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Archive

The VIP and Former Miami Dolphin, Ronnie Brown!

The VIP is teaming up with former Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown (#23) this fall to address the issue of teen violence in Miami-Dade. He heard about what we are doing and has asked us to help with his “23 Ways to Stop Youth Violence,” a program going into Miami-Dade and Broward middle and high

schools. Ronnie also has support from Teen Truth a film production company out of LA that adds a powerful on screen piece to Ronnie’s mission.

By starting The Ronnie Brown Project, he wants to show the kids that they have choices, even if they come from challenging environments. Ronnie is using his star power and voice to take his project to the kids and to address issues facing South Florida Youth. The VIP is standing with him as he delivers his message in the schools through film, speeches, and workshops.

VIP Events

VIP Forums

The VIP has held forums in Carol City, Liberty City, Homestead, and Coconut Grove. Youth and adults came together to talk it out, rap it out, and write it out! The dialogue was open and honest, as people from all areas, including the entertainment world, came together to make real choices to silence the violence!

Our event in December, 2008 at Florida Memorial was amazing. We worked with The ADMIT Program to put on a red carpet event for their kids. Everyone packed the Lou Rawls Theater to give props for the release of “Real Choices: The Non-Violence Tracks”, a collection of non-violence songs produced and recorded by Miami-Dade youth. On hand to help celebrate the release were “Creepa”, a.k.a. Thaddeus Martin -- the contestant and winner of the hit television show G's to Gents , Rick Ross, Ace Hood, DJ Khaled, K. Foxx, and others. Creepa - Thaddeus Martin
In January, the VIP headed to Peacock Park in Coconut Grove to spread the non-violence message at Shakespeare in the Park. We talked with about 300 school kids from around the County about some alternatives to violence while we all enjoyed “Macbeth.”

In February, the VIP joined up with the Overtown Youth Center for a writer’s workshop on youth violence and dreams.
The writings were powerful and everyone showed respect while the youth shared their stories.

On March 21, the VIP presented a “Roadblock to Violence” youth forum at the Caleb Center in Liberty City. We worked with “Big Freddie” Coley to put on an event that brought Power 96, 99JAMZ, premier non-violent musical entertainment, a young MC, resource vendors, politicians, parents, the media and more! A dynamic forum took place between a panel of young and old that listened and spoke from the heart, and hard core questions and comments from youth in the audience. There were give-a-ways and a contest at the outreach bus for the best story on youth violence shared that day! Everyone had a chance to share their story by writing, singing, speaking, and drawing. The winners took home fabulous prizes from the Miami Heat!

On April 4, the VIP headed to Perrine to join the ADMIT Program for an Open House on Non-Violence. The youth all enjoyed the Miami-Dade Outreach bus where they could cool off while they shared their stories on violence. The contest winners were very happy with their Miami Heat donated prizes!! Power 96 kept the music and prizes going while everyone ate hamburgers and hotdogs, enjoyed the Bounce House, and had a great afternoon.

April 18 took the VIP to two places!  We were in Liberty City and Miami Beach!  The VIP joined the Regional Community Collaboration on Violence/Community Empowerment Team and its partners for a Neighborhood Resource Fair at NW 62nd St. and 12th Ave. Thanks to Power 96 and 99 JAMZ for joining together to bring the music.  K Foxx was on hand for the crowd along with the VIP Outreach bus so youth could share their stories! 

Over in Miami Beach, the VIP was on hand that same day to spread the word at the Miami Coalition’s Florida Youth Delegation Training.  Young people from Liberty City and Miami Beach met to talk about youth issues.  It was great to be a part of the dialogue!

On April 25, the VIP joined the Opa-Locka Save Our Streets Coalition for their Take Back the Streets Parade and Forum.  Supa Cindy Mc’d the day, while Power 96, the Community Choir, Big Freddie, and others provided music and entertainment.  Community youth spoke openly about youth violence and what needs to happen.  There were hot dogs and hamburgers, plenty of cold SoBe water, and prizes from the Miami Heat for the youth who shared their story at the Outreach Bus.

The VIP headed to North Miami Beach on April 25 to be a part of the Youth Symposium being put on by the city.  From the surveys that we did, and the conversation, the youth have a lot to say about violence in their community.  The VIP is listening!

