Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Event Saturday in support of a Youth Resource Center

From the group's website.
Plainfield High School's auditorium will be the venue Saturday afternoon for an event in support of a Youth Resource Center for the community.

Sponsors of the event are Giving Initiatives and Alternatives, Inc., an Atlanta-based nonprofit (more here), and Plainfield Against Killing (see more here).

According to the Plainfield Against Killing website, planning for the event got under way this past December at the urging of Abdul Karriem Muhammad (known to many as longtime community activist Linward Cathcart), and includes the following objectives --

1) To increase security in the City of Plainfield by coordinating  and urging business owners in troubled areas to pool resources to hire police officers to patrol during late hours. 

2) To form additional security teams made up of residents who would be responsible for patrolling their own areas.

3) To gain control of or partner with a facility to operate a Community Resource Center that would cater to some of the social needs of the community including counseling services, food for the needy,  job training and job placement.

4) To form a Counsel of Elders that would act to resolve issues that affect the community.

5) To have black history courses incorporated into the elementary schools as a regular part of the curriculum.

6) To remain NON-POLITICAL and to perform our tasks for the community because of genuine concern and responsibility.

7) To establish a "no questions asked" gun turn in program with incentives for those turning in guns.
More than fifty participants have been invited to give brief (3-5 minutes each) remarks, and many are already confirmed, including Karriem Muhammad, City Council President Annie McWilliams, and Board of Ed President Renata Hernandez, as well as Gloria Taylor (widow of the late mayor Rick Taylor), activist Roland Muhammad, POP founder Larry Hamm, and many others. Lenny Cathcart, youth advocate and former Board of Ed member, will emcee the afternoon's event. Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs is listed as invited, though not yet confirmed.

After a break from 3:00 to 3:30 PM to visit vendor booths, participants will be treated to a closing segment featuring more than twenty local groups and individual artists.

The website says the event is being organized 'to express our concerns over the violence and to provide solutions to some of the problems'.

While it looks like great care was taken to involve broad segments of the community, there are some omissions that strike me as non-inclusive:

  • Latino outreach seems severely limited given the number of individuals and groups active in the community;

  • No mention is made of one of our great community activists, former Council member Joann Hollis; and

  • Only one of the city's two thriving youth baseball leagues is mentioned.
That said, the event should be a good start to rally support for the group's long-rage goal of a Youth Resource Center.

In Support Of A
Youth Resource Center

Saturday, May 28
1:00 PM

PHS Auditorium
950 Park Avenue

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

I am trying to post a comment to the Plainfield Against Killing post on this site but see no way to link my comment to the article. So if you can direct this comment to the appropriate place, it will be appreciated. My comment is this: As human beings, are we not all against the senseless killing of any living being? Why do we need an organization named "Plainfield Against Killing"? By acknowledging this organization, we appear to be savages, at best. I encourage any other Plainfield (or otherwise) human being to respond. Its a sad state of affairs when a group with the words "against killing" in its name has to form. Just my opinion.