PeacePlayers Brooklyn Logo

Our journey to create a diverse network of youth leaders across our borough began in Brownsville,

a neighborhood with so much potential that nonetheless ranks first in violent crime in Brooklyn. Many Brownsville youth do not feel comfortable in neighboring housing developments. Through PeacePlayers, young people in Brownsville and surrounding neighborhoods are accessing safe spaces where they can be themselves, in addition to quality basketball programming, and opportunities to come together to build relationships and become leaders and advocates for their community.

Our Programming

PeacePlayers Brooklyn, within a nationwide network, engages over 100 youth, ages 8-18, in sustained, sports-based after-school programming led by committed and effective local coaches. Combining basketball with leadership development and peace education, our program helps young people develop the skills, attitudes and behaviors that empower them to engage conflict in positive ways and emerge from the program as leaders in their communities. 

PeacePlayers Brooklyn Peace League


Peace League is an after-school leadership through sports program serving youth ages 8-13. Peace League creates a safe space for youth to have fun and build friendships with peers across community divides, as well as opportunities to access positive, caring role models in their coaches. Peace League is offered in the Fall (September through December) and Spring (March through June). Sessions, which take place 1-2 times a week, include a combination of leadership workshops and basketball drills. Cities also host Twinning events that bring together youth in the Peace League program. The Peace League reaches 60 youth annually.

PeacePlayers Brooklyn LDP

Leadership Development program

LDP is designed for high school age youth. The program is structured as a basketball team that creates a culture of teamwork, belonging, and peer-to-peer support. Unlike traditional basketball teams, “tryouts” are not required to join the team. Instead, eligibility is determined by age and commitment to the objectives of the program. The four pillars of the LDP are basketball skills development, personal development, experiential learning, and community service. LDP provides opportunities to mentor younger participants, access caring adult role models, and resources to support their personal development and academic goals. LDP uses basketball to teach life skills on and off the court. LDP participants are also given the opportunity to serve as peer mentors for members of the Peace League program, allowing them to become role models and leaders in their community. In communities where gang involvement is common, PeacePlayers provides an alternative for young people and a network of positive influencers who are invested in seeing youth grow and achieve. The LDP reaches 30+ young people annually.

Summer Camp PeacePlayers Brooklyn

PeacePlayers United STates Summer Camp

PeacePlayers offers a 4-week basketball summer camp for youth ages 8-17. Summer programming is a combination of basketball skills development and experiential learning activities. Summer camp serves as an added enrichment program for youth that allows them to experience the best of our basketball and leadership programming. The summer camp has reached over 100 youth since we started in 2017.

Our Impact

0 %

of year-round participants in PeacePlayers Brooklyn programs are female

0 %

of youth have been retained in the Boys LDP in the last 3 years

Girl's Peace League
"I really liked the fact that I was able to do more things that I wouldn’t normally do, and I was able to grow my confidence on and off the court with the help of my coach."
-Brianna Benjamin
PeacePlayers Brooklyn’s Diamond reflect on her experience at the PeacePlayers National Girls Summit last Fall
"It was basically uplifting each other and being able to communicate with each other," Diamond said. "And not just with basketball but it also taught us how to communicate with each other outside of basketball in society as well."
Learn More

Upcoming events

Our Team

Alesha Smith PeacePlayers Brooklyn

Alesha Smith

Director, PeacePlayers Brooklyn

Location: Brooklyn

Alesha is the newest addition to the PeacePlayers team and is excited to continue her career in Brooklyn as the Brooklyn Program Director.

Alesha was born in Brooklyn, NY but was raised in Athens, GA. Her love for basketball began early when her mother and father introduced her to the game. She grew up playing basketball with her brothers and the other boys in her neighborhood until she was old enough to play on an organized team.  Her work ethic and skill earned her a scholarship to play Division I basketball at Mercer University, but after an almost career- ending injury, Alesha would later transfer to Xavier University of Louisiana (an HBCU in New Orleans) where she would finish her collegiate basketball career with two conference championships and a B.A in Political Science in 2016.

After graduation, Alesha turned down the opportunity to play professional basketball overseas because of her strong commitment to social justice. She instead decided to move to Brooklyn, NY and began her career as a Community Organizer at one of the largest nonprofits in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Community Services, where she worked in partnership with various mental health facilities, homeless shelters, community centers, and after school programs in some of Brooklyn’s most under resourced neighborhoods with the goal of creating a better Brooklyn for all.

After three years as an organizer, Alesha returned to sports as a Program Manager at Up2Us Sports. At Up2Us, Alesha helped train and support over 100 coaches on best practices in mentorship and sports-based youth development.

Alesha recently completed her M.A at New York University in Steinhardt’s Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy program. She is dedicated to the intersection of sport and social justice and centers the transformational power that sport has to build and maintain community.

Coach Wray

Coach Wray

Program manager, Brooklyn

Location: Brooklyn

Matthew Jamison

Matthew Jamison

Program Manager, PeacePlayers Brooklyn

Location: Brooklyn

Basketball has been a centerpiece of Matt’s life from the very beginning. Matt’s father, former UNC Tarheel, taught him not only the fundamentals of the game, but also how to be a man of integrity. These lessons learned on the court would help shape Matt into the man he is today; with a strong affinity for inner-city youth and promoting the importance of healthy relationships. Brooklyn born and raised, Matt left the city to attend undergrad at Morehouse College in Atlanta. After graduation, Matt returned to NYC and began his career in Social Work, Education and Youth Development. 

Matt’s coaching philosophy: I believe that it is a coaches’ job to educate their players on the game of basketball as well as life. I believe that a coach should be encouraging, uplifting, gentle yet truthful, firm when necessary, but above all, loving.

Our Coaches

Coach D

Sabrina Domrique

Mary Nnamani

Frank Mena

Our LOCAL Partners

Brownsville Collaborative Middle School

Achievement First Brooklyn

Achievement First Apollo Charter School

Cultural Arts Academy Brooklyn

Cultural Arts Academy Charter School

Betty ShabaZz P.S. 298 Elementary SchooL

UBCL Brooklyn

United Brownsville Cornerstone League

Get Fit Fly Right Brooklyn

Get Fit Fly Right

Universe City PeacePlayers Brooklyn

Universe City


Nike NYC

Howard Houses Community Center

Brownsville Sports Zone

The Brooklyn Stuy Dome

what are you doing for peace and equity?

Join us in changing the game

Stay connected to the movement

Follow peaceplayers United States on social media

Get news, updates, and inspiring stories to your inbox

Our Global Partners:

nike partner of peaceplayers
Global Partners

© 2024 PeacePlayers PRIVACY POLICY

1100 15th St. 4th floor,
Washington, DC 20005

+1 202-221-5356

PEACEPLAYERS IS A 501(c)3 EIN #52-2272092

Guidestar Logo
charity navigator 4 star logo

© 2024 PeacePlayers PRIVACY POLICY