Mayor BILL DE BLASIO update of resources on COVID-19
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Assemblymember RODNEY BICHOTTE Brooklyn Democratic County Leader COVID-19 UPDATES
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Councilmember FARAH N LOUIS provides resources and updates on COVID-19
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Department Of Youth and Community Development updates on COVID-19
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Newsletter Issue #48
JULY 2020




All week long Sesame Flyers will be celebrating our 37th year anniversary online via our Facebook fundraiser! For the reminder of the month you will find clips and snippets of our rich Sesame heritage on this page as well as a look at some of our scholarship recipients and awardees! To join the fundraiser just follow this link here. We then look forward to you hopping online to view the Gala on Sunday June 28th at 8pm.

Please follow this link to RSVP



Summer is here. The first half of the year is now complete and what a year 2020 has been so far. We were all called to pause and re-center our priorities by way of the pandemic and then just as we began to make our way out, we were called to action for racial equality. We have experienced tremendous loss over these past 6 months. We have lost too many loved ones to count, summer camp programs, and summer youth employment jobs, however I have also seen America and the entire world come together in a generation defining moment. I am hopeful and very optimistic about our future. The catharsis has begun and a deep reckoning is underway. I encourage you to stay grounded. There are a lot of changes happening all around us every day and it can be overwhelming. Rest assured Sesame Flyers will remain and provide the information and resources we all need to move through all these changes with the power of community.

In light of the shift happening in our world, Sesame Flyers has taken the time to refocus as an agency. You can read more about that in this issue. June also marked the beginning of Caribbean Heritage Month, however, due to the political climate we postponed our Caribbean Heritage Gala to Sunday June 28th, 2020 and we hope to see everyone there. This is our single greatest fundraiser for the year and we are asking for your support. To keep the doors of Sesame Flyers open we count on you. Individual giving is the lifeblood of non-profit organizations. We must congratulate our Congresswoman Yvette Clarke on her overwhelming victory and our community for exercising its right to be counted and vote in the primary, returning her as our champion of Caribbean values back to Congress. At the same time we must keep up our efforts to be counted and complete our 2020 Census to ensure that we receive our fair share of government resources. In this edition you will learn more about how we will be celebrating Sesame Flyers and Caribbean Heritage Month for the rest of June and how you can support Sesame Flyers.


We are in a generation-defining moment. Throughout the many days Sesame Flyers has seen over the course of 37 years, we have not seen or experienced days accelerating with momentum quite like this. These times call for increased leadership in the community.  We understand people are looking for and need a clear understanding of what action agencies, like Sesame Flyers will take as we all continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 with a racial equity lens.

We have begun reflecting and taking a deep look at where we have thrived, and directing a flashlight on the areas where we have failed. We will build on our strengths and tighten up on the areas where we can show up more effectively for the community.

Sesame Flyers 3 Point Action Plan 

Developing Civic Leadership in Teens and Younger Youth

Our young people want to take action like never before. They are out in the street making their voices heard, while some need a bit more direction. They want to be seen, heard and counted. We will begin leading workshops in social media and civics so they learn how to create lasting changes in their community for the benefit of their generation and the ones that will come after. Strengthening our partnership with My Brothers’ Keeper, Omega Phi Phi Fraternity and other national and international Youth development institutions making comprehensive and coordinated support services widely available.

Economically Empowering Emerging Nonprofits and Initiatives

There are many local organizations and initiatives with the potential to better serve our community that lack the knowledge and tools to navigate city contracting and procurement opportunities.  We are looking to share our knowledge by providing virtual workshops with better use of technology and collaboration techniques, developing Partnerships with New York Urban League, Cause Effect Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce all of which will expand our collective capacity.

Creating Pathways for Long Term Community Health Improvement

The current COVID-19 health crisis showed a disproportionate burden on Black communities and other communities of color. While health and nutrition disparities by race have been known for quite some time it is time we as a community do something about it. Education and engaging pathways for health will be presented to our community to participate and engage in developing partnerships with Caribbean Womens’ Health, Cure Violence, and Universe City

Sesame Flyers has always known Black Lives Matter, but we want to remind you that You Matter. Here is a gentle reminder for our children that they matter.
You Matter Read Along with Christian Robinson

How YOU can take action!

