National Community Peacebuilding Commission launches "The Bronx Declaration."
(The Bronx Declaration)
"Three weeks ago, on Sunday night, June 28th, 17- year old African American Brandon Hendricks was killed when gunfire broke out while he was attending a friend’s birthday party in the Bronx. As saddened New Yorkers learned from the media reports of his slaying, Brandon had been the captain of the James Monroe High School Basketball Team, and had graduated from the school just one week before. And as New Yorkers also learned, Brandon, whose last words in this world after being shot were, “call my mom,” had been recently engaged in the joyous process of deciding in which college to enroll this coming fall, trying to make the best choice out of the many vying to recruit him to play on their basketball team."
“He wanted to live,” said his grieving mother Eve Hendricks. “This was not his destiny. His destiny was to live forever and to be the greatest of all. He was very smart. He always thinks about others before his thinks about himself.” Robert Golomb reported.
What: The Bronx Declaration
At this time, it’s abundantly clear to all of us the fact that we can’t achieve equitable socioeconomic development in the Bronx without reducing its level of crime and violence. This is therefore an urgent call for all Bronxites to stop infighting and put our collevtive resources and intellects to use in the elimination of our common enemies: Poverty, crimes and violence. "A house divided can not stand on its own." Together, we will find what the real culprits of these crimes and violence are and address them. No matter what they are, they must be addressed and they will be permanently addressed. We will not put bandages on them. We will not make excuses in addressing them. We will not blame anyone for them. But we will finally hold accountable responsible parties for them in the Bronx. Race, religion, politics, ethnicity, language or neighborhood variations must not deter us from focusing on our collective socioeconomic progress, especially when Bronx has all elements to be a preferred destination for families, entrepreneurs, investors and tourists. Unity in purpose doesn't require uniformity. We are one diverse human family.
We will no longer normalize crime, tolerate violence or accept extreme poverty in the Bronx. The tale of two cities must be in the history books not our future. Bronx being the first in all things bad and last in all things good must be reseversed and shall be reversed. It's all about attitude, tolerance and acceptance. The Bronx Declaration shall assist responsible individuals with needed resources while holding accountable irresponsible individuals.
We expect all community, political and religious leaders to wholeheartedly embrace this historic Bronx Declaration, “Living. Loving. Lifting.”
National Community Peacebuilding Commission
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” Martin Luther King Jr.
We must at some point stop and meditate on the reality of our existence. It’s ignorance of oneself and others that is the problem. Racism, prejudice, hatred and labeling of groups of people in general terms are all products of ignorance worldwide. In the United States, it’s true most skinned-heads who embraced white power can’t name our fifty states or the basic facts of this nation. They can’t tell the difference between a Muslim, Sikh, Arab and a Jew.
We have ignorance problems worldwide. In New York public schools, not only is real African history not being taught, far too many principals and teachers have no clue about Africa. I know this very well. Congressman King of Ohio once questioned what contributions did nonEuopeans ever make. These ignorant public servants are our legislators, teachers and curricula designers. It’s true most Americans would fail the lousy citizenship test today.
Again It’s ignorance not mere racism. And we must not be too ignorant to label every act of ignorance a racist act. We can’t address racism, prejudice, antisemitism, xenophobia and misogyny unless we address the underlying cause, ignorance. We are a nation of too many ignorant folk.
From our public safety activism, we were able to construct ‘National Community Peacebuilding Commission, a nationwide solution to hate-related violence and racism. Those who commit crimes in the name of race, religion, ethnicity, national identity, ideology, etc., have complete ignorance of their targeted victims. With intimate and sustained communal interactions, all divisive walls and labels shall crumble down.
We must prudently invest in the implementations of this ‘National Community Peacebuilding Commission’ to help prevent the ravages of violent and hate crimes. Blacks aren’t responsible for fighting racism alone. Jews aren’t responsible for fighting antisemitism alone. Women aren’t responsible for fighting misogyny alone. The disabled aren’t responsible for fighting adequate services alone. White folks aren’t responsible for fighting generalization of racism alone. We all are equally responsible for fighting ignorance which is the culprit. This is why we all need to be part of ‘National Community Peacebuilding Commission’.
