Monday, October 11, 2010

Violence strikes vigil for 16-year-old

I saw the following article in today's Daily News:
Violence strikes vigil for 16-year-old in Southwest Philly

The crowd members prayed silently in the darkness, their heads bowed and cheeks wet, as they gathered around a ring of shimmering candles and a heap of teddy bears to remember a 16-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a garbage truck while riding his bike.
Then gunfire erupted, shattering the quiet. Dozens of panic-stricken teens ran in all directions. Someone tripped over a candle, and a stuffed animal caught fire, at the corner of 58th Street and Elmwood Avenue, in Southwest Philly....

Original Article
Philadelphia Daily News
Read more:

There was a time when a story like this seemed unbelievable...Now it doesn't even seem unusual!

Violence is a learned behavior. Young people are learning by what they see, hear and experience. Our city, neighborhoods, schools and churches must commit to TEACH non-violence to our youth. Teaching is not just words but ACTIONS.

For over ten years, the Don't Fall Down in the Hood Program's comprehensive violence intervention curriculum has employed a combination of mentorship, self actualization, and psycho-social activites to reach and reform violent juvenile offenders.

To date, the program has mentored over 1000 youth with a nearly 90% success rate in getting them back on track toward becoming well adjusted, and productive members of their community.

Coming in 2011, The Don't Fall Down in the Hood curriculum will be available for use by educators, youth workers, counselors and anyone with an interest in teaching the principles of non-violence to youth. Together, we can make a difference.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Don't Fall Down in the Hood program caught in the budget vise

The youth violence prevention program, Don't Fall Down in the Hood recently experienced budget cuts of $150,000. This program is the ONLY gun prevention program in Pennsylvania and has a 95% success rate in rehabiliating violent youth.

Usually able to help over 100 at-risk youth annually, the program can now only work with about 13 youth. These budget cuts also come at a time when, according to Philadelphia school superindendant Arlene Ackerman, juvenile violence has reached epidemic proportions. If this is true, THEN WHY THE CUTS?!?!?

Film maker Dianne R. Thompson produced a documentary about the Don't Fall Down in the Hood The program, which will be released to DVD on March 25, 2010. A Fundraiser will be held to promote DVD sales and to recoup about $20,000 of the $150,000 lost to cuts.

An article about the Don't Fall Down inthe Hood program was featured onthe front page of the Daily News on Monday, 3/15.
The article can be found here. Very interesting info for anyone who is concerned about the violence killing our city's youth!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Forum on Phila. crime agrees problem is complex

By Troy Graham

Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

In a wide-ranging public discussion last night of Philadelphia's crime problem, city leaders seemed to be in agreement mainly on its complexity.

Poverty, school dropout rates, drugs in the neighborhoods, and easy access to illegal guns all were cited as major contributors to crime. The answers were as varied as the problems.

Read Full Article

Monday, February 8, 2010

Can't get a gun here? No problem: Florida will issue permit, and local police must honor it.

IMAGINE HAVING YOUR driver's license revoked in Pennsylvania but then being able to get one in Florida - through the mail - that must then be honored here. Now imagine it happens with guns. Because it does.
Read Full Article

Friday, February 5, 2010


Join Me This Monday Night and Support Lost or Stolen Handgun Reporting Law
in Radnor Township

WHO: Radnor Township Commissioners Meeting
WHAT: Public discussion and voting on Lost or Stolen Handgun Reporting
WHEN: 7:30 PM
WHERE: Radnor Township Municipal Building
301 Iven Avenue, Radnor

Do you think gun violence is a problem in the Philadelphia region and in Pennsylvania?
Do you believe there are too many illegal guns being trafficked in our cities and towns?
Are you outraged that 20 Pennsylvania policemen have been shot and killed since 2002 – most of them by criminals with illegal handguns – but no one seems willing to stand up and do anything about it?

If you’re tired of no one doing anything about gun violence, if you’re fed up with a General Assembly in Harrisburg that turns up at police funerals – but turns away when we ask them to show some courage and pass reforms to prevent gun violence – we’re asking you to get involved – now – and come out to Radnor Township Municipal Building on Monday night for an important public hearing on a reasonable step to help police curb illegal handgun trafficking: Lost or Stolen Handgun Reporting. -- Submitted by: CeaseFirePA

Sunday, January 17, 2010

DRTFilms to Release First DVD

DRTFilms will release its highly acclaimed documentary, "Don't Fall Down in the Hood" to DVD on March 25, 2010.

A release party/fund-raiser is planned on that date, to be held on the Temple University campus, which is the location of the Don't Fall Down in the Hood program. Special guests will include D.A. Seth Williams, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Ramsey, Archye Leacock, Executive Director of the Don't Fall Down in the Hood program, and DRTFilms Executive Producer/Director Dianne R. Thompson.

Don't Fall Down in the Hood is an urban documentary examining the high rate of gun violence among African American youth.

Dianne R. Thompson was awarded several grants, including a 2008 Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, for the production of Don't Fall Down in the Hood.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Ring of [Their] Own

More Girls and Women Are Entering Ranks of Amateur Boxing

By Dagny Salas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 15, 2009

Madison Marshall, boxed into a corner of the ring, was getting hit over
and over again when her trainer, Jennifer Salinas, yelled, "Get back
in the center, get back in the center!"

Breathing hard and with her ponytail bouncing, 14-year-old Maddie and her sparring partner were soon dancing around the ring again, trading punches.

Maddie is one of 36 competitors in all-female amateur boxing matches Saturday at Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George's County. District-based promoter Wanda Bruce, who organized the fights, said the event is an opportunity for young female boxers to gain ring experience for higher levels of competition.

Until this week, when the International Olympic Committee decided to
include the sport in the 2012 games in London, boxing had been the only Summer Olympics sport without female representation.

Bruce is the only promoter organizing all-female fights in the Washington area, said Luke Runion, the athletes' representative for the Potomac Valley Association, a USA Boxing committee. Competitions typically feature nine or 10 bouts, but Bruce is offering 18 to accommodate demand.

"More all-women's shows are cropping up around country," Runion
said. The rise in women's amateur boxing can be credited to the increasingly mainstream appeal of the sport, said Christy Halbert, a longtime boxing coach and head of the Women's Task Force for USA Boxing. She said that about 100,000 women in the United States participate in some form of boxing, whether at a gym or competitive levels. When women began to compete in boxing in the United States in 1993, Halbert said, they were barred from training in gyms, and male coaches refused to train them.

"It's hard for girls to find other girls in their skill set," said Julie Goldsticker, a spokeswoman for USA Boxing. "The more opportunities you have in tournaments, the more likely you are to stay interested in the sport."

Kieona Barnes, 22, will also make her debut at Rosecroft on Saturday.
She is a night security officer and trains early in the morning after
her shift. She said she began boxing five years ago to relieve stress,
and she has noticed another benefit.

"When I have a bad day and I see young girls not hanging out on
streets, and we're all in the gym together doing something positive,"
Barnes said, "it makes me smile."