THE GATHERING FOR JUSTICE URGES PRESIDENT BIDEN AND NYC MAYOR ERIC ADAMS TO INVEST IN COMMUNITY-BASED SOLUTIONS TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND PROMOTE PUBLIC SAFETY
February 3, 2022 (New York, NY) — As President Biden and Mayor Adams meet to discuss citywide and federal action to combat gun violence, The Gathering for Justice calls upon these leaders to consider the impact of more policing on Black and Brown communities. It is possible to take meaningful action towards ending gun violence without subjecting our communities to aggressive, unconstitutional and traumatizing policing tactics.
“We can no longer accept proposals which come at the expense of Black and Brown communities. Public safety is created by meeting the needs of people who are suffering the effects of poverty, generational trauma and lack of resources. Given the NYPD’s documented history of abusing its power and refusing to hold violent officers accountable, we cannot trust them to effectively reduce gun violence, only to further brutalize and harass Black and Brown New Yorkers,” said Carmen Perez-Jordan, President and CEO of The Gathering for Justice.
Luis Hernandez, National Director of Youth Campaigns and Leadership at The Gathering for Justice, shared, “My brother, Pedro Hernandez, was held in jail for over a year without a shred of evidence, after shots were fired in our neighborhood. The charges were dropped and the NYPD detective who arrested him was exposed for corruption, but no one can undo the trauma he still lives with or all the opportunities he missed to be a normal teenager. The call for additional investment in policing will further traumatize young people, and result in increased violence.”
The Gathering for Justice advocates for policy solutions that reduce incarceration, such as the Youth Justice & Opportunities Act in New York State and the BREATHE Act on the federal level. The Gathering for Justice has trained violence interrupters throughout the country, a proven community-led strategy for reducing gun violence while creating opportunities for mentorship, healing and supportive resources. The organization is also a leading voice on creating accountability for officers who harm and kill civilians.
The Gathering for Justice is a nonprofit founded in 2005 by Harry Belafonte and led since 2010 by President and CEO Carmen Perez-Jordan. The mission of The Gathering for Justice is to end child incarceration and eliminate the racial inequities that permeate the justice system. The Gathering for Justice has two state-based task forces, Justice League NYC (established in 2013) and Justice League California (established in 2017), both of which bring together juvenile and criminal justice experts, advocates, artists and individuals who’ve experienced or been impacted by incarceration directly. We believe in an organizing model which draws from diverse communities to utilize our combined power to build the agenda for sustained black and brown liberation. In the footsteps of our legendary founder’s activism, The Gathering for Justice and its Justice League state task forces utilize Kingian nonviolence as a social application for systemic change and civic engagement.