Light It Up is a multi-phase initiative designed to bring better street lighting to strategically mapped ‘dark zones’ throughout the city – and to Brownsville.

Photo courtesy Rebuilding Together NYC

On Saturday, 25 volunteers from the National Black Law Students Association joined Rebuilding Together NYC ‘s Light It Up initiative and installed 25 lights along a key residential corridor in Brownsville – to add more light and thus more safety to the area.

“Our association was founded 50 years ago in New York, so it made perfect sense for us to mark this occasion by giving back to the very same city that gave us our start,” said K. Gennelle Chatman, national director of community service of the National Black Law Students Association. “Brownsville, in particular, is a historic community of color and we hope our work here helps lift up brown and black boys and girls like me.”

Photo courtesy Rebuilding Together NYC

Initially, Light It Up began as an effort to help revitalize Coney Island after Superstorm Sandy, but Rebuilding Together NYC (RT NYC) decided to expand it into a multi-phase initiative designed to bring better street lighting to strategically mapped “dark zones” throughout the city. Adequate lighting plays a major role in how secure residents feel when moving through their neighborhoods. The goal now is to install a minimum of 100 lights by the end of 2018, starting in Brownsville.

“Good street lighting is vital for neighborhoods – it strengthens community links, boosts confidence, and assists drivers, pedestrians and cyclists as they travel at night,” said RT NYC Executive Director Kimberly George. “That’s why the Light It Up project is so important. And we are very excited to continue to our revitalization efforts in Brownsville, as we work alongside local residents to make the neighborhood they know and love a better, stronger and safer place to live.

Photo courtesy Rebuilding Together NYC

The Light It Up program is a continuation of Rebuilding Together NYC’s revitalization efforts in the Brownsville community. Last fall, RT NYC organized the community rebuilding day “Brownsville Lifting Up Brownsville,” where they partnered with the Brownsville Partnership and tenant advocates to restore homes and community centers, and install lights along the Belmont Avenue business corridor.

So far, Rebuilding Together NYC has installed 355 lights throughout the five boroughs, including Brownsville.

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