Lisa Evers holds the 10th Annual Push 4 Peace: Stopping The Shooting Town Hall Meeting
While temperatures are rising concerned New York residents are seeing an increase in gun violence throughout the city. Within the last several weeks there has been a spike in crime, which in result has caused a high level of frustration amongst the community. It was a few days ago that we witnessed a heart-wrenching video where several bystanders, including a
5-year- old boy and his 10-year-old sister were used as human shields as gunfire erupted on a Bronx sidewalk. Fortunately, neither of the children was killed but the intended target was shot several times. Earlier this week in Inwood Manhattan, a released surveillance video captured a gunman firing at a BMW ultimately killing one friend and seriously injuring the other. The masked robbers then stripped the men of their jewelry and left the scene of the crime. These are just two senseless incidents of gun violence and we all know that there are so many other stories where families have lost a loved one.
Crippled with trauma, many New Yorkers are asking themselves, Is it safe to go back outside? Something has to be done now to ensure that our friends and families return home safe. HOT 97’s very own Lisa Evers is making a change by using her voice and discussing difficult topics that can bring our community back together. On June 23, Lisa Evers hosted another episode of Street Soldiers with Fox 5 News in Brooklyn New York to tackle some of these hard-hitting and pressing issues of our communities. Members of the neighborhood poured out to the Town Hall meeting at the NYPD Community Center where they took a stand at the 10th Annual Push 4 Peace: Stopping The Shootings assembly. Before the meeting began, HOT 97’s very own DJ Mike Medium set the tone during the pre-show set up. While he was playing the latest hits from the music industry, attendees gathered in and exchanged their personal stories about how gun violence impacted their lives.
Evers started the conversation off by introducing a powerhouse panel that included Hip-Hop Artist H-D, Founder and CEO of Street Corner Resources Iesha Sekou, NYPD Chief of Community Affairs Bureau Jefferey Maddrey, and NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison. It is important to understand that one of the main reasons for this conversation is to build bridges in the community so that everyone can feel safe. Evers stated, “right now shootings are at an all-time high and there is no regard for human life.” Something has to happen and the first step is to speak to the community about what is going on and creating a plan of action. When the conversation shifted to the audience the youth spoke about how stressful it is to be on high alert every single day. Hip-Hop Artist H-D voiced, “how important parents ensure that they have positive programs for their children.” Community centers save lives and is an important role in the upbringing of our youth. These centers are a safe haven for them to deal with their stress and the realities of their neighborhoods.
Well, one might ask what is the first step and what can be done? NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison expressed, “suffering the loss of a family member is tragic and no one should have to bury a child. This is happening too often but we must bring the perpetrators to justice and the way that happens is to come forward.” As most of us know, many people take the street code of conduct very seriously but to see the change we must use our voices to hold those accountable for those who commit these heinous crimes. NYPD Chief of Community Affairs Bureau Jefferey Maddrey voiced, “that we need both Police and Community Reform. In order to make change, we must change from within.”
As the conversation grew, Founder and CEO of Street Corner Resources Iesha Sekou expressed, “that this type of development of relationships doesn’t happen overnight. This takes time.” After hearing about resources from Fighting Against Gun Violence Via Education: Melquain Jatelle Anderson Scholarship program it became more and more apparent that there is a huge outcry for additional support within these communities. Their mission is to provide social justice initiatives to promote public safety by making a difference in communities through education and employment opportunities. Programs like this are exactly what we need in our society to uplift us in a way that would allow us to move forward as a group of people.
To put an end to gun violence we must first start from within ourselves. We must be the example that we want to see and teach our children that it is okay to come together as one. We are stronger together and instead of killing our own, we must continue our journey to stay alive.
End Gun Violence!
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Until next post… Coach Tay