Farewell to 2016!

2016 was an eventful year for all of us, to say the least. We saw countless black bodies executed at the hands of law enforcement. During the election, we saw our country divided and distorted into something almost unrecognizable. And now, after the election, we are forced to pick up the pieces and straighten ourselves out. We lost many great souls in 2016 including boxing champion and activist, Muhammed Ali and activist Afeni Shakur, known most to as Tupac Shakur’s mother.

Though we’ve all been irrevocably mistreated by 2016, looking more internally, our organization has a lot to be thankful for this past year. In a year filled with turmoil and uncertainty, the Rockaway Youth Task Force rose to the challenge to counteract fear and hate with action. In 2016, we relocated to a larger office, inducted our largest cohort of new members ever, and rallied on the winning side of a huge transportation justice decision. We also received additional space and a permanent fence from the NYC Parks Department, which will double the size of our growing space. This year, we produced over 40,000 tons of fresh produce for our community and with the additional space, we hope increase our production in 2017. Even through the dark times, we must be grateful for 2016 for reaffirming the need for our work in our community. It is only through hardship that we can measure the true extent of our power and determination.

So, as we say farewell to 2016, we eagerly look forward to 2017. Our mission remains the same. We are committed to empowering Rockaway youths through civic engagement and we are planning for a bigger and better 2017. To all our friends and supporters, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and a joyous New Year!