What’s Happening at Southside?

Here are some of the programs happening here at Southside. Make sure to check our events calendar for upcoming, or one time programs.


After School Program

Our program is NYS licensed and designed to provide care for up to 30 children, 4-12 years of age. We provide a healthy environment that strengthens students knowledge of self and their academic skills through our Black Consciousness Curriculum that is based on the 7 principles of Kwanzaa.

Each day participants are served a healthy fruit and vegetable snack and dinner meal provided by Southside Community Center Staff. We collaborate with the YMCA, Ithaca College, Cornell, New Roots, The History Center, Tompkins County Public Library, etc.

Monday-Friday,  2-5:30 pm 

Summer Camp

Our Summer Camp Program is focused on fun and safety for up to 30 children. Participants swim, read, garden, cook, ride bicycles, and do arts and crafts.

The Summer Camp works in collaboration with The Floating Classroom, Ithaca Children’s Garden, The Big Red Story Tent, The Tompkins County Public Library, Beechtree, The Fire Department, etc. Participants takes trips to Alex Haley Pool, The Eight Square Schoolhouse, The Harriet Tubman House, Corning Glass Museum, The Plantations, Johnson Art Museum, The Youth Farm, and Seabreeze.

Pet Clinic

Healthy Pet Clinic

Our Healthy Pet Clinic benefits our local community by taking care of pets and their human companions.

Run by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine we provide vaccinations, basic laboratory tests, preventatives, and physical exams at a reduced fee. The clinic takes 30 pets and is a first come first serve basis.

2nd & 4th Wednesdays of each month, 6pm
Cost: $20 per pet


Food Pantry

Our Food Pantry partners with Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Wegmans, Tops, Greenstar, and Friendship Donation Network to offer canned goods, beverages, baked goods, sandwiches, salad, meat, milk, eggs, bread, etc.

At each pantry we provide three days worth of food to families in need.

  • 1st & last Saturday of each month, 12-2pm
  • Emergency Food Pantry Monday-Friday, 4-6pm

Recycle Ithaca's Bikes (RIBS)

Recycle Ithaca's Bicycles is a program of Southside Community Center and one of the longest running community bike shops in the country.

During Open Shop anyone in the community can come and use our tools, parts, and expertise to repair their bike or build a new one. Additionally for the first time R.I.B.S sells used bicycles in excellent condition. R.I.B.s accepts donations of bicycles and parts.

Tuesday & Thursday, 7-9pm Saturday, 11:30- 5pm


Unity Studio

The present Unity Studio is a collaboration between Southside Community Center and My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.

My Brother’s Keeper initiative was launched by President Obama to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.



Each June Southside Community Centers hosts Ithaca’s only Juneteenth Celebration. By celebrating Juneteenth, we seek to remember and honor the sacrifices and struggles of our ancestors who were determined to create a better future for Black people throughout the United States and the broader African Diaspora. Thus, Juneteenth is a public affirmation of our determination to stay woke, fully exercise our human rights, and create a better future for our youth in Ithaca and throughout America.



Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday created to promote community development and engagement.

It was created to give African Americans a new shared tradition in the United States after slavery worked to erased traditions of individual African societies. Ithaca’s Southside neighborhood is the area where former slaves settled after gaining freedom.

This annual event celebrates local and national history, shared triumph and continued responsibility for current and future community development.


Black History Month

Each February Southside collaborates with other local organizations to present a month long of Black History Month events to Ithaca, New York. 


Dollar Dance

It is our belief that quality dance instruction should be affordable to all! Dollar Dance program is an initiative that offers a series of dance classes at a charge of $1.

The Dollar Dance program serves as one of several initiatives at the Southside Community Center that presents performing arts at an affordable rate, while providing reasonable compensation for performing artists, such as local dance instructors and choreographers.

These sessions usually take place in the Summer and Winter.


Real Talk

Is an orchestrated series of conversations and teachings presented to empower marginalized populations and collectively name realities of the present moment. Each series has a different theme and are led by community members, students, professors, teachers, artists, local teenagers, etc.

Real Talk takes place multiple times a year.


Plain St. Film Series

A curated series of films that aim to complicate the notion of the Black experience in America and beyond. We bring voices to marginalized peoples by providing the space to tell their own stories via documentaries, films from directors/actors of color, etc.

Carefully chosen films engage the audience, as well as uplift, encourage critical thinking, dialogue and reflection.



Black Girls grades 5th-12th will have the opportunity to build relationships with amazing women from Cornell University and learn how to conquer life as a woman of color.

Each student in grades 5th-12th will be paired with a student from Le Femme de Substance. Conversations and activities will be based on leadership, self-care, empowerment, overcoming personal struggles, educational success, and professional development! 



Each Friday we have bingo for children and adults. Come win prizes, listen to a live DJ and eat healthy snacks. 


Books & Ballet

Books and Ballet is a ballet & literacy mentorship program for grades K-3.

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Club Southside

Club Southside is a space for teens to come and help plan parties and other events for their peers grades 6th-9th in the greater Ithaca Community.

These parties take place once a month and are sponsored by Renovus Solar, Rogan’s Corner, Gnomon Copy, and Emmy’s Organics. Teens are encouraged to work together to choose the party’s theme, DJ, make the flyer, promote the party, and then turn up!



CUMEP is a multicultural performing arts and human rights education program.

CUMEP encourages kids from ages 3-18 to engage in social realities related to human rights through classes in music, drumming, modern band, string instruments, recording music, art, journaling and more.


Black Consciousness Curriculum

In alignment with Southside Community Center’s mission, our Black Consciousness Curriculum aims to center the history, culture, and experience of Black people.

Guided by the 7 principles of Kwanzaa that focus on building and reinforcing family, community, and culture, we use our voices to to express ourselves through movement, art, music, writing, and performance.

We also examine the way healthy food can nourish our bodies while we work to grow and make our own.