In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of non-violence, a coalition of community leaders and notables will come together Monday in Manhattan to launch the fourth annual Peace Week at 11:00 a.m. and hold a news conference in the wake of the recent tragic loss of life in Newtown, CT. Included in the group are activist Erica Ford, Cheryl “Salt” Wray, NYC Council members Leroy Comrie, Ruben Wills, Jumaane D. Williams and Terrie M. Williams.
The organization, LIFE Camp, Inc., which enjoys programmatic support from the likes of Russell Simmons, Deepak Chopra, Amare Stoudemire, and Cheryl “Salt” Wray, works to promote the value of LIFE and to reduce teen violence. At the press conference Ford, LIFE Camp Inc. founder Wray and Terrie M. Williams, renowned public relations practitioner, psychotherapist, author and mental health advocate will announce a series of events designed to create a culture of peace throughout NYC for seven days, as well as a three-year violence prevention pilot program the group will be running.
Peace Week 2013 is designed to combat the challenges facing young people in New York City, where Black children are killed regularly. Homicide is the leading cause of death among youth, one in 10 teens are not going to school because they feel unsafe at or on their way to school and many youth don’t expect to survive beyond the next five years.
At the press conference, details of LIFE Camp’s Love My LIFE Violence Intervention & Prevention (VIP) Program will be disseminated. The VIP program is a threeâ€year pilot project targeting 13- to 25-year-old South Jamaica, Queens teens and young adults, families who have been touched by violence-related 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.