Violence continues to escalate in our cities and nation, unfortunately there seems to be a massive separation in our communities between those who are focusing on solutions to empower those who are mourning and those who are blaming each other, societal issues, and legislation for allowing violent tragedies to occur. Meanwhile, parents and family members who have lost a loved one are looking for ways to cope and mend their shattered hearts. What if our focus was shifted from accusing our fellows to bridging the “blaming gap” with Love? Dr. Martin Luther King boldly proclaimed, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” We need the power of love now more than ever.
Jacksonville in particular has lost several winsome and talented children to gun and domestic violence, Connor Mickens is one of those children. Although it has been five months since he was shot in the head the pain still lingers; blaming those who should have, or could have done this or that will not bring precious Connor back. Our factions can no longer play the “blame game,” therefore we ought to refocus and eradicate brute force through unceasing violence prevention themes, prayer, community outreach events, and advocacy. Our core objective as a community should be to stand united in love. There are three ways dignitaries and community proponents can encourage those who are still grieving: through common acts of love, kindness, and commitment to raise awareness about perpetrators who use violence as a panacea; that is destroying communities filled with innocent children who have been shot, killed, beaten and raped to death.
On Good Friday March 30th, at 12PM D.I.P. Outreach Ministry is inviting community members, leaders, and media outlets to the balloon release ceremony in memory Connor Mickens and other youth in our city who have loss their life to barbarity. Afterwards kids will be served lunch and can participate in Easter activities such as egg decorating and hula hoop contest, games, raffles, face painting, and story time. RSVP The goal of this event is to raise awareness and funds to continue the organization's mission of violence prevention and to pray as a community. Food and drinks will be available for donations.
About D.I.P. Foundation Outreach is a non for profit organization that educates Children, families, and communities on domestic prevention. DIP also provides food, clothing, and other necessities to impoverished and abused children and families. The organization has helped over 2500 families through their Heal A Heart Outreach. For more information visit www.Dipfoundation.org or call (904) 438-4347 Donations and Volunteers are welcome. Event will be held at DIP Outreach & Donation Center 2078 Cassat Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32210 ( between Blanding & San Juan)