Chicago: Activists and Leaders Rally Against Gun Violence in Wake of Wade Kin's Slay

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On Friday, August 26, another person was killed in Chicago escalating the number to over 80 people killed in the month of August by Senseless Gun Violence. This time it was Nykea Aldridge, shot and killed while she pushed her infant baby stroller. Ms. Aldridge, 32, was struck in the head and arm by crossfire and pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital.

The mother of four and cousin of Chicago Bulls star Dwayne Wade is one of the over 460 people killed this year in the streets of Chicago. People on the frontline of anti-violence efforts across the nation believe that it time to invest from the ground up.

This Tuesday, Tio Hardiman, leading gun violence expert and the Executive Director of the Violence Interrupter Initiative, will convene a press conference along with other anti-violence leaders to announce the recruitment of high-risk gang members to be hired as violence interrupters to launch an aggressive effort to stop the violence in Chicago.

Tio’s Violence Interrupter model had been replicated in 15 Chicago communities, 7 cities in Illinois, and presently exist in 32 cities nationwide, and in England, Iraq, and South Africa. He has dedicated his life and career to community organizing for peace and social change. In 1999, Mr. Hardiman joined CeaseFire, an award-winning public health model that has been scientifically proven to reduce shootings and killings.

Partnering with the Violence Interrupters is national anti-violence leader Erica Ford, CEO of LIFE Camp, Inc., who introduced the VIP (violence intervention and prevention) system to New York which was adopted as the NYC Crisis Management System and implemented in all five boroughs of the city through professional & unconventional therapeutic wrap around services supporting the Cure Violence Model.

Recent media reports in New York highlighted how there were no shootings for over 530 days in LIFE Camp’s target area of South Jamaica, Queens. LIFE Camp is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing youth violence and providing empowerment opportunities for youth who are educationally, economically and socially disadvantaged, to help them stay in school and out of the criminal justice system. LIFE Camp partners with several individuals & organizations to bring meditation, yoga & transformational skills to leaders and young adults.

Another partner in this emergency effort is Ameena Matthews from the Emmy Award-winning documentary “The Interrupters.” The 2011 film followed three violence interrupters over the course of a year and their journey to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once engaged in.

Employed by the organization Ceasefire, the interrupters used their street cred to stop conflict before it escalated into foul play. Matthews fearlessly maneuvered through one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods to end violence and instill a sense of respect and responsibility in our youth and everyone she came in contact with.

Beast Anderson will represent the Global Peace Keepers Initiative, a community action plan designed to help promote peace, love and unity in a community that is plagued by crime and gun violence. Peace Keepers offer services including self-defense, conflict resolution, and CPR.

Finally, former New York City Police Chief of the Department Philip Banks, III, will provide expertise on police and community relations and remedies for decreasing gun violence.

WHO: Tom Hardiman, Executive Director of Violence Interrupters Erica Ford, CEO of LIFE Camp, Inc.
Ameena Matthews, Pause for Peace & Lifelong Violence Interrupter.

Beast Anderson, Global Peace Keepers Initiative.
Phillip Banks, III, Former Chief of Department, NYPD
Other Chicago anti-violence activists and community leaders.

WHERE: Parkway Gardens, 6300 S Calumet Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

WHEN: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 –11:00 a.m.

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