Don' Teens work to stop the violence (36760)

This summer, this reporter teamed up with Don’, a brand-new Brooklyn-based organization formed by Man Up Inc. to challenge gun violence in urban communities in New York City.

“This experience showed me that I can make a difference, no matter if it’s standing out in the street, giving out palm cards or selling buttons. I’m getting the word out there,” said Startayza Hartley, one of the junior counselors who is part of the group.

Using video cameras, iPads, recorders and such, young people are going through the city documenting events and conversations about what is going on. They are also giving out information about how to prevent violence and what to do if you are in trouble.

Out of Operation SNUG, the two-year-old anti-gun violence initiative funded by a $4 million grant offered through the New York State Senate, Man Up Inc. was given some of those funds to continue their work curbing street violence. Following the lead of a Chicago-based nonprofit agency named Ceasefire, a successful anti-violence model, Man Up Inc. assembled a core group of community members to fight violence on the frontline as street outreach workers and violence interrupters called Ceasefire ENYBK.

Ceasefire ENYBK’s focus is on and around the 75th Precinct area of East New York, combating gangs, guns and street violence. Don’ is the name of Ceasefire ENYBK’s outreach campaign. Their goal is to reduce shootings and killings by providing immediate services to those who are considered high risk. A full-fledged multimedia campaign will be used to reach their target population.

“The presence of Don’t ShootNYC and similar groups is essential to the community’ s growth and development because it shows our children, teenagers and adults standing up and positively battling the violence that plagues our neighborhoods,” said Prince David Pierce, a senior counselor.

For more information, call 888-SNUGENY.