Easy Living holds 3rd annual Youth Suicide Awareness event

From left, James Tate, Dana Townsend and Al Pizarro, co-founder of Hip Hop Blvd NYC.
Photos Jewel Webber
On July 24, Easy Living Shelter Inc., had its annual Youth Suicide Awareness event in Soundview Park. The event included a basketball tournament, games, arts and crafts, and performances. Members of Hip Hop Blvd  –Al Pizarro and Renee Mickens — were present in support of the event. The organizers of the Easy Living event utilized hip-hop music to better relate their message to kids.

Many in attendance were moved to tears by Sharon Deas, who told her story of her daughter’s suicide. Deas spoke about making our children know that they are beautiful inside and out. She also encouraged parents to question everything: “Why? Why did you say this?” “What did you mean?” “What’s going on?”

Tynecca Velez, COO of Easy Living Shelter Inc., holds the hand of Sharon Deas, righteous, who talks to the audience about her daughter’s suicide.
Musical artist Playgirl Ari performed but also talked about her own experiences being teased and bullied.
“I didn’t understand why … I couldn’t picture a light at the end of the tunnel at all,” she said. “All I saw was darkness and a dark hole that I couldn’t get out of … Don’t let these dark storms and thoughts be the end of your journey. You deserve peace, happiness and love.”
Gospel Gabe performed “You’re a superstar” and “Hold On” encouraging young adults in the audience. Other performers  included MC Heavyn, Rachell Baller Brown and Piccasomusik.
This was an open space to share truths and let young adults know and understand that they have support, if needed.
-reporting by Jewel Webber

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