Murder rates are up. Shootings are out of control and blood is in the streets. But now, a group of Philadelphia civic leaders plan to do something about it. At an
Anti-Violence Summit held yesterday at the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia, 53 people and organizations pledged support for the campaign in writing. The document states that the signers agree to support "all reasonable efforts to promote the healing of our communities. I/we also agree to set aside any past, present or future disagreements that may interfere with, or in any way inhibit our ability to work harmoniously to achieve our common goal of healing our respective communities.” The meeting, organized by the Philadelphia Black Public Issues Forum and moderated by activist Gary Adams, brought together an array of different voices at the renowned church at 18 th and Diamond streets. "We need to take control of our own lives and our own communities," lawyer and activist John Churchville told the audience, receiving appreciative applause. "Each of us has a piece of the solution…” Wesley Wilson-Bey (Men United Against Violence) said. “Strength in combating violence comes in numbers. No one organization is going to win this war. It's like cancer. We've got to come together. We really do."
Excerpted from an article by Regina Medina, Writer for the Philadelphia Daily News July 17, 2006
n July 16th 2006, a diverse group of activists and organizations met and signed pledges to work together to solve problems in our communities that affect us all. If you were unable to attend, it is not too late to become a part of this historic coalition.
Included in this package is the Pledge of Commitment. Have an authorized representative of your group or organization complete this form to become part of The Coalition and to be placed on the Weekly Digest mailing list which alerts members to events and projects which affect our communities. Membership is also available through our Google Group “The Coalition” http://groups.google.com/group/coalition-the, which has many valuable resources for community based organizations.
The uniqueness of an association such as The Coalition is it gives a more powerful voice and community resources to the smallest neighborhood groups, while allowing the larger groups to become more effective and maintain their identity and individualism.
Our initial offensive reached out to many families and parenting groups and was very successful. Quoting Dr. Churchville, founder of Philadelphia Black Public Issues Forum…
“If you or I had the answer, there would be no problem… but each of us has a piece, and together we have the answer.”
Doing what most have considered impossible, we have put aside our differences to become a single unit of unique endeavors.
Who we are
The Coalition is a collective of organizations and persons who have already demonstrated their individual commitment to finding and implementing solutions to the ills that plague our communities.
Sincere Philadelphia-area activists joined to form The Coalition. Our members are focused on one specific goal: Improving the quality of life for our families. Although we may have different methods of reaching our goal, we will work collectively to achieve success.
The Coalition operates on the idea that there are already organizations in place to address most, if not all of the problems particular to our communities, and that through networking, we can channel these forces in an intelligent and focused assault. We realize that in order to heal the Nation, we must begin with the family nucleus. We have recruited, and are continuing to solicit organizations that target family health.
The tendency to depend on outside forces and political 'misleadership' has been a major source of inertia and apathy among our peoples. Politicians with personal, financial and celebrity agendas feed off the carrion, which is the devastation of our neighborhoods.
The only way to defeat this physical and psychological blighting is to heal the families that make up our neighborhoods. Only then will we be able to effect change through legislation and self-policing of our communities.
We have begun at the level of the immediate concern, our young people, Frederick Douglas once said:
"It is easier to build children than it is to repair men."
We must offer alternatives and set examples as to how to conduct ourselves with honor and respect. We extend to you the opportunity to support and be supported by organizations of similar ilk.
Join The Coalition!
Our mission is to network and channel individual and organization expertise, skills, abilities and resources into a collective and cooperative force; thereby maximizing our effectiveness to improve the quality of life for our families.
What We Have Done
The Coalition launched the first of a series of Young People’s Anti-Violence Summits to elicit the opinions and involvement of the youth most affected by the horrid conditions extant today. On August 16, 2006, The Coalition held our first Young People's Anti-Violence Summit The summit was for youth from junior high school age through the early twenties. The summit afforded the young people freedom of expression, and a forum to discuss amongst themselves the issues and concerns that shape their current world. As adult activists and concerned community organizations, we provided a safe, welcoming, and open environment where our young people spoke with, heard and listened to themselves without the lectures occasional discouraging words they have come to expect from their elders. The summit convened at the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
Our second Young People's Anti-Violence Summit was held at Club 923 on Watts Street in North Philadelphia. The Coalition again convened another Young People’s Anti-Violence Summit gathering to get our young people actively involved in the shaping of solutions to their immediate concerns. The popular youth television program Urban Expressions was present, and became involved by taping and broadcasting our first televised interview.
The next Young People’s Anti-Violence Summit was hosted by Teens-In-Charge on April 21, 2007 at the High School Of The Future.
On January 21, 2007, Physicians for Social Responsibility and The Coalition presented a "Bullying Management Workshop" for schools and organizations. The workshop featured Mr. Kenneth Houston, conflict resolution expert, who presented dispute-resolution workshops that were designed to teach preventative methods that can be utilized by individuals and organizational staff.
The Coalition has launched A HAND UP! An internet group that facilitates the transfer and sharing of resources between groups that have surplus or no longer needed resources with those who have an immediate need of those resources. (http://groups.google.com/group/a-hand-up)
The Coalition continues to meet with many leaders of faith based organizations in the Philadelphia area to convene our first ‘Interdenominational World Faith-based Summit’ to bring to bear our religious community's strength on the problem of community decline.
Other upcoming events will deal with effective leadership, conflict resolution; parenting and a unique summit featuring many of the area’s faith-based organizations who seek to dissolve denominational boundaries and focus some of the most powerful forces in our communities on these problems. You may attend any of our events to participate, learn more and/or have your group, your place of worship or your organization become part of The Coalition.
For more information: 215.387.2734
and join our Google group: http://groups.google.com/group/coalition-the
(A Partial Listing of Committed Organizations)
THE COALITION PLEDGE OF COMMITMENT
For the purpose of retrieving the lost, retaining the endangered, and preserving our future, I, __________________
___________(print name), representing ______________________________________ (organization/city/state),
do hereby pledge my/our commitment, and with authority granted me by _____________ ____________(Authorized individual/committee), of _____________________________(organization listed above), herein pledge my/our support
of all reasonable efforts to promote the healing of our communities.
I/we also agree to set aside any past, present or future disagreements that may interfere with, or in any way inhibit our
ability to work harmoniously to achieve our common goal of healing our respective communities.
I/we further pledge to, where possible, assist in all reasonable efforts, irrespective of origin, designed to contribute to the healthy restoration of our families, communities and Nation.
Pledged by______________________ (signature), representing__________________________ (organization) _______________________________ (organization address)
_______________________________ (contact person)
Today’s date: _____________________
Your Organization: _________________________________________
Your Mission Statement /Purpose:_________________________________________________________
How can The Coalition help? ____________________________________________________________
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