No justice, no peace – Ride on, Team 26!!!!
Yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to welcome Team 26 to Harlem on their way to Washington from Newtown. It was such an inspiring day, it brought tears to my eyes, seeing them in their green jerseys in honor of the 20 kids and 6 teachers who died.
Hats off to Dr. Greg Dworkin, a pediatrician, with the United Physicians of Newtown – a group of docs formed in response to the tragedy – who connected Harlem with Monte Frank of Newtown. It was because of our connection that Team 26 stopped in Harlem. It was a combined event of OFA, Moms Demand Action, and many other community partners.
It started with a group of local riders lead by Dads Demand Action and 20 local kids from Harlem and the Bronx – called the Rough Riders. With police escort, we were lead from the Bronx into Harlem. I connected with a local kid, Robert, from the Bronx whose mother is bedridden from a gun shot injury when he was a kid. He dropped out of school in the 7th grade but can fix any apple gadget. He makes his money fixing bikes at a local bike store.
The highlight of the welcome ceremony was the kids – from the Junior Newtown Action Alliance joining up with a rap song with kids from Harlem – calling for peace. One of the best quotes was the Newtown teen who said that gun violence doesn’t discriminate based on zip code.
I gave a brief speech promoting the ASK program – advising parents to ask about guns in the homes where their child plays. It was a drop in the bucket next to all the inspiring speakers who have experienced gun violence first hand – mothers who have lost kids, former gang members who counsel peers, the list goes on.
The mantra of the day was “no justice, no peace” chanted over and over again.
Bottom line – There is hope. We need to keep fighting just as these cyclists keep riding to raise awareness of the need for federal legislation.
Link to NY Daily News – check out the kids and Team 26 riding together: priceless
Here’s a link to the pics from the Harlem welcome event – check out Team 26 raising their hands in sync with the rap song – so cool: