It Takes a Village…
Bronx, New York, Wednesday, March 13, 2019 – Talk to villagers from any region of Africa about rampant violent crimes and they will look at you as a mad person, considering these villages are not known for material wealth, IVY League schools, law enforcement patrols or government subsidies. “Why aren’t rampant violent crimes in the villages then?” one may asked.
Aren’t poverty and lack of education the culprits for high crimes in certain communities?
Well, poverty and lack of education contribute to crime and violence but they are not the main culprit, lack of personal responsibility is. Just like urban communities in developed nations, big cities in developing nations where personal responsibility is not observed as it is in their surrounding villages, are susceptible to high rate of crimes and violence.
When residents are responsible, they become good neighbors, and when they aren’t, problems flourished between themselves and their communities. In villages, ‘I’ is followed by personal responsibility not entitlements. Villagers see common threats and mutual entitlements. We call this approach:- “Neighborly Wolf Pack.”
Community Peace Dinners/Public Safety Dinners:
This leads us to the solution, Community Peace Dinners, for our chronic societal violent crimes that have been sending our children too early to prisons and cemeteries in high numbers. “The monthly dinners are important because they give residents who live on the same block for years and never talked to or understand each other a chance to eat together, hold neighborly conversations, learns about each other’s backgrounds and aspirations. These neighborly breaking of bread and fellowship, strengthen them and improves the quality of life for all residents.” Stated Mr. Darney Rivers, founder of ‘I am My Community, Inc.’ and a co-convener of Bronx Community Peace Dinners.
TBS New Direction, which stands for The Black Spades, was founded by former gang members to provide grassroots public safety, violent crimes prevention, and mentoring the neighborhood youth that are receptive to gang recruitment. “TBS New Direction’s monthly Public Safety Dinners promote neighborliness and unity. The dinners bring people from all walks of life regardless of race, religion, gender or nationality. The main purpose is finding solutions to our socioeconomic challenges and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. These dinners are attended by the clergy, law enforcement personnel, services providers and residents, particularly those affected by crimes and delinquencies.” Added by Mr. Marion Frampton, founder of TBS New Direction and also a co-convener of Bronx Community Peace Dinners.
It is our believe that the cheapest, smartest and most effective way to build safe and successful neighborhoods are through Community Peace Dinners/Public Safety Dinners, because prevention not reaction to crimes is the key.
We highly encouraged residents who have not been participants to our weekly countywide community peace dinners to begin now. We live in close proximity with each other and seldom do we have meaningful social or neighborly interactions. Sadly our spontaneous interactions often times take place when tragedy strikes even though we live in the same neighborhood, send our children to the same schools and go to the same medical centers, etc.
As a result of this individualistic restrain, we easily formed opinions about each other (mostly negatively) without having invested necessary time and neighborly effort to know each other. Due to this ignorance we easily generalized folks based on their race, religion, ethnicity or nationality.
However, through these community peace dinners, we become true neighbors. We talk to each other as neighbors. We discuss our common interests and mutual desires. We break bread together. We learn about each other intimately. We develop mutual love and respect based on sound understanding of each other’s backgrounds, cultures, traditions, values, spirituality, priorities, etc…“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Said Dr. Marting Luther King Jr.
These Community Peace Dinners therefore disrupt individual loneliness, extreme hatred, depression, lone-wolf syndrome and vulnerability. Through these neighborly dinners, we become part of each other and support mechanism to one another. We become informed neighbors and protectors of our neighborhoods. With this developed neighborliness, we embrace diversity and collective commitment to the quality of life for all.
This brings public safety, public harmony and collective public wellness. The dinners save precious lives and finite public resources. When residents are partners to positive change in their communities, the need for law enforcement lessens tremendously. According to the FBI and NYPD crime data, most crimes are committed by folks under thirty years of age who are mostly killing each other to protect territories where illegal activities take place. By getting the neighborhood’s youth involve in positive and productive vocations, can dismantle the vicious cycle of chronic violent crimes and extreme poverty. “It’s easier to build strong children than to fix broken men,” said Fredrick. Douglas.
Crime, violence, hate and poverty aren’t inevitable. Born in the Bronx, succeed in the Bronx. Live in the Bronx, safe in the Bronx. Visit the Bronx, love the Bronx. Community Peace Dinners take place every Friday, 6-8 pm, throughout the Bronx.
Community Peace Dinners on Neighborly Day
While we may not know who will commit the next violent crimes, where and how they’ll be committed, and for what reasons, we’re nonetheless certain violent crimes would be committed against innocent people by folks who needed our neighborly interventions.
Friday, the Neighborly Day, is therefore the best day during the week to check on our neighbors and perhaps impact their lives positively. “We must never, ever normalize crime, violence, abuse, injustice, bias, inequity, poverty, violent extremism or oppression, since they’re not inevitable.
In addition, the outcome of all our actions and interactions must be for a peaceful coexistence. We should not patronize violent movies and media or ignorantly call violent Hollywood figures heroes. They are not. Real heroes are our mothers whom we honor on Neighborly Days and all other days.”
Just minding our own business in this day and age is no longer an acceptable attitude. We are one human family that should be mindful of all elements from within in order to provide timely assistance to those in need, disrupt evil plans being hatched and prevent heinous crimes that could be carried out by the unhinged family members, especially on Neighborly Days.
Another word, every Neighborly Day gives us a unique opportunity to have intimate interactions with our neighbors in order to learn firsthand how to be helpful to them and when we know something that warrants immediate action, we intervene. It is our neighborly business to be in the know for preventive sake!
We can prudently invest in prevention and peaceful coexistence or foolishly spend in reacting to violence and hatred. The choices are clear and ours.
Community Peace Dinners are financially sponsored by our neighborhood businesses and their generous customers. Donation Boxes can be found in your participating local business establishments. The South Yemeni business owners who donated Four Thousand Five Hundred dollars ($4500) for these dinners in 2018, has taken the lead with Donation Boxes in businesses. “Spare Change Spare Life” is written on the Donations Boxes. The public (residents and service providers) are encouraged to donate generously for this life-saving cause.
For further information about Community Peace Dinners, log on to www.peacepatrol.org, email us at info@peacepatrol, or call 718-822-5555. Thank you.
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