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Among other things June has become known for, it is also Gun Violence Awareness Month.  And, throughout the month, the National Action Network has issued a National Call to Occupy the Corners (OTC) every Saturday evening. This initiative, which was planned long before the Charleston shooting in response to gang and youth violence, has certainly taken on added meaning since the horrific Emanuel Church incident. It was a rash of shootings amongst young people, however – throughout Harlem and in urban areas around the country – that sparked this urgent call to action.

The Call urges anti-violence coalitions, community organizations, youth groups,  churches, mosques, activists, elected officials, civil/human rights groups, social service agencies, teachers, coaches and concerned citizens to take to the corners at dusk – not in protest, but to engage the youth of your community by creating a concerned presence, sharing resources and offering solutions about ways to eliminate violence.

Ricky Jones – a manager at Harlem Restoration and host of “Unlocked a weekly WHCR (90.3 FM) show addressing issues of incarceration, re-entry and juvenile justice – has been an active participant and organizer of OTC in our community. Look for the men (and women) in orange on “hotspot” corners tonight, and join them in engaging and saving the lives of Harlem’s youth -  one corner at a time.

“Occupy The Corners” has been extended through the end of July. For more information contact: NAN 212.690.3070 or Iesha Sekou 646.377.8904.

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