Stop the violence and the madness
Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 4:40 p.m.
This past Saturday, hundreds of people, along with several SUV clubs, marched in the streets of Southeast Queens to voice their outrage against violence in the community. The protest was led by community activists Erica Ford and A.T. Mitchell of the organization Man Up!
The march began at the spot where Miller was shot on Linden Boulevard and ended at 113th Street and Farmers Boulevard at an abandoned building where a 24-hour center is to be built. The space will be called the Bury Da Beef Center.
"All of us have to come together as a community and as one village," Ford said. "Each of us has to lay down a better foundation. "
Ford said the Bury Da Beef Center would be a place for conflict resolution as well as a place for youth to go to stay out of the streets.
She said, "It'll be an emergency room and center for young people who don't have a center. We are also going to train kids on how to make beats, trades and conflict resolution."
Young people will also build the actual structure with the help of licensed carpenters.
Mitchell said he is on board with the idea and that the center would be good for the community on various levels. He would like to see more involvement from elected officials.
"People are definitely sick and tired of being sick and tired," he said. "This continues to happen and people want results. Everybody can't deal with this issue on a frontline level. It's going to take some progressive support from elected officials."
Work to make the Bury Da Beef Center a reality has already begun. Over $1,000 was raised on Saturday at the rally. Ford said Russell Simmons has gotten on board with the fundraiser, who reached out to rappers Nas and Swiss Beatz to get involved.
The organization Kings of Kings and Man Up! Inc. were both awarded $500,000 for the Kevin Miller Jr. Stop the Violence Fund that has been set up to raise money for the center. The money was given by the New York State Senate's Operation SNUG and presented by State Sen. Malcolm Smith last Friday.
Donations can be made at www.burydabeef.com and at the Chase Bank branch located at Linden and Farmers boulevards in Queens.