Erica Ford is notably one of the most diligent and effective activists of her generation, providing a voice for Black and Latino youth around the world. Her fearlessness, allegiance to community advancement, and keen ability to build substantial partnerships, has garnered her numerous national and international accolades.
In true Ford form — following the tragic murders of two community children — Erica founded LIFE Camp, Inc. in 2002 to teach violence prevention in schools. By 2006, it had grown into a non-profit that not only focused on violence prevention, but also provided empowerment opportunities for youth who were educationally, economically, and socially disadvantaged. Ceillise Craig, a LIFE Camp former student who once attempted suicide says “If it wasn’t for Erica Ford I would be dead or in jail, she saved My LIFE & changed My LIFE.”
The work coming out of LIFE Camp Inc., has become so monumental that it has spawned anI Love My LIFE tour which highlighted young entrepreneurs, visits various schools and prisons throughout New York City. “Erica Ford has encouraged me to work for her, the work that Erica does is direct she speaks to community members and comes up with real results” stated Russell Simmons on NY 1 interview. LIFE Camp kids also stood side by side with Attorney General Eric Holder and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the 12th Annual NAN National Convention, appealing building the dialogue for federal intervention regarding teen violence. Ronald Merritt acknowledged ”That Erica Ford put a camera in my hand made me put down my gun and now I have my own business and all I shoot is video’s & documentaries…I Love My LIFE”
When queried about her tireless efforts, The Queens, NY native offers, “This is not a job, this is my LIFE; my undying love keeps me committed to my people until my glory day takes me away.”