Brooklyn Insights

In January 2014, Brooklyn Community Foundation launched the Brooklyn Insights community engagement project in a unique effort to hold a dialogue across neighborhoods about Brooklyn’s future.

Nearly 1,000 residents and local leaders participated in the process, sharing their concerns about challenges in their communities and sectors, as well as opportunities they see for positive change in a borough where nearly half of all residents are living in or near poverty. 

The Brooklyn Insights Final Report provides an overview of these conversations, and details five major themes that emerged in the course of the project: Neighborhood Cohesion, Youth, Criminal Justice, Immigrant Communities, and Racial Justice. Viewing these five themes as levers of change, the Foundation has developed a new vision and mission for its work, and a new approach to funding community-based initiatives. Learn more about our new Core Program Strategy.

Explore Brooklyn Insights


Download the Brooklyn Insights Final Report


A Letter from Brooklyn Community Foundation President & CEO Cecilia Clarke

October 2014

To Our Fellow Brooklynites (and Everyone Who Wishes They Were One!),

We are pleased to share the Final Report from Brooklyn Insights, a project that Brooklyn Community Foundation launched in January of this year. This report documents the findings from our conversations with nearly 1,000 residents, advocates, and leaders to discuss our borough’s future, and to put their voices and ideas at the forefront of our work.
From the bustling sidewalks of Sunset Park, to the lush gardens and farms of East New York, to the vibrant neighborhood blocks beyond the boardwalk in Coney Island, we learned about the intense challenges facing residents, and the opportunities they see for bettering their lives. Over six months, we discovered more than we ever imagined, and repeatedly heard about five major themes that thread through all of our communities.
We are so grateful to the people of Brooklyn for opening their homes, offices, schools, and places of worship to us, and lending their honesty, optimism, and expertise to this process. We are indebted to the many young people who gave up their free time to make sure that we adults were getting the full picture. And you’ll meet many of those who shared with us as you see their photos in this report.
We are privileged to be able to apply these insights to everything we do, so that together we can spark lasting social change in Brooklyn.
Cecilia Clarke
President & CEO
Brooklyn Community Foundation