Tag Archives: Harlem Center

PAL Party Rockers: A Flash Mob is coming to NYC!

I’m planning a flash mob for the Police Athletic League (better know as PALNYC) this Thursday, April 26th, and I’m super excited.

Why the excitement, you ask?

For one, this is my first flash mob.

Second, it’s PAL’s idea (Karen Trank’s, specifically) to have the flash mob.

Third, any kind of spontaneous event is an attention grabber, so PAL’s gonna get a lot of traction from this one.

Finally, I’m working with kids – Stephen love da kids (said in your best Trick Daddy voice).

So the fact that I’m producing a flash mob for PAL with kids is a win-win.

I’ve enlisted Seye Charles, the founder of Focused Movement, to choreograph and teach the routine for the flash mob.

I’ve seen Seye in action, and this brother knows his stuff.

Seye is also the founder of Teens Step Up, a not-for-profit organization that trains youth to step, teaching them the importance of teamwork.

You can imagine how excited we all were at the first rehearsal to practice PAL’s Party Rockers flash mob routine.

That’s right.

You heard me.

We’re using the LMFAO anthem, Party Rockers In The House Tonight, as our theme music.

What better way to set it off in the streets?

There are rehearsals scheduled to take place at five PAL centers in New York, Duncan Center, IS 218 Beacon, Armory Center, Harlem Center and Brownsville Beacon.

Just in case you can’t make rehearsals, we recorded the routine for the flash mob so that folks could still join us on Thursday.

The location of the flash mob is still a closely guarded secret, but I’m going to be posting details all next week, so rehearse and maybe you’ll be able to join us.

We’re already a finely tuned machine, and our goal is to have 250 people takeover a major street in Soho.



Stay tuned for more info.

Better yet, hit up their ‘Event‘ page on Facebook for details as they’re released.

If you haven’t already, please ‘Like’ the Police Athletic League’s page on Facebook.

Everyday I’m shuffling

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PALNYC + NYC22 + ProHoops = An Event Not To Be Missed!

Yesterday, I attended a walk-through with the team from CBS Marketing, in preparation for Saturday’s promotion at the Harlem Center PAL.

You see, on Saturday, the cast and crew of NYC22, will be in the house!

What’s NYC22?

NYC22 is the new CBS prime-time character-driven police drama, which follows six NYPD rookie cops in upper Manhattan.

The show follows these rookies as they patrol the streets with their training officer, and confront the physical and emotional demands of being a police officer on the NY city streets.

The cast includes Terry KinneyAdam GoldbergLeelee SobieskiStark SandsJudy Marte, Harold House MooreTom Reed, and Felix Solis.

Here’s a lil’ blurb from the NYC22 website:

NYC 22 follows six diverse NYPD rookies as they patrol the gritty streets of upper Manhattan. The new trainees include Jennifer “White House” Perry, a former college volleyball star and Marine MP in Iraq with a take-charge attitude; Ray “Lazarus” Harper, the oldest rookie and a former police news reporter with better sources than most seasoned cops; Tonya Sanchez, who comes from a family with a criminal history; Ahmad Kahn, an Afghani native who fought his way to freedom; Kenny McClaren, a fourth-generation police officer with great instincts but qualms about joining the force; and Jayson “Jackpot” Toney, a young basketball legend who squandered his opportunity in the NBA. Their demanding Field Training Officer, Daniel “Yoda” Dean, is a case-hardened, unsentimental veteran of the force who emphasizes basics and holds each cop accountable for their actions. Rounding out the team is Sergeant Terry Howard, a no-nonsense plainclothes officer from the Gang Intel Unit, who trains the rookies on how to keep the gangbangers at bay. With unique backgrounds, personalities and reasons for being on the force, the new cops will make their share of rookie mistakes while they figure out how to relate to their boss, each other and the people they swore to protect.

The show premiers on Sunday, April 15th, and the marketing team at CBS thought it would be a great idea for the cast of NYC22 to interact with the community represented in the show, prior to the premier.

Why Saturday?

On Saturday, the cast and crew of NYC22 will attend the Pro Hoops Drill & Play Championship weekend at the Harlem Center PAL, for a day of basketball, photo opps, food, and fun for all.

It’s not often that a major television network seeks out a community organization for a partnership like this.

So somebody MUST be doing something right!

Saturday’s event is the culmination of the work from a number of different agencies and entities working together.

Drill & Play is an initiative of the District Attorney’s office, Pro Hoops NYC, and PAL, designed to take kids off the streets and provide them with a structured basketball training program.

Launched at the end of last year, Drill & Play provides community youth with the opportunity to gain (or improve) their basketball skills, through drills and instruction, and participate in games and tournaments.

Drill & Play is run by Ross Burns, the director of Pro Hoops NYC, a company that provides NBA players, college athletes and individuals with professional basketball training.

The event on Saturday is an example of the changes taking place in Harlem, and PAL is at the center of it all.

Tomorrow, I’m attending the preview screening of NYC22 at the Paley Center, together with members of PAL and NYPD and DA brass – so I’ll be on my best behavior – and I’ll be sure to give you the rundown.

The writers, directors, producers and cast will all be on hand to discuss what went into making NYC22, and what impact they feel the show will have.

So if you’re around on Saturday, and happen to be in the Harlem area, definitely drop by.

The red carpet starts at 5:15 pm, and the tournament begins at 6:15 pm, so get there early.

Can’t make it?

