- Promote the value of LIFE
- Develop teens and adults into peer leaders, to avoid becoming perpetrators or victims of violence
- Provide young people with the tools and resources that promote critical thinking, self-empowerment and personal accountability
- Build partnerships between public and private sectors to respond collectively, collaboratively and holistically to the issue of youth violence
- Create a model for reducing violence that will provide stakeholders with the necessary skills and resources to effectively implement positive change within their own communities
January 15 – 22 marks our annual NY Peace Week, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy of non-violence. Organized by LIFE Camp, Inc., the collective goal is to create a culture of peace throughout NYC for 7 days by hosting an event, performing an activity or simply taking one personal action toward creating inner peace and setting a positive example for youth.
NY Peace Week’s theme and messaging is: #PeaceIsALIFEStyle. Youth and celebrity ambassadors will blog, tweet and post user generated content for 7 days, sharing experiences that reinforce this year’s theme and messaging.
Peace Week galvanizes the efforts of entertainers, cultural icons, government leaders, educators, athletes and community based organizations to host an event or lend their voice to the message of peace. Confirmed NY Peace Week celebrity ambassadors include: Russell Simmons, Deepak Chopra, Michael Strahan, Cheryl “Salt” Wray, and more!
1.5 Million NYC Teens & Young Adults
NY Peace Week targets 18 -25 year old tech-savvy, socially active teens, college students and young adults throughout the NY Tri-State Area who are influenced by pop culture and multi-media. Via events and digital platforms, NY Peace Week will also encourage peer leadership and role modeling among this demo, for youth under age 18 who are looking to them for examples.
Erica Ford is widely respected as one of the most diligent and hard working activists of her generation. Always on a mission, she is uncompromisingly dedicated to improving of the lives of Black and Latino youth and of the community-at-large. Her current service is centered on LIFE Camp, a youth-based nonprofit organization that she co-founded in 2002. Ms. Ford’s life long activism, however, began years prior and has taken her all over the world. Of her years of service, Erica offers this perspective: “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.”
Why Peace Week?
Homicide is the leading cause of death among NYC youth. One in ten NYC teens report not going to school because of feeling unsafe at school or on their way to school. Many NYC youth are measuring their lives in 2 – 5 year cycles, not believing that they will survive beyond the next 5 years. Proceeds from funds raised during NY Peace week will go toward summer programs and activities for NYC youth, to provide positive alternatives to youth violence and other forms of negative behavior.
Russell Simmons is the most widely respected hip hop pioneers in the world, a notable philanthropist and unarguably one of the 21st century’s most culturally influential entrepreneurs.
A native New Yorker from Queens, Russell has been working closely with Erica Ford, giving talks in schools and correctional facilities on how young people can make positive choices despite adverse conditions.
Says Russell, “The violence in our streets is consistently overlooked and the innocent are killed in our communities on an ongoing basis… NYC Peace Week is a great statement and start at acknowledging this fact, while showing that the community can exist without violence.”
Deepak Chopra is the Founder and Chairman of the Chopra Foundation, and Founder and Co-Chairman of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. Chopra is known as a prolific author of nearly sixty books with eighteen New York Times Bestsellers on mind-body health, spirituality, and peace.
A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra’s books have been published in more than thirty-five languages in both fiction and non-fiction. His latest book, The Soul of Leadership, was mentioned as one of five best business books to read for your career by FINS – Wall Street Journal.
Says Deepak, “These gang leaders; they have self-power as opposed to agency power. They feel beneath no one, they are fearless, and they have a sense of self. If you can give that same sense of self to a young person – with all those ingredients, but with the right motivation – a gang leader becomes a real leader.”
Super Bowl Champion and FOX NFL SUNDAY co-host Michael Strahan retired from the National Football League (NFL) in 2007 after completing his 15th season with the New York Giants and leading the team to their dramatic Super Bowl victory over the previously unbeaten New England Patriots.
Strahan had an outstanding 2007 season, as he was once again among the leaders in sacks and headed up one of the top defenses in the NFL.
Michael Strahan has been an avid supporter of LIFE Camp, Inc. and the efforts of Erica Ford for over five years.
Cheryl “Salt” Wray
Cheryl “Salt” James is one of the lead performers in the best-selling female rap duo, Salt-N-Pepa.
The first female rappers to receive a Grammy award and the best-selling female rap act with over 15 million albums and singles sold worldwide, Salt-N-Pepa gave females across the globe a voice within their communities and the music industry as a whole.
Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Queens, Salt says, “It is important for each one of us to do our part to create a peaceful lifestyle for our children and families.”
An internationally recognized attorney, publisher and artist advocate, L. Londell McMillan is recognized as one of the most influential leaders of his generation. He is a partner and co-head of the Media and Entertainment Global Industry Sector Group at the international law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. Mr. McMillan is also an entrepreneur and Executive Publisher of the re-focused Source Magazine and the recently launched Jones Magazine. Mr. McMillan specializes in the law of business and commercial transactions, litigation, communications, entertainment, intellectual property, and government affairs. Regarded as an international expert, Mr. McMillan’s elite client list includes legendary artists, professional sports clients, authors, legislators, executives and businesses in the communications, media, entertainment, and real estate industries. Over the years, he has represented icons such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, L.L. Cool J, Spike Lee, and many others. Mr. McMillan has also represented corporate clients such as The Discovery Channel, Time Warner, Screenvision, Radio One, TIAA-CREF and Mercedes Benz.