Put Down the Piece and Spread Peace

Al Letson provided the brilliant words and performance, Paul Figura the beautiful cinematography, and MAD DADS the inspiration for the PIECE PEACE video you see above. PIECE PEACE is a campaign to end the gun violence that has been endemic to Jacksonville and other urban communities across the nation. Like many good causes it was inspired by something horrible.

In August, a multiple shooting in Jacksonville’s Brooklyn neighborhood left 11 people injured. Efforts to investigate the shooting were hampered by the culture of silence and fear that often permeates communities where guns, drugs and hopelessness are rampant. In the immediate aftermath of the crime, it was impossible not to notice the presence of members of a group called MAD DADS canvasing the area where the shooting occurred. MAD DADS of Jacksonville is a local chapter of a national organization that promotes safe neighborhoods, community engagement and the protection of youth and families. There they were in the Brooklyn neighborhood, boots on the ground, demanding answers and accountability for a crime that had shocked us all. This holiday season we decided we wanted to help MAD DADS and spread a message to put down the PIECE and spread PEACE.

After meeting with MAD DADS Jacksonville Chapter President Elder Donald Foy, we were more inspired than ever to help create a unified community voice for victims of gun violence and their families. We decided this PSA was the perfect place to start, a jump off point for spreading a message of community, caring, vigilance and visibility. We enlisted the help of actor, State of the Reunion radio host, poet, and playwright Al Letson, along with photographer and filmmaker Paul Figura, who collaborated with us in 2010 on an award-winning PSA for Jacksonville’s Sulzbacher Center. We are very proud of the resulting video, and we encourage everyone to check out and “like” the PIECE PEACE Facebook page at  www.facebook.com/piecepeacejax.

You can also contact Elder Foy, President of MAD DADS JACKSONVILLE directly at jax@maddads.com or at 904-781-0905.  

Join the movement to be the force behind the change, PIECE to PEACE.

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