Peace by Piece Slide Show

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Night Out Against Crime
“Tonight was the best night of my life,” says a nine year old from the Desire Neighborhood after her “stomp the violence” dance contest performance at our Night Out Against Crime community event.

These feelings were also felt throughout the Desire neighborhood amongst other youth that attended the 28th Annual National Night Out Against Crime event on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 for neighborhoods throughout the Greater New Orleans Area. The American Friends Service Committee’s New Orleans office joined forces with the Desire For Change community group, Desire Fellowship church group, The City of New Orleans, The New Orleans Police Department Crime Prevention Unit(CrimeStoppers) and the Sampson Neighborhood Park to plan a local youth focused event to celebrate a commitment to peace in the New Orleans community.

Our Sampson Park Night Out Against Crime event in the Desire neighborhood in the 9th Ward was designed to increase crime prevention awareness, develop positive youth alternatives to violent crimes, and generate support for and participate in local peace and justice programs. The primary focus of all the event partners was to strengthen the neighborhood spirit in the 9th Ward community and to increase police-community partnerships to fight against community violence.

The New Orleans community hosted over 249 gatherings in honor of the national Night Out Against Crime campaign. To promote community planning efforts, The New Orleans Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit(CrimeStoppers) held a contest to award the best youth focused neighborhood events. The American Friends Service Committee along with several community partners won second place in this contest earning a $200 donation from CrimeStoppers, two local television news appearances by Night Out Against Crime organizers, CrimeStoppers youth gift packages, and visits from local law enforcement to our Night Out Against Crime event.

Our award winning event hosted approximately 165 youth of color in four “stomp the violence” themed activities.  Youth participated in our “Stomp the Violence” dance contest, “Dodge the Violence” dodge ball game, “Kick N’ Free” kick ball game, “Peace is Power” street art activities and much more. There were also live musical performances by local youth activists and refreshments.

The National Night Out Against Crime campaign has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program to promote neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships in our fight for a safer city. New Orleans has 97 neighborhood watch groups and around 160 people signed commitment cards to start or join their neighborhood watch groups because of Night Out Against Crime activities according to New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu, in a interview.

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