Tag: Life Camp

LL Cool J and Russell Simmons Visit and Encourage Youth at Rikers Island

Russell Simmons, LLCoolJ
Russell Simmons; LL Cool J (Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — A group of young people at a New York City jail complex got some words of encouragement on Thursday from hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and actor/rapper LL Cool J.

The two visited Rikers Island to mark the launch of a national anti-violence program from Simmons’ RushCard, a prepaid debit card.  RushCard’s Keep the Peace initiative is giving grants to neighborhood organizations. One of those is LIFE Camp, a Queens organization that works with young people, including those at Rikers, to reduce violence.

Cool J told the audience that his rough upbringing could have had him where they are if things had worked out differently, and he encouraged them to believe in themselves.  “You can absolutely without a doubt do anything you put your mind to,” he said.

Simmons told them to focus on what’s inside them.  “It’s your spirit you’ve got to work on,” he said.

Deputy Warden Clement Glenn said partnering with programs like LIFE Camp is among the ways the Department of Correction tries to get young people to change their behavior.

“We’re trying to encourage them not to come back into the system, hoping they will integrate into society and become contributing members of their community,” he said.

article via thegrio.com

Russell Simmons Donates $10K to New York Anti-Violence Program Life Camp

Russell Simmons attends 2013 ADWEEK Brand Genius Awards at Capitale on September 25, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
Russell Simmons attends 2013 ADWEEK Brand Genius Awards at Capitale on September 25, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

Russell Simmons has amassed close to three million follows on Twitter and the strong presence he holds on the social media site had a powerful impact Wednesday night.  Simmons sent Tweets to help raise money for a New-York-based anti-violence program that has launched a campaign on the fundraising site Crowdtilt.

The program, called Life Camp, is a non-profit violence prevention program that is hoping to raise $100,000 to help end gun violence and provide positive alternatives to kids and young adults.  “During the prior eighteen months, before our full program was implemented, 17 people had been shot in our community,” wrote Erica Ford, the executive director of Life Camp. “Once our program was fully operational, we had 340 days of NO SHOOTINGS in our target area in South Jamaica, Queens.”

According to the Crowdtilt page, a government grant was delayed, which ultimately led to the closing of the community center.  Since most of the program’s resources have been exhausted, the program’s founders turned to the crowd funding site to raise money.  Simmons announced on Twitter that he has donated $10,000 to the campaign and asked followers to give money to the cause by promising retweets to those who said they pledged.

“Who can give $5, $10, $20 to save program that has saved lives of so many young people?? NO MORE BULLETS IN THE HOOD! http://tilt.tc/snyD,” he wrote. This followed his earlier tweet which said, “first ten people to donate $10 or more to keep one of the most critical anti-violence programs open, gets a RT.”

He kept his word – soon, followers responded to the call and Simmons thanked them for their kindness via Twitter.  By the end of the night, Simmons reported that more than $775 was raised.  There are still 27 days left in the fundraising campaign and the program has not yet reached half of their target goal. The money will be used towards initiatives like keeping the community center open and to restart the program’s “I Love My Life” campaign tours in local churches and schools.

To learn more about “Give Life to LIFE Camp! No More Bullets In The Hood” campaign, click here.

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com