BROOKLYN, N.Y., June 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, May 21, 2016 East Flatbush Village, Inc. (EFV) held its sixth annual "Not in My Hood" march against senseless violence in conjunction with Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) Deputy Leader and co-chair of the Council's Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, which led advocates and hundreds of community members toward a health and resource fair at Church Avenue, between Schenectady Avenue and East 46th Street. The event, which kicked off June's Gun Violence Awareness Month in New York City, promoted a message of keeping young people safe and providing them with a variety of positive opportunities to better their futures.
Unfortunately, since the march, our community has suffered another loss due to gun violence. Our condolences go out to the family of Shemel Mercurius and other community members that have lost their loved ones due to senseless violence.
During the rally, Council Member Williams said recent NYPD reports show a spike in gun violence throughout Brooklyn, which is why it is more important than ever to spread the anti-violence message throughout the community. After reading the names of the local victims of gun violence in the past year, Monique Waterman Co-Founder and CEO of EFV led a two-mile procession from Meyer Levin Intermediate School 285 towards Church and Schenectady Avenues for the health and resource fair.
Throughout the march and rally, Derick Scott from Operation HOOD chanted "GUN VIOLENCE" while the crowd replied "NOT IN MY HOOD". The hope is that this message resonates through the community and is the anthem of community's response to the senseless violence that has plagued our neighborhoods.
The health and resource fair was designed as an educational and entertaining opportunity for all ages to have free access to basic preventative medicine and health screenings, as well as for young people to take advantage of educational, employment and after-school/summer activity resources. The event was supported by organizations that included McDonald's, Affinity Health, Brooklyn, Sesame Flyers, Board of Elections, Visions in Motion, Legal Aid Society and more.
"East Flatbush Village is proud to hold its sixth annual "Not in My Hood" anti-violence march," said Monique Waterman, CEO of East Flatbush Village, Inc. "We thank everyone who supported and came out. The hope is for events like this one would be the stamp for a proactive approach to the violence in the community. We want to reduce the violence in our communities by taking back our streets and provide programs, jobs, resources and opportunities."
"We greatly appreciate the ongoing support of Yeshaya Wasserman and SGW Properties, which makes such a difference in the lives of the children of our community," said Monique Waterman, Founder and Program Director of East Flatbush Village Inc.
"When I was elected to the City Council, I made it my mission to make the 45th District a safe place for all children to learn and grow," said Council Member Williams. "Community members have to be advocates against violence in their neighborhoods just as much as the activists and neighborhood leaders are. Keeping our streets safe is the responsibility of the police, but also the people who live in the community. As we advocate for nonviolence, we need to also address the societal and structural issues that contribute to the gun violence epidemic that is plaguing out black and brown communities. One of the main factors that contribute to violence is unemployment, which is why I am a strong proponent of universal summer youth employment. I am happy to continue my long-term collaboration with East Flatbush Village- a community institution that successfully works on the front lines engaging our youth."
NYS Senator Jessie Hamilton stated. "Taking concerted action against violence in our community strikes at a priority that too often impacts our family, friends, and neighbors in Central Brooklyn. Only through joining together, speaking out, and offering positive solutions can we overcome this problem. We do it when we act together in my United Against Violence Task Force. And we do it when with initiatives like this 'Not in My Hood' Anti-Violence March, Resource and Health Fair. Stepping up as a community, offering positive alternatives, role models, and resources will all ensure we successfully confront and overcome this deadly problem."
"Gun violence in our communities is tragic. I'm proud to support East Flatbush Village, Inc. in their quest to bring more awareness and constructive solutions to this unfortunate issue." said Yeshaya Wasserman, CEO, SGW Properties, LLC. "Today, I'm proud to include the NOT IN MY HOOD anti-violence march and health and resource fair among the causes that are dear to my heart. I hope that my donation teaches my children that we have a shared obligation to support the communities that we live in and do business in."
Antoine Cassidy of No Gun Smoke School Tour "We have to be the change agent in our community. The responsibility of keeping our communities safe relies on us. That change started at the Not In My Hood Anti-Violence March, Resource and Health Fair, let's keep making progress by reclaiming our neighborhoods. It starts with us!"
"The saying that it takes a village is truly the case with the Not In My Hood Anti-Violence March, Resource, and Health Fair," said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte. "I truly commend East Flatbush Village for bringing together so many community partners including community based organizations, clergy, law enforcement, and elected officials. In particular, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, who has been a champion not only for East Flatbush Village and many other groups, but also for solutions that make our communities safer. It does indeed take a village as each one of us has a role to play in undertaking this important issue."
"Once again it was an honor to be a part of the Not In My Hood March. The event isn't only instrumental in bringing awareness to the ongoing violence effecting many communities across our nation but it also provides health fair resources otherwise not available to many community members. My family and I Thank East Flatbush village, Jumaane Williams and all participate in making our community Gun free and safe for everyone," said Amor Lilman a 13 year old peace/anti-violence rapper.
In addition to EFV, the event was hosted by Council Member Williams and Yeshaya Wasserman, SGW Properties, with support and participation from NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, NYS Senator Kevin S. Parker, NYS Senator Jesse Hamilton, NYS Assemblyman N. Nick Perry, NYS Assembly Rodneyse Bichotte, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, District Leader Cory Provost, Affinity Health Plan, Civilian Observation Patrol, NYC Commission on Human Rights, Meyer Levin JHS - IS 285, Tilden High School Campus, The Legal Aid Society, McDonalds, Sesame Flyers, Brooklyn Public Library, NYPD School Safety Division, NYPD Community Affairs Bureau, Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, Operation HOOD, No Gunsmoke School Tour, Mike Tucker "Lay the Guns Down", NYS Board of Elections, Ernest Skinner Political Association (ESPA), High Profile, Modells Sporting Goods, Flatlands Flatbush Civic Group, Restoration Temple, Visions in Motion, Dare 2 Dream Leaders, GMACC, Marketing and Legal Studies JHS, PS 109, PS 244, PS 135, Redemption, Inc., Amor "Lilman", Restoration Temple Church, Mocha. Church Avenue Merchants: 99cents Amazing Discount Store, Classic Kuts, Pam's Bakery, African Union Movies, T&T Kitchen Cabinet, Spotlight Hair Solon and Best Bites.
East Flatbush Village, Inc. vision is not just to provide programs for the youth but to provide resources to the entire family which in turn will repair our community.
This vision can be fostered through a community resource center that allows for a family wellness project. A Wellness Center/ Family intervention center will incorporate educational, social services, nutritional workshops, youth athletics, adult improvement, youth anti-violence center and senior activities etc... a (One stop shop) for constituencies. EFV's vision can be supported by a community activism group, with the main focus in uplifting community involvement through a grassroots effort.
All of programs and activities will be supported by a proactive approach to community involvement/engagement that has the focus on not saving a community, but by building a strong community structure.
SOURCE East Flatbush Village, Inc.