It may be too cold outside for a peace march, but the climate is just right for a youth rally.
On Friday, December 19, a Ceasefire Anti Gun & Domestic Violence Youth Rally is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Boston Secor Community Center located at 3540 Bivona Street.
The event will be conducted in collaboration with the Boston Secor Resident Council and Lead by Example & Reverse the Trend.
The upcoming youth rally will feature guest speakers, food and refreshments, and workshops while providing the neighborhood’s younger generation a public platform to express how their lives can be better improved through the community’s collective assistance.
The overall message is to address local violence and establish peaceful methods to correct these concerns. Speakers will also be discussing the recent Eric Gardner and Michael Brown verdicts which have since sparked civil unrest and negative sentiments throughout the nation.
Stacey Carpentier, BSRC president, and Pastor Antonio Hendrickson, LBE&RTT founder, are seeking to create change within this at-risk community following recent violent occurances.
BSRC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving New York City Housing Authority development residents’ quality of life through the enhancement of education and empowerment while working closely with NYCHA management. The upcoming youth rally will be BSRC’s very first such event.
Carpentier informed of a fatal gun violence incident in which several people emerged from a car and opened fire on a person inside a U-Haul van. She added that the suspects have yet to face justice for their crime.
This incident as well as a host of other problems plaguing the area including gang involvement, drug use, and domestic violence have made residents strive for a positive change in their community.
“I firmly believe that self improvement is the basis of community development and if we improve people, they will, in turn, do their part to improve the community,” said Hendrickson.
Questions surrounding law enforcement’s methods in the Gardner and Brown cases have since shaped the youth’s views on policing, however Carpentier and Hendrickson strive to change that perception.
Both feel that community involvement and collaboration with local law enforcement are vital to reverse the negative trend which has gripped this neighborhood.
Hendrickson explained they want to teach the youth during this upcoming peaceful rally how to properly conduct themselves whenever they are approached by local law enforcement.
We want to teach the young people about taking responsibility for themselves and educate them on how not to repeat the Eric Gardner incident or any other, he said.
“We’re at the height of instances regarding these verdicts and it’s happening all over,” expressed Carpentier. “The police are here to protect and serve, but at the same time people need to be aware of their rights.”
LBE&RTT is a self improvement program which works closely with the New York Police Department’’s Community Affairs Office and Hendrickson invites the rest of the law enforcement departments to join the partnership.
“We can save a lot of lives and prevent children from slipping through the cracks into an early grave or spending their life inside the criminal justice system,” expressed Hendrickson.
For further information on this event, contact either Hendrickson at (732) 430-9020 or Carpentier at (347) 285-0911.