By now, pretty much everyone is familiar with the reported Chris Brown-Drake scuffle that allegedly involved flying bottles and out-of-control behavior at Club W.i.P. in New York City.
In other news this week, we learned of a Brooklyn eighth grader who was left blind in one eye after bullies viciously beat him in school. That eighth grader, Kardin Ulysse, will be at National Action Network (NAN) this weekend to appeal for peace.
How did we get to this point? While the investigation into the Brown-Drake incident continues, we do know that several people were injured in the fracas as the glass flew. If these are the folks that our young people look up to, should we be surprised when they themselves start fighting, bullying and acting out in increasingly troubling ways? Violence only begets violence. And if we care at all about our future, our children’s future, we have to establish some sort of national intervention and a national movement.
On June 29th, NAN, in conjunction with Youth Move, will be convening a National Youth Summit in Atlanta. In the midst of the country’s highest gang membership increase in the past 40 years, and an unbelievable statistical jump in gun violence, our youth leaders and I will gather to address the concerns of their generation. NAN’s National Youth Director, 14-year-old Mary-Pat Hector, is the organizing force behind this event that begins at 9 a.m. at Grove Park Recreational Center. The summit will focus on three areas: relationship enhancement, peace building and methods to increase the “pay it forward” ideology. Rev. Al Sharpton, Erica Ford (“I Love My Life” Foundation), T.I. (a/k/a Clifford Harris of the T.I. Foundation) and others are scheduled to speak as well.
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