On the evening of Wednesday, July 20, S.O.S. staff, volunteers, and supporters gathered at the corner of Lexington and Tompkins and later in Herbert Von King Park in Bed-Stuy to recognize and mourn two shootings that took place earlier that week. This public stand against all forms of violence in our neighborhoods was organized by S.O.S. Bed-Stuy, with support from many active neighborhood youth who are working and learning with S.O.S. this summer through the Summer Youth Employment Program.

Several community leaders spoke to the crowd gathered at the site of the recent shooting, including Council Member Laurie Cumbo, who implored community members to continue to work for peace in their daily lives, not just in the aftermath of violent events. S.O.S. staff member Rahson Johnson said to the group, “At some point we have to say enough is enough. At some point we have to breathe life and hope back into our community.” S.O.S. Crown Heights Program Manager David Gaskin spoke from his own personal story growing up in Bed-Stuy and said that working for peace is not optional, but “mandatory.” Tiffany Murray, S.O.S. Bed-Stuy Program Manager led the group in a prayer against violence and Outreach Worker Shneaqua Purvis closed the event with a rousing chant. You can also read more coverage of this event from Patch here.

S.O.S. organizes vigils within 72 hours after any shooting or violent fatality in the Bed-Stuy or Crown Heights catchment areas. If you want to find out about future S.O.S. rallies and events, you can check our website, blog, and sign up to receive email notifications.