Sesame Networking Resource List

We have amazing talents and gifts right in our Sesame Community. Let’s network with each other. Sesame Flyers is developing a resource directory of business owners and people who can provide other resources. To be added to the list please go here.


Photo from left to Right Adults: Mrs. Pean Community school director for I S 68, Ms. Judy Newton Democrat for city council district 46 , Bildersee Beacon Director Yvanna Jack, State Senator Roxann Persaud, Merve Williams I S 68 principal and Sesame Staff Gilmore Thomas

Bildersee Beacon Director Yvanna Jack teamed up with IS 68 Principal Merve Williams and State Senator Persaud to provide free meals to the community at Canarsie Community Reform Church. This is the fourth food distribution which occurs every two weeks on the church grounds.


On Sunday June 14th Sesame Flyers joined with “Caribbean Americans for Justice” along with Recently reelected Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and other local elected officials for a March and Rally for Criminal Justice Reform. This event was held at Grand Army Plaza and attended by hundreds of people. This event served as a call to action for the community to make their voice heard and encourage everyone to complete the 2020 Census and become more involved civically. This event was filled with passion, energy and life as only our community can be. Local performers, singers, and poets set the stage with artistic calls for justice. We were happy to see the overwhelming majority of people respecting social distancing guidelines and wearing masks, and two weeks after NYC can report no noticable uptick in COVID-19 cases from protests.


Sesame Flyers is working on an upcoming teen magazine this summer. If you know any teen that might be interested in this project please email This article was written by one of the teens that will be working on gathering voices from around the country and beyond. She resides in Virginia.

Hi. My name is Jessica Ezieme and I am from Virginia. I am 15 years old. This upcoming school year, I will be a junior. Some of my hobbies are singing and writing songs, baking, and playing basketball. I hope that in the future I will be successful enough and have a platform that allows me to share my music and become my dream, an actress. If I can’t, I would like to be a lawyer or a medical professional.

The time that we are living in is very crucial to the development and change that is needed in this country. I am a teenage girl and I still understand more than people who are twice my age. Children are often told that the amount of knowledge that we have in our brains is not enough to fathom the reality of any situation. This is not true. Sesame Flyers teen magazine is going to be a voice for me and others that otherwise would not have a voice. It would bring justice to people who have been affected by the unfairness of the system. These times have show me how little people understand and how different I am from others. It has shown people’s true colors and how they really feel about me and how much my life matters. Posting my opinion on Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok is no longer enough. I need a place where my voice can be heard loud and clear, Sesame Flyers will help me do just that!




With many arguing that some version of SYEP could take place and de Blasio saying it might be possible, Teens Take Charge also developed a proposal with HERE to HERE, ExpandED Schools, and dozens of SYEP providers on how to conduct a remote youth employment program. Their initiative, which they named the Youth Empowerment Summer, or YES, would combine public and private funding to provide 40,000 digital internships, with stipends ranging from $700 to $1,000, according to the proposal. They are looking to raise a total of almost $2.9 million in private investments and secure a little less than $50 million from the city in SYEP funding. The city projected to save about $124 million from cancelling SYEP, according to the executive budget de Blasio released in April.

With the Black Lives Matter movement’s resurgence, members of the City Council and Public Advocate Williams have called to move $1 billion from the police department’s $6 billion annual budget to youth and social services in the new city budget. SYEP has positively impacted Black communities, advocates and elected officials point out -- last year, almost half of SYEP participants identified as Black, according to DYCD’s numbers, which means more than 30,000 Black youth received work, wages, and growth opportunities.

De Blasio promised in early June to work with the City Council to move some funds from the NYPD towards youth and social services, but did not provide a target amount or any other specifics, instead saying he would be negotiating with the Council in crafting the new city budget due by July 1.


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