On Saturday July 14, 2018 event organizer and founder of The Elite 30 Charlotte Greer-Brown put together an anti-gun violence rally that was held near 21st and Lehigh Streets. There are marches planned through the various partnership throughout the city to continue the momentum of this focus.
There's an ongoing trend that occurs whenever there's a spike in gun violence in any city USA, there is also a spike in rallies, marches, and outrage, however, any good gardener will tell you, if you want to keep weeds out of your garden you have to pull out the root. Getting at the root of the gun violence epidemic in Philadelphia is exactly what seems to be the goal of Greer-Brown. This rally wasn't just one that simply addressed the spike of violence and the pain it was causing, there were also speakers who were offering access to real resources, such as job readiness training complete with job placement in economically viable positions. There was also a speaker (Tiey-Ronnie) who's message was simply one of truth, self love, and affirmation. Which brings me to the topic of this blog.
The war against gun violence is sometimes a war against self-hate. Reflecting on my own personal experience, the more I began to love and appreciate my own person, the more I wanted what was best for others. The more I began to appreciate their beauty, and acknowledge their value as a human being, one of God's great creations, there is no way I wanted to harm or destroy that. Psychologist can give you a more extensive breakdown of how all of this works, however what I can share is that any person who I have encountered who has a genuine love for people also has a healthy perception of self, and the opposite has been true in my observance of those who have an "I don't care attitude."
Greer-Brown seems to want to combat negative self-imaging while showing unity through collaboration with other organizations in various neighborhoods throughout the city. At the heart of every speaker, I heard from on Saturday, was the desire to see the community do better in every way. Not only were the calls to stop the violence in the air, but also the sincere I love you statements backed by tangible resources offered at no cost to those willing to accept the extension love. Scripture tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). If you don't love yourself then loving your neighbor becomes extremely dangerous for your neighbor.
It's obvious the founder of The Elite 30 and all their partners practice loving themselves and are waging war on self-hate in order to win the war against gun violence in our neighborhoods.