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Stop the Violence! Press Conference

Legendary Hip-Hop Icon KRS-ONE’s Stop The Violence Movement Organization, The North Houston Frontiers Club, and its partners held a press conference at the Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau at City Hall to announce the re-launching of the Stop The Violence Movement (STVM) National Lectures and Performance Series 20th Anniversary which will start at the North Houston Frontiers Club’s 21st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast on Monday, January 19, 2009 at 8:15AM where KRS-One will be the Keynote Speaker. The STVM Series is an initiative to reverse the epidemic of black on black crime, and a call to the City of Houston for action.

The press conference included remarks from Hakim Green, Executive Director of Stop The Violence Movement; Shirley Williams, President of the North Houston Frontiers Club; Martin Troupe, Executive Director of Houston Crime Collation & CCM; Minister Robert Mohammad; Constable May Walker; Houston Celebrity Hip-Hop artist, Bun B, Community Voice & Motivational Speaker; City of Houston Controller Annise Parker; Council Members Peter Brown; and other business and community leaders.

A national study, released last month, found a 139% increase in the number of black suspects in Houston homicides between 2000-01 and 2006-07. This is the largest percentage increase among 28 U.S. cities, according to the study by Northeastern University criminologists James Fox and Marc Swatt. The recent study also found Houston at the top of a list of 28 major cities in at least one measure of youth violence.

So far this year, 30 homicides have been committed in Houston, 47% of which were committed by blacks against blacks. Nationally, homicide is the leading cause of death for black men ages 15-24, and the second leading cause of death for black women of the same age group. These statistics led a group of concerned citizens from a diverse cross-section of Houston to assemble and join the Stop The Violence Movement. STVM has developed a plan of action that includes an education/awareness lecture series and program initiatives with its partners, as well as collaborations with existing organizations that serve citizens and institutions directly and indirectly affected by black on black crime.

“We’re going to scream this from the roof,” said the Rev. Robert Jefferson in calling for creation of a violence commission. “We’re tired of black-on-black violence.”

Jefferson, a ministers’ group official and pastor of Cullen Missionary Baptist Church, said he is often called to officiate at the funerals for victims of violence. The case of one young victim troubles his mind.

“Black on black crime is an epidemic that ultimately strikes not only African American communities, but touches the entire city. Therefore, the STVM is reaching out to all groups and institutions in Houston and beyond in our mission to promote change. Faith, corporate, government and community institutions as well as all groups of all ages and races will be included,” according to Kris Parker (KRS-One).

Kris Parker also known as KRS One along with Hakim Green, Executive Director of STVM, became a crusader against violence founding the “Stop The Violence Movement” in 1988 shortly after his partner and co-founder of Boogie Down Productions, Scott La Rock was tragically murdered trying to break up a fight.

Nearly 20 years after its initial launch, the Stop the Violence Movement Lecture/Performance Series has returned. KRS-One and Hakim Green will dispatch their non-profit, grassroots organization with a new cast of artists, activists, educators and entertainers exploring the roots of violence and working to promote the development of positive conflict resolution methods that can uplift our society instead of damaging it with the negative cycle of violence. Among the national supporters are Martin Luther King III, Ludacris, Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West, and local Hip Hop artist include Scar Face, Chamillionaire, Slim Thug.

The Stop the Violence Movement Lecture/Performance Series is embarking on a multi-city tour of the United States starting in Houston, Texas at the MLK Memorial Breakfast on Monday, January 19, 2009 spreading the message of Peace. This lecture and performance series focuses on the importance of visualizing goals and manifesting success despite difficulties, as well as non-violent conflict resolution strategies that can help us all to create a future without violence together.

In its call to action, the STVM is soliciting active involvement through attendance, volunteerism and monetary contributions. The public is encouraged to participate through attending speaking engagements and the lecture/performance series which kicks off at the MLK Breakfast taking place at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Monday January 19, 2008 at 8:15AM in Houston. The series continues in Dallas County Community College District – El Centro College Campus on Thursday, January 22, in Dallas; or at Houston Community College – West Loop Campus and The Meridian on Friday, January 23rd in Houston. You can find out more about the Texas Tour schedule at www.krsonetours.com.

More Photos: Press Conference

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