Posts Tagged ‘gun violence’

Harlem Girl Says She Doesn’t Like Police

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

FullSizeRenderBy Alice Kenny

The words of a four-year-old Harlem girl, “I don’t like the police,” sparked a gathering of over 100 children and 40 police officers at Catholic Charities Joseph P. Kennedy Center on February 21.

The little girl, spooked by what she heard about police shootings of unarmed black men, made her comment to Jackie Rowe, founder of Harlem Mother SAVE, an organization founded by mothers who lost their sons to gun violence.

“Jackie realized at that point how our babies are affected by what they see and hear from the news, adults and teens,” says Deacon Rodney Beckford who runs center that held the event.  “Indeed, there is the effect police officers have on the community as they carry out their duty while babies watch.”

So Ms. Rowe and community affairs police officers decided to host a small event with a few children to dispel the notion that police are bad.

Instead, the event, held on a stormy winter day, was packed with Harlem children, police chiefs, captains, sergeants and patrolmen.  For four hours mounted police took selfies with children, jumped double dutch, flopped in a two-story bounce ride brought in by the police and painted faces with a clown.

New York City’s highest ranked uniform officer, NYPD Department Chief James O’Neill, fielded questions from children ages 3 – 15 as fellow police gave out NYPD basketballs and ate pizza with the children.

“To bring families and communities together is what Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Center exists to do in the Harlem community,” says Deacon Beckford.  “That’s what we at Catholic Charities are called to do day in and day out.”

Pick Up a Basketball, Not a Gun

Monday, February 16th, 2015

basketkenn2011mothers 019By Alice Kenny

Put the guns down.
Pick up the ball.
And let’s recreate.

That’s the plea for the third year straight of Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E., an empowered group begun by five broken-hearted Harlem mothers who lost their sons to gun violence.

Their goal is to provide positive alternatives, specifically basketball, to keep teenage boys away from the street’s vices.

To support them, Catholic Charities will once again host a basketball tournament at our Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Center during the mid-winter school recess, starting today, February 16, and ending Friday, February, 20, 2015.  The tournament this year will be offered exclusively to teens detained in local juvenile facilities.

“Together,” they say, “we can silence the violence.”

Harlem Mother Fights Back After Losing Two Sons to Gun Violence

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

February is the toughest month, Jackie Rowe-Adams tells Msgr. Kevin Sullivan during their conversation aired on JustLove on February 23.  Her two sons were shot dead in Harlem, one 15 years ago, one 30 years ago and both in February.  They died for no good reason, just crazy gun violence.

“Who’s giving our kids all these guns?” she asks.  “We have to take charge, take back our kids, take back our community.”

To fight back, Ms.  Rowe-Adams co-founded Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E. (Stop Another Violent Act) in 2006.

The group meets regularly at Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Community Center in Harlem.

Ms. Rowe-Adams confronted National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre at the group’s convention in April, she told Msgr. Sullivan, and heard back from him this month after the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting.

Listen to JustLove, the Catholic Channel, to learn more about how Harlem mothers are fighting gun violence and the support they receive from Catholic Charities.

JustLove airs weekly on Saturday at 10 am EST on SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio on The Catholic Channel 129.