A Message from our Executive Director & CEO

May 29, 2020: Statement From BCNY Executive Director & CEO

The Boys’ Club of New York (BCNY) condemns the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, and Armaud Arbery’s murder while jogging in Atlanta; the most recent acts in a brutal legacy of violence and mortal danger faced by Black men in this country.  We equally abhor Breonna Taylor’s murder by the police in Kentucky, a continuation of the sordid history of violence against Black women on our soil. BCNY offers our condolences and stands in solidarity with their families, and we demand bold political leadership to end the cycle violence as well as a swift response from the criminal justice system.

 

BCNY strives to empower our members to develop their skills, character, and confidence to achieve their goals. Through effective programs and a supportive community, BCNY has always been a place for boys and young men to know they are safe, seen, and appreciated. There can be no peace, however, in a world where boys and young men of color are targeted and live in fear. We will continue to ensure that our members have the tools they need to navigate the profound challenges they face outside our doors, and we will join with them as advocates and social justice champions in our clubhouses and in the larger community.

 


Stephen Tosh
Executive Director & CEO
The Boys’ Club of New York

 


May 5, 2020: A COVID-19 Update

Our city continues to see encouraging signs. While they remain in the danger zone, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and positive tests are trending down. These positive indicators can be attributed to social distancing efforts, and we must continue to prioritize safety by heeding orders from our public health officials. Of course, the number of deaths remains tragic, and many of us have lost friends and family members. There is still a long way to go, and our immediate focus remains the same. While online programming and emergency fundraising are our current modes of action, they represent a response to present circumstances and will not define the post-COVID BCNY. 

To move forward, we will have to pivot once again and begin to assess and plan for a future we are still trying to define. We must come together (remotely) to begin transforming BCNY. This will require collaboration, initiative, and imagination. Certainly, there are significant components of our pre-COVID BCNY that will remain relevant, and there are probably aspects of our crisis response that should be adapted. Our mission, core values, and vision for our members must be examined and tested. We must move beyond sentiment and history to face our reality with clear eyes and open minds. Our success in meeting this challenge will define BCNY’s future and, more importantly, the life chances for this generation of our members. I am confident we can do this successfully, and, as we have said many times, our members deserve nothing less than our best. 

When I announced we were selling the Harriman Clubhouse, we committed to expanding our services to Brooklyn and the Bronx. We are currently exploring two exciting expansion opportunities that will give us the opportunity to create BCNY specific programming for boys and young men. I look forward to sharing more on these initiatives once the details have been finalized.

In closing, this statement from Arundhati Roy, in her recent article in the Financial Times, hit me hard. “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks, and dead ideas, our dead rivers, and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.“

Onward,


Stephen Tosh
Executive Director & CEO
The Boys’ Club of New York

 


April 20, 2020: A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CEO

Over the last five weeks, our program staff members have been working hard to stay connected with our members and provide critically needed support and assistance. We are all excited about the recent rollout of our virtual program offerings, which promises to bring exciting and engaging material to our boys and young men. 

I am also excited to announce a new publication, The Boys’ Beat, which will be written by our members and designed to foster a sense of community and ownership. In this time of physical distancing, we can remain connected in a variety of creative ways. I look forward to continuing The Boys’ Beat as part of our core programming when we reopen our clubhouses.

In the meantime, here are a few additional updates:

  • With the schools closed, BCNY clubhouses and Beacon remain closed.
  • The city has announced that DYCD funded youth programs will not operate this summer. BCNY’s summer program options remain contingent on the course of the pandemic, the amount of testing, and public health recommendations. 
  • If onsite programs are not possible this summer, BCNY will continue remote programming, with the schedule and content to be determined.
  • The NYS Parks Department is still planning for Harriman State Park group camps to operate this summer, although they have delayed access for cleanup and set-up to May 15. We are monitoring the situation through regular contact with Parks Department administration.
  • The primary factor driving decisions to reopen the clubhouses, Harriman Base Camp, and administrative offices will be the safety of members and staff.

The situation remains fluid and uncertain, and some decisions are out of our hands. We remain committed to our members, and while I expect there will be serious challenges and tough decisions ahead, I am optimistic about our future, in large part because we have such a talented and dedicated team. 

We are BCNY. 


Stephen Tosh
Executive Director & CEO
The Boys’ Club of New York

 


April 6, 2020: A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CEO

Throughout our city, BCNY, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies are stepping up to offer support and connection to people in-need of every age. While our clubhouses are temporarily closed, our staff is on duty, working diligently to provide mentoring and other opportunities with one goal in mind: to be there for our boys and young men. Our mission—to empower boys and young men—continues.

Our members and families rely on the supportive and nurturing community we offer. It is difficult not to be able to provide a physical space—a safe haven—during this time. While the shutting down of schools was a necessary decision, it comes with a deep personal cost to our members and their families.

Along with missing school, our boys yearn for the personal connections and mentoring that go way beyond academic lessons. They also miss the opportunities to move, create, lead, and connect, which are core to their BCNY experience. To mitigate the repercussions our boys are experiencing during this time of physical distancing, we are developing a virtual learning platform and finding creative new ways to engage with them.

The situation remains fluid, and there is no way to forecast a post-COVID-19 NYC. As uncertainty about the future prevails, we are also using this time to create a plan for a BCNY that will be even more impactful and sustainable. Our mission to engage, challenge, and inspire our members has never been more vital and critically important.

I am convinced that we will reassess, re-envision, and recreate a BCNY that is primed to move forward and more robust than ever before. I look forward to providing additional updates in the coming days and weeks. Life as we know it is changing, but one thing will always remain the same: we are stronger and better together.

Until then, continue to stay safe and be well.

Onward and upward,


Stephen Tosh
Executive Director & CEO
The Boys’ Club of New York

 


March 16, 2020: A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CEO

Dear BCNY Community,

Now that NYC DOE Schools are officially closed, BCNY is also closed. Our clubhouses are tentatively scheduled to reopen Monday, April 20, 2020.

The decision to close our NYC schools and BCNY was a difficult one, but I believe the right one. Our number one priority is the health, safety, and wellbeing of our members, staff, and the greater BCNY community.

This is an unprecedented time for our city, nation, and the world. Please know that we will remain in communication with you in the coming days and weeks as we manage the news around this ever-evolving health crisis. We will consistently share updates as they become available.

We will all lean on and learn from one another as we face this new normal together.

Stay safe,


Stephen Tosh 
Executive Director and CEO
The Boys’ Club of New York