*Rev Al Sharpton is moving to Chicago’s West Side.
The plan is to draw greater attention to the gun violence that plagues the city. Toward that effort, Sharpton said he will rent an apartment and commute home to New York weekly for the next two to three months. Joining him in the same undisclosed building is Martin Luther King III.
Supporting their move are several West Side leaders in the business and faith communities. Also, Congressman Danny Davis says he welcomes the attention this visit will bring.
Rev. Sharpton preached two sermons Sunday morning at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ.
*The black community in Chicago recently welcomed two new, high-profile residents–Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III. The duo made good on their promise in July to move to the Windy City to help eliminate gun violence in urban neighborhoods.
Sharpton reportedly leased a West Side apartment Sunday. King has volunteered his services and plans to establish a temporary home in the area. The grey haired activist/broadcaster said along with King, he wants to spotlight the people and the efforts fighting the gun violence epidemic in Chicago.
“It’s to really encourage groups that are already are doing work,” Sharpton told ABC Chicago. “We’re not coming with a new program, we’re coming to put a spotlight and to support those that are doing it.”
Sharpton also maimed the “egos” of some local anti-violence activists, telling the Sun-Times it’s time for them to “stop acting like gangbangers themselves and stop fighting over turfs.”
Sharpton and King aren’t saying which West Side neighborhood they’ve chosen to live, though Illinois Congressman Danny Davis is hopeful “the whole West Side” will benefit.
“We’ve got some issues over here and we need all hands on deck and we welcome even someone who doesn’t reside here,” he says.
The National Action Network leader and host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” has divulged plans to broadcast his shows from the Windy City during his time in town.
In July, Sharpton told the Associated Press his temporary relocation loosely mirrors what Martin Luther King Jr. did in the mid-1960s, when the iconic civil rights leader rented an apartment in Chicago.
“We don’t have all the answers, but we need to raise all the questions publicly and consistently,” Sharpton said. “Consistent attention forces a consistent change.
Rapper Snoop Lion arrives at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards at Sony Pictures Studios on April 14, 2013 in Culver City
*Snoop Lion is joining forces with a campaign group to help put an end to gun violence.
The rapper, formerly known as Snoop Dogg, has teamed with the League of Young Voters Education Fund’s No Guns Allowed movement, which was inspired by a song he wrote in response to recent shooting rampages.
“’No Guns Allowed’ is a really important song to me,” states Snoop [Scroll down to listen.]. “I’m humbled that an organization like the League of Young Voters Education Fund supports what I’m saying in it and is taking action. Especially since they have been doing work for a long time to spread an anti-violence message in our communities.”
The campaign will involve anti-violence rallies and the launch of a petition supporting a proposal for background checks on anyone buying weapons.
The group’s Executive Director Rob “Biko” Baker adds, “The League is excited and honored by Snoop’s support. We’re looking forward to collaborating with him in the near future to reach even more people and bring some much-needed attention to the work we’ve been doing for some time to make urban communities safer.”
*For a long time, rap music has been a part of the growing trend of violence across the country.
In a discussion on CBS News’ “Sunday Morning,” hip hop mogul 50 Cent argued that there is little to no connection between hip hop and gun violence.
The multi-talented rapper explained that his music is a reflection of his experiences and doesn’t necessarily exalt violence.
“If you were doing that and you weren’t actually experiencing it, I would say you were glorifying it,” he told Tracy Smith. “If you’re drawing from something from your actual experience, isn’t it art imitating life?”
First lady Michelle Obama speaks to guests about combating youth violence at a luncheon April 10, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. According to published reports Chicago has had 79 murders in 2013. Twenty-seven of the victims have been under 21-years-old, the most recent victim was fourteen-year-old Michael Orozco who died April 7, from two gunshot wounds to his chest.
*In her Chicago hometown today to address the city’s catastrophic gun violence problem, First Lady Michelle Obama held back tears as she remembered Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old who performed in President Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities and was shot and killed in Chicago days later. [Scroll down to watch.]
“Let me tell you, it is hard to know what to say to a room full of teenagers who are about to bury their best friend,” Obama said. “But I started by telling them that Hadiya was clearly on her way to doing something truly worthy with her life. I told them that there is a reason that we’re here on this earth, that each of us has a mission in this world, and I urged them to use their lives to give meaning to Hadiya’s life.”
Mrs. Obama was in the city to speak with business leaders about the need to eliminate gun violence.
Snoop Lion seen attending the 7th Annual Direct TV Celebrity Beach Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana. (February 2, 2013)
*MTV today announced a collaboration with Snoop Lion and Jewelry for a Cause to help take illegal guns off the streets.
Beginning on Monday, April 15 – the day after the 2013 “MTV Movie Awards” – limited edition “MTV x Caliber” bracelets featuring unique serial numbers from illegal firearms returned via buyback programs in Newark, NJ will be available at caliber.MTV.com.
The unisex bracelets can be pre-ordered for $40 beginning today, with a portion of the proceeds from each sale being donated to the Newark Police Department to help fund future gun buyback amnesty programs.
New Jersey’s “Caliber Collection,” a line of steel and brass bracelets and cuffs created from firearms and bullet casings seized by the Newark Police Department.
In conjunction with this news, Snoop Lion’s new “No Guns Allowed” video, featuring Drake and Cori B, debuted this morning across MTV’s five channels with a special call to action from Snoop for viewers to learn more about how they can help take illegal guns off the street.
It has already fueled support and action from non-profit organizations such as the League of Young Voters Education Fund, which has launched a grassroots “No Guns Allowed” campaign in support of Snoop’s movement.
“This is such an important message we’re sharing,” said Snoop. “It’s a movement we want generations to recognize, embrace, and get behind. We’ve seen a lot of senseless acts of violence involving guns recently—too many have lost their lives, too many families have been destroyed. Like my friends at MTV, I want to be a part of the change that will help bring peace.”
“We are grateful for the commitment of Jewelry for a Cause and MTV for their help with The City of Newark’s efforts to get illegal guns off of our streets,” said Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker. “The ‘MTV x Caliber’ Bracelet is a great addition to the Caliber Collection and will continue in the fight to reduce gun violence.”
For more information or to purchase a limited edition “MTV x Caliber” bracelet, visit caliber.MTV.com. Following the pre-sale, the bracelets will officially be available on April 15, following the 2013 “MTV Movie Awards” which air live on MTV on Sunday, April 14 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Booker went on last MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show in January to promote the Caliber Collection. He acknowledges that the buyback program is not a cure-all, but that it shows that everyone has the power to do something in the fight against firearms. Watch the video below.