HIP-HOP SUMMIT YOUTH COUNCIL, THE HIP-HOP AGAINST GUN & GANG VIOLENCE PROJECT, ART A CATALYST FOR CHANGE, VIDEO MUSIC BOX AND POWER 105.1 SUPPORT THE LAUNCH OF “GUN VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH”
During the month we will also unveil innovative ways using Hip-Hop & Art to prevent the spread of the Heroin Epidemic amongst our Youth & Young Adults
June has been declared Gun Violence Awareness Month (#GVAM) and in 2013 New York made history by becoming the first state in the country to designate an entire month to the issue of gun violence. Gun Violence Awareness Month was created in an effort to raise awareness surrounding the issue of needless and senseless gun violence in New York’s communities.
Elected officials and community groups launched the initiative by pushing for tighter gun control laws and additional funding for crime fighting community groups who use a public health approach to address gun violence. As summer grows near and the weather gets hotter so does the number of homicides—at least 13 people were injured and one killed during Memorial Day weekend 2016.
“We don’t accept that,” said NYC Council Member Jumaane Williams. “It’s not something that has to happen, that’s why Gun Violence Awareness Month is so important towards our work to reduce gun murders.”
The goals of Gun Violence Awareness Month are:
- to promote greater awareness about gun violence and gun safety
- to concentrate annual heightened attention to gun violence during the summer months, when gun violence typically increases
- to bring citizens and community leaders together to discuss ways to make our communities healthier
Charles Fisher, Founder of the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council stated “As we recognize and celebrate Gun Violence Awareness Month it is important that we understand that Gangs need Guns to protect their turf. This allows them to continue their criminal operations, which include the buying and selling of Guns, Prescription drugs and Heroin, which have contributed to the gun violence and opioid epidemic. If we truly want to reduce gun homicides we have to think outside of the box and focus on social issues like the opioid and Heroin epidemic which contribute to the gun violence problem.”
Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States, ahead of motor vehicle and firearm deaths according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. Today, more Americans die from drug overdoses than car crashes or gun fatalities. In all, drug overdoses killed 47,000 people in the U.S. in 2014, the latest year for which data is available. That’s 130 deaths per day on average. The majority of those deaths – 29,000, or 80 per day – involved an opioid.
Continued Fisher “The opioid epidemic has been called the worst drug crisis in U.S. history with overdoses from Heroin and other opioids leading the way. For more than a decade, the crisis has destroyed many lives, regardless of race, religion or age.”
“Prevention, Education & Awareness (PEA) targeting K thru College students about the dangers of guns, gangs and substance abuse is another way to truly end Gun Violence. Our mission is to use Hip-Hop Culture and social media as a platform to deliver an anti-gun, gang and drug message to young citizens about public health crises that are spiraling out of control. Today’s drug crisis is the worst ever in U.S. History. More people died from drug overdoses than gun fatalities and motor vehicle accidents. By working with celebrities that are “credible messengers” we can properly prepare the youth and young adults with the tools to end a Gun Violence and Heroin crisis that has destroyed many lives,” said Randy Fisher, Executive Director, Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council.
“Using Art to make our communities safer is the foundation of the Hip-Hop Culture and it’s time for the Hip-Hop Community to take center stage and take back our communities. We need to all come together during Gun Violence Awareness Month and support each other in our efforts to make this summer even safer than last year for our children, youth and seniors,” stated Hip-Hop Icon Uncle Ralph of Video Music Box.
“The Bronx is where Hip-Hop was founded. It was the pioneers of the Culture that got together to address crime, drugs, unemployment and violence in the borough and that is why I support the Art A Catalyst for Change initiative. As we recognize Gun Violence Awareness Month it is important that we use every tool available to improve public safety and put an end to all this violence. Art in its many forms and Hip-Hop offer our youth a creative platform to help stop gun violence,” stated NYC Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Chair, Public Safety Committee.
Starting with our youth is the best path to victory to win the War on the Heroin and the Opioid Epidemics. This will lead to a reduction of gun violence, prevention and education.
Said Charles Fisher “As chair of the Youth subcommittee for the Nassau County Heroin Task Force, which is doing an outstanding job of staying one step ahead of the problem (headed by District Attorney Madeline Singas, County Executive Edward Mangano and chaired by ADA Rene Fiechter), a plan is in place to deliver an anti-gun/drug/gang message to our youth using art, celebrities and social media as the platform. It is our intent to now work with the NYC Council and NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennon to create a network between NYC, Nassau and Suffolk County to improve public safety and put an end to the gun violence and the Heroin and opioid crises, but it all starts with our students.”
It’s no secret that after 40 plus years of losing the War on Drugs we can say that drug dealers are smarter and better equipped than we are. They have more resources and a better marketing plan targeted at our children. We can’t keep doing the same thing year after year and expect to win the war. This new epidemic is partially the fault of our own FDA and pharmaceutical companies, who should be contributing more resources to get a better message across to those most affected by a violent epidemic that is destroying many innocent lives. It is up to the young citizens of this great nation to hold them accountable for their actions and that will now start with the Hip-Hop Community taking the lead working with the government, elected officials and the private sector to create new and innovative ways to finally get the job done. America is only as great as the education and preparation they invest in the next generation of future leaders. If they are all high as a kite, we only have ourselves to blame.
For info on how you can help us use the power of Art & Hip-Hop to end Gun Violence and the Heroin Epidemic hit us up at: RandyKFisher@gmail.com.
R.I.P. Ronald McPhatter, a ”Soldier for Peace” who lost his life to gun violence at Irving Plaza http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/anti-gang-violence-activist-mourns-loss-kin-shot-t-show-article-1.2651537 during Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence Week, May 20-26, 2016—