During our Women Writers Week, I have applauded the brave women of Ukraine, but I would also like to applaud the brave women doing great and important work in the United States. Today, I invite you to help me celebrate the twentieth anniversary of LIFE (Love Ignites Freedom through Education) Camp, which was started by the internationally-recognized and widely-respected peacemaker Erica Ford in 2002 to aid urban youth. Frankly, I think that Erica Ford is a National Treasure and I urge you to donate to the organization's crowdfunding campaign (here).
LIFE Camp's official site states that through its groundbreaking programs, Ms. Ford has empowered thousands of individuals and families to break the cycle of violence and promote peace. Her concept for increasing safety has been adopted and implemented by New York City, resulting in a 10% reduction in violence citywide.
We previously highlighted Ms. Ford during our Black Writers Week. She said, "I co-founded LIFE Camp because the number of funerals I was attending for young people made me think there HAD to be something else. There had to be another way… Gun violence is not a problem that is specific to one neighborhood, city or state. Gun violence has permeated our national conscience. It is a disease that is spreading and needs to be stopped. I believe it’s imperative that we attempt to understand people on both sides of the pistol. They both need our help, because hurt people hurt people. This is the philosophy of LIFE Camp and this is why we have been able to stop so many potentially violent situations."
Her dedication to reducing violence has taken her to prisons, community centers, high schools, college campuses and conferences throughout the world. She was singled out by President Biden at the White House this year where he made a commitment to increasing the funds to help bring peace to our communities. The recent LIFE Camp video below is both poignant and clear-eyed in promoting peace as a lifestyle as an antidote to the disease of violence. Please donate to help Peace Doctor #1 continue her good works.
You can find ways to donate to LIFE Camp here and view a video about their new crowdfunding campaign below...