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About Us

Reaching People | Meeting Needs | Changing Lives | Fulfilling Destines 

The Community Initiatives of New York, also proudly known as TCIONY, is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization focused on the improvement and successes of our local organizations and communities, while meeting their individual and community needs. Through strategic collaboration and involvement with our corporate partners and community leaders, we are dedicated to providing programs and initiatives that will be able to become a stepping stone for progress within the individuals in our community.


TCIONY was created for the purpose of serving our underrepresented black and brown communities of New York City and making sure they get the justice, equity, and opportunities that they truly deserve, and overall giving them the knowledge and voice to fight against the systematic obstacles that were put in place against them. With that being said, we strive to continue making a stronger community and being there for them.

Crystal Salt

Our Story

Mission: TCIONY’s mission is to connect the strength of local organizations and communities with individual and community needs. Reaching the unreachable, especially high-risk youth in under served and marginalized communities.


History: Here at The Community Initiatives of NY (TCIONY) we are committed to a single goal; we strive to make the world a better place one individual at a time. Our purpose is to enhance the quality of life – emotionally, physically, and mentally – of those in the community who are marginalized, isolated, vulnerable, hanging out on the streets; homeless or at risk of homelessness, by building relationships, enhancing their connection with the community and bringing services to them. We create opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential. Our goal is to establish a meaningful and reliable relationship with alienated and excluded at-risk community members who need an extra hand. We use this relationship to assist in managing their challenging life circumstances before a crisis occurs rather than responding after a crisis or trauma has occurred. We believe relationships are the best form of prevention.


TCIONY has long been in the fight for equity and justice for Black and Brown communities. Our labors are to ensure that youth and community residents can compete for educational opportunities; we address food insecurity for youth and seniors; we compete for opportunities like this, so that we may put Black and Brown people to work. Essentially, everything done at TCIONY is executed with an eye towards equity for Black and Brown people, it is the corner stone for why we do what we do.


TCIONY’s leadership and relevant staff are an amalgamation of committed community advocates who fight for those who don’t have the skills, language, or voice to fight for themselves; we are committed to addressing systemic racism and inclusion issues that impact Black and Brown people. While our position(s) may not always be popular with the mainstream; our eye is always targeted upon creating equity and opportunity for those most impacted by universal racism. T.A.G., or Teaching A Generation, is one of our signature programs where TCIONY focuses on helping future generations think about how they interface with a racist society. We believe that the first step towards creating an equitable and fair society is to understand the issues at play and by extension change our thinking and actions to create better, fairer, and sustainable circumstances to co-exist in the world in which we live.


TCIONY is resolute that the work that we are endeavoring will require a range of skills and expertise and our talent pool pulls from many sectors including law enforcement, corporate, education, government, health, and faith. Specifically, TCIONY is led by Alphonso and Janet Cohen who initiated this work after serving 15 years as community advocates. They recognized that structuring TCIONY to include as aforementioned, would give the organization the best opportunity to address the issues, and in this case, many of the Harlem-centered violence and mental health issues. Their leadership and dedication to the work is why the staff remains committed and that there is such a strong deep volunteer base.


We target African American and Latino youth, young adults, parents, and the justice involved. TCIONY demonstrates and remains accountable to these communities by including them in our decision- making process and constantly reporting on the successes and challenges we face as an organization. This allows everyone in our service area to clearly know, understand, and in some cases challenge, how we demonstrate efficacy in our neighborhoods, but most importantly, it ensures that the voices of the people we serve are considered in all things we endeavor.

In addition to all of the above, TCIONY has a strong Training Program in which it offers agencies, organizations, schools and corporations Human Development Training, Professional Development Training and Workplace strategies. 

What We Do

While we have many Initiatives we provide through our organization, They can all be subcategorized under the following...


Meet The Team

Elegant Leather Cases

Cecilia Marquette, LSW

Licensed Social Worker

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Brendan Ragan

S.E.L. Mentor, Educator, Entrepreneur, Critical Thinking Director


Gabriela Castro

S.E.L. Mentor, Psychologist, Career Readiness Expert

“vice president of sales” Choice Hotels International - Regional Vice President, Franchise

Cat Warren

S.E.L. Mentor Community Advocate, Transformative Healing

Our Partners

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Thomas Patterson

Community Outreach Coordinator, Community Engagement


Taisha Pavlica

Licensed Social Worker: Masters of Art in Forensic Psychology

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Bernard Adell

Director of Florida Division

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T.A.G. Youth Ambassadors


Boubucar B.


Boubucar D


Corice H.


Caleb D.


Freddy T.


Angel J.


Amy G.


Fatoumata D.


Tarik B.

Modern Building

Kaila P.

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