December 13, 2018 

By Lauren A. Jones 

Contributing Writer 


Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer announced a $37.3 million grant that will be allocated to youth reinvestment initiatives outside the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper surrounded by youth, community, faith and education leaders, Rams’ players and members of the LAPD on Tuesday.


“The turnout was fantastic we had about 80 community-based agencies from San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles County all here to show appreciation for 37.3 million that's being funneled into our communities to prevent young people from going into the criminal justice system,” declared Khalid Shaw, chairman of the Regional Violence Prevention Coalition and executive director of Stop the Violence Increase the Peace Foundation. 


The grant’s mission is to assess the undiagnosed injuries and trauma at-risk youth face and combat it by implementing practices that prevent this population from entering the criminal justice system. By design, the grant will support programs like Stop the Violence Increase the Peace Foundation and Rising Stars Business Academy, which provide alternatives to incarceration, detention, and arrest.


“The more funds we have, it just means the more resources we have,” remarked Alicia Berridge, founder and executive director of the Rising Stars Business Academy. “With this particular grant, it will finally get back to where it really needs to go, to the right communities and the right organizations that are out making a difference.”


Prior to the press conference, many of the constituents gathered to fellowship and share ideas on how to continue the work their respective organizations are doing to positively impact the community.


Collaborators Danny Bakewell Jr., executive editor of the L.A. Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times Newspapers; Johnathan Franklin, L.A. Rams Community Affairs and Engagement; Dennis Kato, LAPD Deputy Chief; and Assemblymember Mike Gibson, all took to the podium to share words of encouragement as to how this grant will effect change in Black and Brown communities especially.


“We want to support the youth; we want to elevate communities,” Franklin stated of the L.A. Rams and cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters who joined him. “This grant can really transform the landscape of Los Angeles  providing hope where it doesn't exist, while maintaining it where it does.”


Talib expressed how he felt a personal connection to providing healthy options for youth in underserved communities.


“I grew up in areas just like where these kids come from, we both did,” Talib said of he and Peters.


“As an organization, it's such a huge opportunity to support our community as it's bigger than just football and use the momentum that we have on the field to provide that reassurance that we are here [for the community],” Franklin added. 


Following the press conference, Franklin, Talib, and Peters engaged in a round table discussion led by American civil rights activist and chairman of Bakewell media Danny Bakewell Sr. A candid conversation transpired about ways each man’s personal experiences growing up compelled them to give back and find ways to continue to improve the current climate for the next generation.


“For me to sit in the room with those men, cleared up any ambiguity about our seriousness with this program and moving forward,” said Dwayne Frampton, CEO of Framp Camp Incentivise Program. “With the help of everybody coming together as a collective I think we'll be fine.”


Recipients of the grant will create new vessels to improve the lives of youth through media literacy and social awareness platforms among other strategies, while sustaining the current programs that have helped young people attain success instead of bars.

Category: Business