire Insurance, and other local organizations.

Paired with a fun hot dog contest, live music from an incredible DJ, and children running around gleefully in a block party-esque celebration, vendors laid out flyers, sign-up sheets, and even vegetarian samples filled with delicious cabbage, peppers, and calaloo. 

The 17-year eponymous program promotes social change to challenge socio-economic equalities by empowering youth and be healthy leaders giving back to the neighborhood that nurtured them.

Some of the programs they offer are Red Hook Farms, which was responsible for the delicious samples, Digital Stewards, which trains youth with media and technology, and offering after-school services to not only community youth, but neighboring public institutions in Red Hook.

The Red Hook Initiative black party. Photo by Louric Rankine.

Among the vendors includes some selling clothes, inside a tent supported by posters offering background information of fellow youth entrepreneurs, shirts with empowering messages, and a large poster above the teen business leaders’ heads, which read “INTRO”.

Red Hook INTRO is a youth business in Red Hook that identifies and establishes mentors that are positive influences to the community.

Partnered with Sabrina Carter, coordinator of Youth and Community Programs at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, and the Red Hook Justice Center, the program hosted a pop up shop selling $20 t-shirts with “INTRO” and two black hands grasping on to each other and “positive vibes keeps us on the grind” bold in black caps on the back.

KCP got the chance to speak with one of the young entrepreneurs, Adonis [last name not disclosed], who offered some information about INTRO.

“The program is important for people in the community to connect more and allow more social mobility,” Adonis said. “It’s especially very important for people of color here in Red Hook. It’s good to see people come, support, and celebrate”.

The INTRO program allowed the youth entrepreneurs to divide into three groups, marketing, designing, and event planning, to help promote their t-shirts and set up for the pop-up shop that afternoon.

Red Hook Community Justice Center also sponsors Switching Up The Bag, a business accelerator program for New York City Housing Authority [NYCHA] residents aged 25 and up, offering funding for sole proprietorship, sales tax permit, website development, and launching their business. It is currently managed by engagement coordinator, Alicia Arlington

The block party also saw the performance of Red Hook Initiative Theater Troupe, performed by youth members of the program. The Rewind of Blackerella Future, the play put on by the troupe, follows the hardships of intersectional sexism in their lives. 

With their 5th Annual block party out the gate, Red Hook Initiative continues to service the community with youth academic programs, employment opportunities, and events celebrating and catering the residents of color.