Best Accomplishment by a Nonprofit New York 2013 - Man Up! Inc.
East New York has a rougher reputation than it deserves. It's not the bombed-out landscape of Reagan-era blight that stands as many Manhattanites' perception. There are new high-rise condos and freshly repaved thoroughfares. But while the crime rate is not what is once was, it remains one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in the city. Andre Mitchell, founder of Man Up! Inc., is working to change that, starting with the highest-risk pocket of the area. He targeted 20 square blocks between Linden Boulevard and Cozine Avenue—a stretch containing three project buildings, three schools, and 20,000 residents. Then he and his team of violence interrupters hit the streets, getting to know the young men on the corners and in the courtyards. They learned who had beef and who carried guns. And when something was about to pop off, they were quick to the scene to defuse the tension. The area soon went 367 days with no shootings or murders before the streak ended in July.