The Long Beach Ministers Alliance (LBMA) and the Los Angeles Civil Rights Association launched a Violence Interruption Project called “#awaken” in response to the shootings of four Black young men in Long Beach on April 18.
Kicking-off the project on April 21, the organizations joined with the victims’ families, community members and city officials in a rally at Rosa Parks Park, located on 15th and Alamitos in Long Beach.
The community surrounding 17th street and Alamitos Avenue is prepared to respond to the latest occurrence of violence in that area,” declared the Rev. Gregory Sanders, LBMA president and pastor of The ROCK Christian Fellowship.
“Four young men were the victims of violence. Three of the victims are still in serious condition and one 19-year-old died. Young Delhan Jackson should be planning his next birthday or his future.
“Instead, his young son will have to adjust to life without his father and another mother is left to collect the fragments of her unfulfilled expectations of who her son could have grown up to become. Enough Is Enough!”
Sherrell Weatherton, mother of Delhaun said, “We want Black lives to matter to Black lives. Anyone can pick up a gun, but it takes heart to do the right thing.”
LBMA aims for #awaken to become a movement to activate the community to engage existing violence prevention processes and mechanisms currently being provided through the city and private sectors, become more articulate regarding the authentic needs of their particular community for policing, support, employment and housing and to champion and mediate proactive conversations between potential violence perpetrators.
“How many young men and women nationwide will have to be eulogize as a result of the senseless violence cities around the United States are experiencing,” asked Sanders.
“We believe #awaken is a sustainable strategy that will interrupt and end the violence.”
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