Russell Simmons Teams With Trenton Mayor To Create Peacekeeping Force
Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons has teamed with the Mayor of Trenton, New Jersey, to help bankroll a peacekeeping organization of citizens in the city, after a 7-year-old girl was gang raped last month.
Simmons told The Trentonian that he will provide half of the funds for a new program being introduced into the city titled Educating Neighborhoods to Obey Those in Authority (ENOTA).
The program was launched by Captain Dennis Muhammad in 1985.
Muhammad has also worked within the Hip-Hop community, helping to mediate beefs behind the scenes, in addition to working with young men from troubled communities across the country.
Simmons costs to launch the program could be as much as $50,000, while the Mayor’s charity, the Trenton First Initiative, would cover the other half of the expenses.
According to The Trentonian, the peacekeepers will wear orange jackets and carry special cards to identify themselves as participants in the program, which has been successful in Delaware and New York.
“We want to get men from the community and train them so they can move through the streets, so they can exude a positive attitude and presence,” Simmons said. “Their job is not to patrol in the same way that police patrol.”
Mayor Palmer has also offered his support for the rally that Simmons is hosting this Saturday (April 10th) in Trenton at the Lighthouse Outreach Ministry.
“There’s so many people that want to do something,” Palmer said. “They’re outraged, they’re mad, but beyond that, they want to be able to help now and in the future, to try to, hopefully, stop some of the behavior, especially by young people.”
The effort is an attempt to heal the city after the shocking news that a 7-year-old was gang raped by seven men, after her 15-year-old sister sold herself and the girl for sex during a party on March 28th.
So far, six individuals have been charged and police believe there are more assailants.