The neighbourhood basketball association is a community-based, registered charitable organization established in 1990 in response to critical community needs. Our primary objective is to use targeted street outreach to improve the life outcomes for high-risk, criminalized, Black youth by providing or connecting them with free or low-cost educational, recreational and social development opportunities. As an organization that caters to “high-risk” youth, we strongly believe that we cannot afford to keep losing generation after generation of Black youth to the streets, gangs, drugs, unemployment, violence, crime and broken homes.

Far too many Black youth have been kicked out of school at one point or another and far too many have criminal records. Often community agencies find it difficult to engage these “high risk” youth, and thus, they rarely get the help that they desperately need (and deserve) in order to have a legitimate chance for life success. Some of these youth resort to violence and aggression and gravitate towards gangs often as a way to meet needs and/or as a way to cope with overwhelming negative life experiences. SHOOT THE RIGHT SHOT is an initiative designed to address this crisis by creating opportunities to teach Black youth how to co-exist with each other, rather than hating and killing one another. The initiative consists of employment, training, academic and athletic programs, special events, and basketball tournaments designed to attract and engage the “high risk” youth population (often avoided and/or neglected by mainstream community agencies), with a clear and consistent message that they truly are their brother’s keeper. In light of the recent escalation in ‘gang’ related Black youth violence and homicides across our city, we hope that by targeting youth that are particularly vulnerable to academic disengagement and gang recruitment with a strong anti-violence, self-love, self-respect message, we can stem this crisis before we see the unacceptably high levels of Black youth-on-Black youth crime that plague the inner-cities of the United States.

Over the past few years we have come to recognize that a lack of gainful employment is the driving force behind most of the anti-social/criminal behaviors exhibited by “high risk” youth. Street outreach has revealed that the majority of these youth are interested in the skilled trades/apprenticeship opportunities as a means of developing legitimate economic stability and independence. In light of the demand for workers in these industries, we are determined to work with relevant community stakeholders to create a pathway for these youth into these lucrative trades in order to put a stop to a cycle of social failure and recidivism.

“Be Your Brother’s Keeper, ‘Cause Times Are Gettin’ Steeper”
Charitable Registration No. 85638 3559 RR0001