Russell Simmons, NYC Councilmen and Erica Ford announce New


Russell Simmons, NYC Councilmen and Erica Ford announce New
Russell Simmons, NYC Councilmen and Erica Ford announce New York Peace Week 2013
Yesterday we told
you about a press conference held at NYC
City Hall, where Russell Simmons joined a
coalition of community
leaders, parents who
lost their children to
violence and notables—
including activist Erica
Ford, NYC Council
members Leroy Comrie,
Ruben Wills, Jumaane
D. Williams and Terrie
M. Williams—to launch
the fourth annual New
York Peace Week.
Simmons called for
increased funding for
programs aimed at
youth as a primary tool
in the fight against the
epidemic. “What we
need from the national
level down to the city
and state levels is a
focus on these matters,”
Simmons declared.
Peace Week, a series
of events designed to
create a culture of peace
throughout New York
City for seven days,
aims to combat the
young people in New
York City, where Black
children are killed reg-
speaks on the importance of funding community-based antiviolence programs.
ularly. LIFE Camp,
Inc., has also developed
a three-year violence
prevention pilot program. Homicide is the
leading cause of death
among youth, one in
ten teens report not
going to school because
of feeling unsafe at or
on their way to school
and many youth don’t
beyond the next five
years. This point was
driven home through
the tearful words of
Penny Wrencher, a
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Anti-violence activist
and LIFE Camp, Inc.,
Founder Erica Ford
speaks on violence in
the black community.
New York City mother
who lost her young son
to gun violence. Noting
that the progression of
photos stops with a
death, she stated, “I
want to know who
stopped my pictures.”
At the press conference, details of LIFE
Camp’s I Love My LIFE
Violence Intervention &
Prevention (VIP) Program was disseminated. The VIP program is
a three‐year pilot project targeting 13 to 25year-old
Russell Simmons speaks at press conference launching New York Peace
Week as (front row, l-r) NYC Council members Ruben Wills and Jumaane
D. Williams, LIFE Camp, Inc., Founder Erica Ford, and author and mental health advocate Terrie M. Williams as well as (center, second row)
NYC Council member Leroy Comrie and Quentin Walcott of CONNECT
look on.
Jamaica, Queens teens
and young adults, families who have been
touched by violencerelated tragedies and
service providers handling the aftermath of
such incidents. The
project is designed to
fundamentally change
how interpersonal violence is experienced,
perceived and managed
to assist in eradicating
the reasons for youth
gun violence.
LIFE Camp, Inc., was
founded by Ford in
2002 to teach violence
prevention in schools,
following the tragic
murders of two community children. The organization has since
expanded its role to
also generate empowerment opportunities for
youth who are educationally, economically
and socially disadvantaged.
“People can learn
more about Peace Week
by visiting our site, pea-,” said
Ford, who suggested
addressed as a mental
health issue. “They can
find out about events
that they can come out
to or participate by creating a video promoting peace or uploading
a photo of a loved one
lost to violence. The
important thing is to
keep the conversation
going on this issue.”