Council for Unity is an alternative culture to gangs that teaches essential interpersonal and life skills such as leadership, self-expression, mediation, conflict resolution and advocacy. It helps reduce and resolve personal conflicts, (gang) violence, bullying, and intolerance.
We are a 501(c)3 organization that offers customized curriculum, training, and technical assistance to schools, communities, police departments, and correctional facilities. Our program is designed to promote family, unity, self-esteem, empowerment, tolerance and achievement.
Officer Richard Freeborn
Riverhead Police Department"The familiarity that has been bred in the classroom amongst the students, school district and the police department has, in many instances, now been transferred to the families of Council for Unity students and their surrounding communities. As a result, our township is safer, less anonymous and more united than ever before.''
Chair, Riverhead Adult and Family Partnership"When I joined the Council's Adult and Family Partnership, I witnessed the transformation of an entire town. For as far back as I can remember we were segregated. Through the AFP all that changed. Blacks, Whites, Latinos and Asians came together under the Council banner The Riverhead Police Department joined as well..... I believe the Adult and Family Partnership is an essential part of the Council for Unity network. Any community that follows our lead will transform their world. With unity, as we have witnessed, all things are possible."
Sheriff Vincent De Marco
Suffolk County Correctional Facility“I have witnessed a decrease in violence in the facility with group on group conflict greatly diminished. The Council's success within the Suffolk County Correctional Facility if adopted by other correctional facilities could have a profound impact on the state and possibly the national penal system."
94A 2495, Sing-Sing Correctional Facility“After taking the Council for Unity program, and truly learning that I can live my life a different way, I know in my heart and soul I will never come back to prison."
President, UFT“Helping children make better decisions and making sure they have lives that allow them to reach the dream of what we all wish for our children – that is what CFU does.”
Alumnus, Community Affairs Officer and Vice President at Citibank
“CFU has had a tremendous and huge impact on my life…..Council taught me how important it is to achieve your dreams by believing in yourself. Council enabled me to develop my self esteem, to love myself and taught me that the most important thing in the world is to help those who are less fortunate than myself, to give back and to contribute to your community. Because of the Council, this “kid” from a ghetto in Brooklyn – where one youth a week was dying as result of senseless gang violence – was able to go on, and graduate from Cornell University and participate as a public policy fellow at Harvard and Princeton and ultimately achieve a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University. Subsequently, I was able to work in several nonprofits and the Dinkins administration and to work for
Principal, PS 228, The David A. Boody Middle School“Council For Unity has been a tremendous tool in transforming the culture at PS 228, The David A. Boody Middle School, over the past six years. CFU has been embedded into our curriculum and afterschool programs. CFU is a powerful game changer in our efforts to create a Bully-Free Zone. Every school in NYC needs CFU!“
Robervalt King Pierre
CFU Alumnus"I am 20 years old and currently attend Kings Borough College. I am proud to be an alumnus of the Council For Unity. Before I became a member of CFU, I was an outcast in my school and did not fit into its social hierarchy. By joining CFU, I learned to be myself and share my talents, without fear of judgment. I ended up becoming one of the most popular kids in my chapter, my school, and CFU. Because of CFU, I am able to help my community and others like me adopt a new value system. Now I want change the whole nation! What I learned through CFU has become my life. I love it."
President, Council of Supervisors and Administrators“Council for Unity was born in a challenging time and has gone a long way to restore hope and build alliances, especially for young people. Here we are in a troubling time again as we watch good people of all races struggling to find common ground and stand together against racial injustice. We understand that we need to reach and teach our school children and let them know they're going to lead the way. The Council for Unity will make sure this gets done.
Jill S. Levy
Director, The Page & Otto Marx Jr. Foundation / Past President, The American Federation of School Administrators“The Council for Unity is the only program I know that can change the culture of an entire community away from violence and alienation towards social justice and leadership. With comprehensive training of law enforcement, students, educators, religious and community leaders in a common goal and with the support of a unique curriculum and methodology, CFU is the path towards leadership and social justice.”
Grade 10“Council for Unity has made a difference in my life with just the positive people around me. In Council for Unity there is a trust that you can’t find everywhere. There’s a security blanket to comfort you when you feel your life is crashing before your eyes. They (Council class) showed me what family is really about!”
Grade 12“Council for Unity has made a difference in my life in many ways. It helped me grow and learn that my behavior has an impact on others so I needed to change my act. Being here, I’ve learned ways to handle myself in situations and control my actions. I needed to learn to have cautions with others feelings.”
Grade 12“In Council for Unity we get to control the class and with the help of these lessons, I am able to help myself become a better person and help other people become better Council for Unity changed me. I totally stopped following my friends, if they go to cut school, I stay in school.”
Grade 12“Council for Unity is a place to feel invited, trusted, cared for. A place to turn to when you need guidance. A place where friends are made, where walls that hide our personas are torn down and inspire you to better yourself. It helped me motivate myself not lose hope ever. It is a family.”
Grade 5Before I went to Council for Unity, some of the other kids would make fun of me just for being who I was. In Council I can help people by being who I am. I like to make people happy and I believe that you can do anything if you try and practice.