The Council’s strategy for dealing with the problems that threaten education and community institutions is truly unique. Rather than relying on single system approaches that rarely work, the Council’s curriculum and methodologies fuse our network of schools, community based organizations, law enforcement agencies and correctional institutions into a collaborative venture. It is through unity, inclusion and integration, the Council’s cornerstones for change, that positive outcomes are possible. Our programs breed unanimity between and among the diverse groups that make up our schools and communities and also promote the very democratic principles upon which our system of government was founded.
The most effective application of our holistic approach to positive social change is best exemplified in the Township of Riverhead in Long Island, New York. With vision and commitment, the stakeholders in this suburban community began with the School-Based Initiative.
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.”
The diverse groups and gangs in their schools were united under the Council’s umbrella, and the conflicts and discrimination within these facilities were eliminated. With success in the schools, the Township of Riverhead took the next step to replicate the Council model into the community. A new curriculum was developed called The Adult and Family Partnership.
The momentum continued with the Riverhead Police Department joining the network a short time after they were trained in the Council’s Public Safety Curriculum. The final piece to this mosaic of collaboration was the instillation of the Council’s Correctional Facility Model into the Suffolk County Jail. With all these components operating under the rubric of the Council, all the necessary stakeholders were assembled and empowered to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all residents.
In time, delegations from all over New York State began to visit Riverhead to witness a living laboratory for change that has applications for cities and townships across the nation. The Buffalo Promise program is the first entity to replicate the Riverhead model with similar success. Now other communities are beginning to follow suit.