Idris Elba, Ja Rule, & Others Discuss Gang Violence at Townhall: June 2

IDRIS ELBA, HASAAN JOHNSON (from HBO’s The Wire),
CHERYL “Salt” JAMES-WRAY, JA RULE, ED LOVER and
Other Celebrities Launch City-Wide Campaign
Against Gang Violence

SATURDAY JUNE 2, 2007 at York College/CUNY
 

Queens, NY – Erica Ford, Executive Director of LIFE Camp, Inc. (a 501c3 non-profit organization co-founded by GRAMMY Award winning rapper Ja Rule) and community organizer Al Kanu, launch a gang city-wide gang intervention and prevention campaign with a town hall meeting. Confirmed to participate in the free forum, known as “Repping for LIFE,” are Idris Elba (Stringer Bee) and Hasaan Johnson (Wee-Bee) from HBO’s smash hit The Wire; Power 105 FM Radio Host Ed Lover; GRAMMY Award Winning hip hop artists Cheryl “Salt” James-Wray and Ja Rule; street legend and CEO of Black Hand Entertainment Chaz Williams; rapper True LIFE, and Setwya Shakur (sister of hip hop legend Tupac Shakur). The public gathering is free and will take place Saturday June 2, 2007 from 3:00 – 6:00 pm at the Performing Arts Center at York College/CUNY (located at 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd, in Jamaica, Queens, NY). For general information, call 917.361.4376. For directions, call 718.262.2000

When asked about the motivation behind launching this campaign, Ford answered, “At LIFE Camp, we have always been committed to young people, even the ones that society has abandoned. Gangs stay active in our communities because many young people don’t believe that they have other options. With the Repping for LIFE campaign, we’re showing and giving other real options.” She adds, “It’s time to love LIFE, not death. Together, we can help end street violence and build a better future.”
Event co-sponsors include New York State Assembly Woman Vivian E. Cook; community based organizations RISE, SEQNN, The Code, and Fathers In Training; and companies such Genie Girls, Team New Money, and Black Hand Entertainment.

 

LIFE Camp, Inc.
“Love Ignites Freedom thru Education”

 

LIFE Camp, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization, was established April 2002. It exists to provide a “second chance” to youth who are disconnected from educational, employment, and social opportunities. The Queens, NY based organization is focused on youth, ages 13 – 24 years, who demonstrate patterns of negative behavior, are at risk of dropping out of high school, or who may become engaged with the criminal justice system.

 
The mission of LIFE Camp is to help develop it participants into strong leaders and responsible entrepreneurs. Programmatically, LIFE uses the arts (specifically music and film) to:
  • Instill personal and community leadership skills
  • Ignite critical and independent thought, and
  • Provide professional business training
When combined, these approaches will empower young people to make intelligent life choices. They will be able to build relationships that promote pride in self, in family, and in the community, thereby achieving holistic success in life.
 
The History
The concept for LIFE Camp was born in 1994 and is based on the combined work of two organizations: The Queens, NY Chapter of The Code Foundation (founded by community activist Erica Ford and hip hop legend Tupac Shakur) and Kids Rule (the nonprofit organization of GRAMMY Award winning hip hop artist Jeffery “Ja Rule” Atkins).
In April 2002, the two organizations collaborated to create Ja Rule’s LIFE Camp. Other co-founders include Senabiya Brown, Gail Hayes, John Bryant, Ronald Robinson, Ford, and Atkins.
Currently, the organization is known as LIFE Camp, though Ja Rule is still a distinguished member of the Board of Directors.

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