The VIP was everywhere in May with a strong message against youth violence!  This month we joined the Miami Gardens Junior Council to take back the streets!! The music, food, performances, and speakers were fabulous.  If you missed it, make sure you look out for what the MG Junior Council is doing for you! 

In mid-May, the VIP was downtown at the Teen Court Conference to speak to the 400 kids in attendance about what we do!  Later, it was over to Charles Drew Middle School to put on a writer’s workshop on youth violence for some eighth graders in Ms. Symonette’s classes.  The month wrapped up with the Children’s Trust Family Expo on May 30th, where we talked with thousands of attendees the VIP and the Juvenile Services Department.

On May 15, the VIP went out to Carlos Albrizu University to help get 15,000 copies of “Real Choices: The Non-Violence Tracks” out to kids in Miami-Dade Schools and the community.  Check it out when you open the VIP website!! A total of 130 middle and senior high schools received the CD through their trust counselors.  Thanks to WEDR and 99JAMZ for helping to get the word out to the the community about how to get their copy.  Still need a CD?  Check out The Admit Program by calling 305-835-8835, or look for the VIP or the ADMIT Program at festivals, parades and community events.

The VIP continued to be strong in the community in June!!  Working together with the new Miami-Dade Prevention Initiative and other organizations, the Juvenile Services Department and the VIP were out there on issues impacting youth. The VIP had a warm mid-June evening welcome at the youth talent night at Covenant Missionary Baptist Church in Florida City where we presented our program, talked with the kids, and were praised for our innovative efforts! 

We joined with the Champions for Tomorrow program for two Saturdays this month!  First, at Little Haiti Park, along with the Department of Corrections, we brought messages of safety and alternatives to violence to the neighborhood.  Then, the VIP supported the Champions by setting up shop at a football camp at Bunche Park in Miami Gardens!  On June 26, we carried the VIP message to Opa-Locka at the Prevention Coalition Workshop, along with the State Attorney’s Office and Teen Court. 

On that same day, the VIP was joined by Power 96 as we headed to the Phicol-Williams Center in Homestead for a day with 250 youth.  The next day, it was off to Liberty City in the heat with the Outreach bus for the “Can Anything Good Come Out of the Hood?” festival.  The month ended by taking the VIP message to the North Dade Library with comedian Ricky Smiley, the Dolphins, and 99 JAMZ Radio.

The VIP continued to be out there in July!  We reached out to areas that have been most affected by random violence recently and gave our support.  The month started out on July 2 by joining the community and the City of Miami Police at a youth event in Liberty City  to talk about making good choices.  On July 24th, we joined the Liberty City community at an evening of remembrance as they gathered to remember the victims and hear from the families and the community about why the tragedies have to stop! On July 25th, we headed to Little Haiti to participate in a community resource fair. 

The VIP message was delivered n English and Creole to make sure the entire community was on board!  The month ended with the VIP program and the Juvenile Services Department , including speakers, Outreach Bus, and staff taking it all into the Miami-Dade detention center to speak with 120 kids being held there.  “Mr. Hardge”, the ADMIT Program, DJ Khaled and  Miss Kimmie from 99JAMZ , Fred Coley, a/k/a Devil Haterr, and others were all on board as we worked with the DJJ school to put it together!  ALL kids have something to say and the VIP is listening!  The VIP is everywhere!

The VIP ended the summer and kicked off the school year by being out there and supporting lots of activities.  In August, we joined the community, the City of Miami Police, and a lot of groups and organizations for the 26th National Night Out against crime and violence at Bayfront Park.  Then we headed north to Opa-Locka Airport to support the city, the Carrie Meek Foundation, and Portrait of Empowerment at a huge back to school/family resource day.  Both events were free and whole lot of fun with food, music, and a lot of information! 

The Girls Empowerment Movement in Miami Gardens got our help at their mentoring workshop in August, and we also went to the Turner Guilford Knight facility (TGK) for a VIP Back to School day held for the juvenile inmates.   The Community Church of Christ Written in Heaven worked with us in Perrine to bring August to a close.  September took us to FIU’s main campus to work with Do the Right Thing on a youth violence event for about 600 middle school aged kids.  Booker T. Washington HS was the site for a peace march in September, and Homestead had us at the end of the month when we got together with Sweetvine, Inc., to let the community know about resources.

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