End of Year Letter


Festival of Lights Celebration 2016


Dear Friends of UCC,

2016 has been a very full year at UCC. We have been fortunate enough to continue to serve the vibrant and diverse community of East New York, in large part, because of supporters and friends like you. This year we saw great strides in our programs, and suffered some disappointments both locally and nationally. We merged with our long-affiliated daycare to become one organization committed to educating and enriching the lives of neighborhood children and their families. Our youth programs are thriving, with 45 young people this year taking part in our social justice internship opportunities. We continue to expand our urban agriculture program into NYCHA housing, at Bay View and Pink Houses, where residents grow their own fresh produce and provide free produce to some of the most underserved in our community.

We have had some setbacks as well. The recent approval of the rezoning of East New York brings much uncertainty to residents. UCC, as a member of the Coalition for Community Advancement: Progress for East New York/Cypress Hills fought tirelessly against the rezoning, and will now fight for the rights of long-term residents in the coming years to prevent displacement and ensure the promises made by the City to East New York are kept. We have seen cuts to funding for English language classes and immigrant services. In the wake of an unsettling election, we, like many social justice organizations, are left feeling uncertain about our future. Many of us are fearing the worst government policies and an uptick in publicly condoned racism and discrimination. Our work is more important than ever. In 2017 and beyond, we will continue to fight for all residents of East New York.

This year we are honored to be one of 20 finalists for the inaugural Spark Prize Award from Brooklyn Community Foundation, an award acknowledging Brooklyn non-profit organizations who have had a great and lasting impact on their communities. With the help of the Brooklyn Community Foundation and their #GivingTuesday, #Brooklyn Gives campaign, UCC raised over $15,000 on Tuesday, November 29th with 70 donations in a single day. We want to finish the year with $20,000 in donations. We are just $5,000 away from our goal! We need your support to get us there. Please help us reach this goal. Your donation, however big or small, will make a difference in the lives of East New Yorkers.

From all of us at UCC, we wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season, and a happy New Year. Thank you for all of your support. You make our work possible.


Ana Aguirre
Executive Director