Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Could mayor's anti-violence campaign draw a lesson from Newark?

As Plainfield tries to come to terms with its gang problems, it could be useful to check in on what one Newark leader, Yusef Ismail, and his organization are doing to deal with gunplay and gangs among its youth.

Here is a press release on an event Ismail is hosting today --


NEWARK, N.J. -- ( – Stop Shootin’ Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to ending senseless gun violence in urban communities will launch its 2010 Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) during a “Breakfast Kick-off” on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm at the Stop Shootin’ Inc. headquarters, 458 Washington Street, Newark. The YEP program will commence by welcoming the new class into the program by sharing inspiring stories of success from both local business owners and YEP staff.

The Stop Shootin’ Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP) is a community based summer program designed to provide young people with an opportunity to learn how to develop a business idea and possibly turn it into a successful business venture. The overall goal of the program is to inspire young people to view entrepreneurship as an option for success while helping them grow in personal development and become positive leaders in their communities.YEP will target in-school youth between the ages of 14-19 who live in underserved communities in Newark, NJ. During a six-week program, YEP will host up to 15 young people who will participate in the program and meet four times a week for 4 hours. The six-week teaching process will culminate in the participants’ creation of full business plans and delivery of 5-minute oral presentations to an executive judging panel during a one day business plan competition. Three cash prizes ($500, $300, $100) will be given to participants for the best business plans.

As a grassroots community organization focused on youth development, Stop Shootin’, Inc. recognized a need to provide the resources, tools, and positive experiences necessary to address the challenges faced by inner city youth. Stop Shootin’, Inc. Executive Director, Yusef Ismail states,

“Our program is not only a benefit to the participants, but to the community as a whole. I believe it is becoming crystal clear that the days of government and multi-national corporations providing jobs and taking care of our retirements are long gone. There is simply no better vehicle for job creation than fostering entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs create approximately three million jobs a year. As our community continues to work through this exceptionally trying recession, we can look back on our history and say with confidence that we will get through it - and when we do, entrepreneurs will be leading the charge.”

The Stop Shootin’ Youth Entrepreneurship Program was developed with the help of an innovation grant from the Prudential Foundation and a partnership with the Newark One Stop Career Center. For further information, please contact Yusef Ismail at 973-732-3280 or visit the Stop Shootin’ website at
New, well-thought-out, consistent and long-range thinking is being brought to bear on a situation where public funding is no longer a viable expectation.

Might there be lessons for Plainfield here?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

I think it is a great idea. It is the well thought out part that will pose the challenge.

Rob said...

This looks like an awesome interactive plan that might help to say the very least. But...look at the planning and accountability involved...There is NO way Sharon could accomplish this and do it right. Sharon is NO Corey Booker, or ( God and I am vomiting a little as I write this )Sharpe James ( forgive me Lord )and wouldn't have a clue how to announce it properly much less run it.

Anonymous said...

beinq apart in this program i can say that this is a wonderul expericence and i hope this helps me in the future : )