*Guess what? Waka Flocka Flame and his co-horts, Wallace Gator Bradley and United in Peace are working together to help stop the violence in Chicago with a special concert in June.
Like many other artists, Waka has been vocal about making the streets of the south side of Chicago safer.
“Senseless acts of violence is happening all over the world but it starts with us acknowledging the acts know. Chicago is the first but not the last for me [sic]” he commented.
Wallace Gator Bradley states, “To GOD be the GLORY, for touching Waka’s heart and allowing him to reach out and working with me (Wallace Gator Bradley, President) and Noble – Ameer Ali, Executive Director of United In Peace, Inc, in our efforts to turn the tide on Senseless Shootings and Killing across America in general but in the African-American communities in particular, especially Chicago.”
Proceeds from the concert will go to the United In Peace, INC., an organization dedicated to eradicating anti-social behavior.
*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?”
Aquil Basheer, PCITI founder, discusses techniques and protocols with 16th PCITI certification class.
*A group of serious young adults from Nookoping, Sweden raised money through multiple fundraisers to travel to Los Angeles for the purpose of learning skills that would aid them in their ground level quest to stop violence in their communities.
Their story has been also been documented on video in an excellent piece produced and narrated by veteran LA journalist Isidra Person-Lynn. Scroll down to watch.
Nookoping has a population of about 130,000 compared to Los Angeles (city) population of over 3.8 million. Burgeoning violence in recent years prompted the group (“Back Up”) to seek techniques from Aquil Basheer and PCITI (Professional Community Intervention Training Institute).
On Thursday, March 28, 2013, Back Up observed the 16th PCITI certification class during demonstrations of situational scenarios and mediation roleplaying.
“If you don’t build collaborative network to do the process than you do yourself a disservice because it only works in your neighborhood or comfort zone. The process has to be replicated… it’s like speaking the same language in different venues,” explained Basheer. “This group from Nookoping visited us in 2009 to learn some skillsets and operational structure to get ahead of the surge of violence in their communities. They have now returned to get some advance training to bring back to Sweden.”
Michelle Miller, a Los Angeles transplant, social worker and trip coordinator for Back Up said, “The problems are not at all at the same levels that they are in Los Angeles … there is drug abuse… and different areas of town that are fighting each other. Most of the ‘gang violence’ is people trying to copy gangs here in the United States.”
Miller also described culture clashes between groups that have immigrated to Sweden to escape problems in Iraq and Middle East; and Swedish youth against Asian youth, etc.
“Violence is so universal,” said Basheer. “At the request of organizations and governments, PCITI has traveled to China, Argentina, Israel, El Salvador, Africa, Canada and multiple areas of the United States to share proven, structured training and protocol.”
Miller said that Back Up is looking forward to continued collaboration with PCITI and using the skills that the group has learned to advance peace in their communities.
*Sometimes reporters have to go into the trenches to get their stories.
There have been storms, riots, stand-offs, and other dangerous situations that could threaten a reporter’s life, yet they get in there and report the story anyway…till now.
According to Richard Prince’s Journal-isms, the city of Oakland, California, has become a real hotbed of violence against journalists. They have seen less action on assignment over in Kuwait or Iraq. On Saturday, Carol Pogash reported from Oakland in the New York Times:
“In recent months, journalists covering crime and other stories here have themselves become victims of crime, robbed of expensive cameras, sometimes at gunpoint.
Angie Bailey and other choir members sing during a community meeting regarding violence in black neighborhoods at Universal Truth Center in Miami Gardens, Monday, Feb. 18, 2013. Pastors from different parts of the county spoke to about 70 people. photo by Miami Herald
*Before families in Miami’s black communities bury loved ones killed by violent shootings, they call a pastor, says the Miami Herald.
Then pastors console grief-stricken mothers and fathers. And on the day of the funeral, usually a Saturday, they look into the tear-streaked faces of mourners and deliver a eulogy that touches on the value of life.
The victims’ names and ages change, but the somber process is almost formulaic.
“I’m tired of burying our children. I do an average of two funerals a Saturday,” said the Rev. Billy Strange of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Liberty City. “When I get a break, I thank God. Sixty or 70 percent of the funerals I do are homicides.”
Armed with the word of God, Strange leads a coalition of pastors from Miami-Dade County’s urban communities who are tackling the issue of violent crimes. The pastors hail from Richmond Heights, Overtown, Liberty City, Miami Gardens and parts of unincorporated Miami-Dade. Their mission is dubbed CAP, derived from “Call A Pastor.”