Be sure to check out the premier episode on Sunday at 10 pm (9 pm Central) on CBS.

The hashtag for the show is #nyc22, so if you’re going to be watching….

You can also ‘like‘ them on Facebook or ‘follow‘ them on Twitter.

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Digital Stewardship: PAL Digital U.N.I.Verse.City

A PAL Digital U.N.I.Verse.City workstation.

If you’re a forty-something like me, computer classes in high school involved learning to program in ASCII or DOS on a monochrome screen.

If you attended college, there may have been more advanced computer classes, for which you likely moved and stored content on floppy disks.

After college, you used a PC running some version of Windows at the job, and computer proficiency meant that you knew how to use Microsoft’s Office Suite.

You’re up on the latest gadgets, even if you don’t own an iPad or mobile tablet.

You probably have a smartphone, a laptop and an mp3 player.

And you probably consider yourself pretty savvy when it comes to digital technology.



We are dinosaurs!

Present company excluded, of course.

Today’s youth are exposed to technology, not as a stiff class taught by some bored out-of-touch professor, but as a natural extension of their everyday existence.

Their access to and adoption of technological gadgets, is second nature to them, almost intuitive.

And unlike us, who came into the ‘technological age’ of massive building-size ‘super computers,’ today’s youth have microprocessors in virtually every device they touch.

The Macbook Pros, Xboxes, Playstations, Wiis, Leapsters of today are tens of thousand times more powerful than anything we ever used growing up.

With Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc., kids are more immersed in interactive technology and applications than we ever were.

They can access and touch virtually any part of the digital universe, and regularly use technology to communicate, socialize and interact with one-another and others.

This intimacy, however, has it’s consequences, though.

Cyber-bullying, internet plagiarism, and the regular posting of questionable (and often inappropriate) content are norms, that we didn’t experience when we were using computers and cell phones.

Social media, as we know it today, didn’t even exist.

It’s no wonder that kids are acting…like kids, when they use them these different tools.

I think it’s important that we take stock of what our children are exposed to (from a digital, content and technological perspective), and give them real guidance on the appropriate and responsible use of technology.

To that end, I want to share a project that I’ve been working on with the Police Athletic League of New York City (PALNYC).

It’s called the PAL Digital Digital U.N.I.Verse.City and its a class being offered as part of an apprenticeship program.

The apprenticeship program is the initiative of Marcel Braithwaite, the Director of Centers for PALNYC.

Marcel manages PALNYC’s eleven (11) centers, located in the five boroughs of New York City.

And he wanted to develop a program that exposed kids to technology as a means of both skills/workforce development and keeping them off the streets.

The curriculum we are using for the program was developed by Mark Hines, a graduate of Princeton University, and the CEO and Founder of Marksmen Productions, Inc., a New York city-based creative agency.

Mark has designed a program that teaches real life skills to the youth, using live scenarios which give the students active participation in projects with real time results.

The Digital U.N.I.Verse.City (DU) is a six (6) month intensive audio, video and technology training program, tailored to students of varying degrees of technical proficiency.

Digital U.N.I.Verse.City classes meet two (2) times a week to provide students instruction in digital media production, it’s cultural impacts and ethical and moral responsibilities that accompany the use of these tools.

The program officially launches next Wednesday at the Harlem Center on 119th Street, and Digital Uni.Verse.City students will study media (news, tv, movies, music, art), how it is produced, and begin rudimentary hands-on manipulation of video and audio (DU101/102) in preparation for the Advanced Studio Workshop (DU201).

The Time Warner Center in the Harlem Center has been converted into the PAL Digital U.N.I.Verse.City classroom.

Students who successfully complete the intro courses will be invited to participate in the Advanced Studio Workshop, focusing on professional skill development in (one of the following) music production, audio/visual engineering, video production and direction, video editing, motion effects, journalism and musicianship.

Digital U.N.I.Verse.City instructors include many of our professional colleagues, who are experts in their respective fields.

From Grammy-winning musicians, to New York Times best-selling authors, the Digital U.N.I.Verse.City instructors will offer students hands-on training and skill development on live projects.

The Digital U.N.I.Verse.City curriculum starts with a review of the DU Acceptable Use Policy, which lays out the foundation for every student’s participation in the program.

Most people have never seen (much less read) an acceptable use policy.

But it is the most important thing, for people living in a highly interconnected digital world – and the point of this rambling post.

I helped to develop (read: wrote) our acceptable use policy, which came together after many long sessions, during which we worked diligently to draft something that actually made sense.

For the majority of people who have ever read (read: scanned) an AU Policy, you know its a statement by the owners, administrators or other gatekeepers of any digital or online environment, which provides a code of conduct that users must observe while utilizing (or as a member of) a particular system.

As an advocate for technology, the Digital U.N.I.Verse.City program, gives me a constructive way to address the issue of responsible use of technology by our youth.

More importantly, working on this project has forced me to address the fact that most of us operate without a set of guiding digital principles.

Obviously, I always promote best practices with my clients, and have helped draft numerous Terms of Use, Privacy Policies and various other online instruments governing the use of certain online programs or environs.

But that’s not quite the same thing, when the audience for my usual written verbosity is the youth.

Next Wednesday is our first class (did I say that already?) and I’m excited.

The pictures above were from our dry-run, when we set up the local Moodle we’re using for the class.

Be sure to look out for future posts about how the program is coming along.

Also, feel free to donate to or volunteer at your local PAL!

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