With all its violent attributes, this nation is still the greatest human experiment, and preserving and nurturing its noble ideals is worth the last drop of our blood.
Americans are great and caring people. Overwhelming majority of Americans are deeply concerned about the wellness of their compatriots. They are generous and neighborly. This is why we must immediately stop labeling ignorant crimes racist crimes.
Some of you have a hard time seeing the truth and wisdom behind this initiative because you have been programmed in racist narratives for far too long. Unfortunately this ignorance is destructive as well as global.
We will implore our five borough presidents to adopt it immediately. We have no doubt about the immediate impact this would have in the city. Since the tragedy of 9/11, we have constantly advocated grassroots public safety prevention to all New York elected officials. Today, not only do they embrace it but they are also funding it. Prevention works.
To harmonize racial, ethnic, religious, cultural and socioeconomic differences nationally. Out of many, one.
A federally or states chartered voluntary commission with state chapters represented by volunteer Peacebuilding Commissioners.
1. State Chapters are headquartered in state capitals with local offices in each County headquarters.
2. Community Peacebuilding Commission mimics the functions of local community boards but in the field of county relations/peace building whose commissioners reflect the demographics of their districts/neighborhoods.
3. Commissioners organize diverse cultural events, community peacebuilding programs, provide referrals to government resources for self-sufficiency, and to coordinate Peace Education Curricula in public schools.
4. Commissioners coordinate community preventive programs, anti-bias & diversity training and help facilitate vigils of hate/violence crimes and services.
5. Commissioners lead scheduled diverse tours to cultural centers, museums, houses of worship, socialization opportunities, etc.
6. Commissioners host monthly/weekly Community Peace Dinners with diverse constituents and the youths.
7. Commissioners are the ambassadors of community relationship building and preventers of hate crimes, who work closely with all stakeholders including their elected officials, religious & community leaders, schools, not-for-profits and other relevant parties to build bridges, promote neighborliness and prevent hate crimes and community violence.
8. Manages all other emerging challenges with the potential of stirring racial, religious, cultural, ethnic, or political conflicts, locally and nationally.
9. Peacebuilding presence in the streets, at forums and online
10. Compound Effect approach. Community Commissioners are field soldiers who directly touch the lives of their constituents, not just "Preachers to the choir" meeting presenters.
11. It's all inclusive and community-centered without any political or religious interferrerance.
The sad reality is that while we may not know who will commit the next violent crimes, where and how they’ll be committed, and for what reason, 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 with the intention of positively impacting their lives forever. Peaceful coexistence (albeit our diversity) should be the intended outcome of all our neighborly actions and interactions.
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 member (s) within our Neighborhoods.
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 do know something that warrants immediate action, we intervene. It is our neighborly business to be in the know for preventive sake!
So we can prudently invest in prevention and peaceful coexistence or foolishly spend in reacting to violence and hatred. The choices are clear and ours.
Lastly, we should not patronize violent movies and media or to ignorantly call violent Hollywood figures heroes. They are not. The real heroes are our mothers who most deserve our honor on Neighborly Days and all other days. As neighbors, we must never, ever normalize crime, violence, abuse, injustice, bias, inequity, poverty, violent extremism, oppression, etc.
Community Peace Dinners/Public Safety Dinners
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 is the key.
Those of you who have not been participants to these weekly Community Peace Dinners taking place on Friday throughout the Bronx should start now.
We live in close proximity with each other and use common places yet seldom do we have meaningful social or neighborly interactions. Our interactions as neighbors often times take place only when tragedy strikes.
As a result of this individualistic imposed constrain, we can easily formed negative opinions about each other without having invested necessary time and neighborly effort to know each other. Due to this ignorance of each other, we generalize our neighbors by race, religion, ethnicity, etc.
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…
These Community Peace Dinners therefore disrupt individual loneliness, depression, and vulnerability. Through these neighborly dinners, we become parts 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 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. Through the network of these dinners, we get the neighborhood youth involve in positive and productive vocations that dismantles 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.
Community Peace Dinners take place every week throughout the Bronx. For further information or interested in hosting/sponsoring/attending these dinners, you can call 718-822-5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you! #ncpbc