Youth Violence Prevention
Erica Ford is a world renowned human rights activist and anti-violence leader. For more than 30 years, she has impacted the lives of thousands of disenfranchised Black and Brown people in vulnerable communities, schools, housing projects and prisons. Her approach to violence intervention and prevention work in South East Queens, NY — which resulted in nearly four years without a homicide — is widely respected locally and nationally by grassroots organizations, researchers, public safety and public health professionals and government officials.
In 2002, Erica founded LIFE Camp Inc., a non-profit organization that provides marginalized youth and young adults with intensive case management, mentorship, access to education, employment opportunities and unconventional therapeutic services, to reduce violence and mitigate contact with the criminal justice system. Since then, Erica’s expertise has been proven and sought after throughout New York City and around the nation, playing a vital role in creating many known anti-violence initiatives, like the NYC Task Force on Gun Violence and the mobile app Citizen, a national resource for personal public safety awareness.
Erica is the recipient of countless awards, including the MIT Elevate Fellowship. Her birthday, April 8th has been officially proclaimed Erica Ford Day in New York City. She founded a local initiative called Peace Week, which is now an official date on the New York City calendar.
Her love for her people and work in the community has been celebrated by a host of celebrities and industry leaders, including Julianne Moore, Deepak Chopra, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Fat Joe, and her work has been highlighted by The New York Times, New York Daily News, O The Oprah Magazine, and many others.
Erica speaks across the U.S. and internationally about her work. Most recently, Erica led the discussion around violence prevention with Domestic Policy Director Ambassador Susan Rice, other members of the Biden Administration and a curated group of Black and Brown leaders in gun violence prevention, therapeutic service. The result of these discussions with the White House staff was the largest investment in Black and Brown communities to combat violence in the history of America ($10B in grants, $200M in the budget, and $5.3B in policy).
SPEAKING TOPICS INCLUDE:
Everyday people are walking around infected with the disease of violence. And the trauma — the catalyst for this disease — often goes unaddressed. It’s time to make Peace a LIFEstyle.
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