A Gun is Not Fun

For low-income communities like the Lower East Side, gun violence is more than a simple tragic event. Guns impact us all- physically, economically and mentally. Guns kill people, but they also kill spirit…and murder communities. The aftermath of gun violence leaves everyone feeling helpless and diminished. At The Lower Eastside Girls Club we are building a strong anti-violence message throughout our organization.

This podcast episode highlights some of the members of our community fighting to make a change. We hope you will be inspired to join the fight against gun violence as well!

Last Fall, a group of mothers and young women from The Lower Eastside Girls Club’s (LESGC) Moms Speak Out campaign – women who have been affected by gun violence – joined with Council Members Laurie Cumbo and Jumaane Williams, and peace advocates from the Middle Project of Middle Collegiate Church, to launch the distribution of 3500 copies of William Electric Black’s (aka Ian James, Emmy Award winning former writer of Sesame Street) illustrated early reader: ‘A Gun Is Not Fun’.

For low-income communities like the Lower East Side, gun violence is more than a simple tragic event. Guns impact us all- physically, economically and mentally. Guns kill people, but they also kill spirit…and murder communities. The aftermath of gun violence leaves everyone feeling helpless and diminished. At The Lower Eastside Girls Club we are building a strong anti-violence message throughout our organization.

LESGC’s Moms Speak Out participants distributed the ‘A Gun Is Not Fun’ early reader books in front of every public school and day-care center with Pre-K through 2nd grade classes in the East Village / Lower East Side community. This community has been particularly plagued by youth gun violence over the past five years –  with LESGC girls’ family members killed, ‘stray’ bullets taking the life of a young child simply playing outside, and mothers wounded waiting at a bus stop to get to work.

“As mothers and community leaders, we are tired of raising our children in a climate of fear!  We believe that it is never too early to create a climate of peace! We’re starting now and we’re starting here- in our own Lower East Side community.” – Lyn Pentecost, Ph.D., Executive Director, LESGC

“It is unacceptable to us that our children are growing up in a culture where violence has become the norm on the streets and in the media.”  – Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Executive Director, The Middle Project

William Electric Black (aka Ian James) says, “I wrote this book because we are losing too many young people of color to gun violence. It is a plague facing our nation and something must be done so I decided to use the Sesame Street target audience and start educating them about this timely, and too often deadly, issue”.

We love our children and refuse to raise them in a violent world. The message of ‘A Gun Is Not Fun’ is self-explanatory. It is designed to be read aloud and shared with friends and siblings.

 

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