On Sunday, August 28, 2016, 100 Ways of Giving joined several organizations, like the Bold and Beautiful Women Circle (BBW), in support of NextLevel Basketball Training and Skills Development Program’s first of many “Handle Gun Violence Peace Dribble Walk” events. During this event, hundreds of children, athletes, parents and community partners walked or dribbled their basketballs down Boston’s Blue Hill Avenue, from Harambee Park (on Talbot Avenue in Dorchester) to Washington Park (on Martin Luther King Blvd. in Roxbury), making every bounce and stride a powerful symbol of their voices to decrease violence in our urban communities. With the support of the Boston Police Department, NextLevel Basketball offered these inner-city neighborhoods and the youth a memorable image of what community and anti gun-violence advocacy should look like.
The Peace Dribble Walk aimed to bring citizens together to promote an end to gun violence in our underserved communities. Some topics discussed with the youth throughout the event included: what to do if they see someone with a gun; how to respond if they find a gun; what to do if a “friend” asks them to hold a gun; how to cope if they witness a shooting.
Once we arrived at Washington Park, participants shot layups in loving memory of those who we have lost to gun violence. Through continued education and support on the matter, NextLevel Basketball hopes to help improve the quality of life in urban communities and provide services and events to steer our youth in the right direction of success.
“Handle Gun Violence Peace Dribble Walk” concluded with a community BBQ prepared by culinary volunteers from the New England Center for Arts & Technology (NECAT) and a face-off between the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department and NextLevel’s youth team.
It’s extremely important that older generations set the best possible examples for the youth through events like this, to help them block out negative influences and emulate positivity. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for NextLevel Basketball, as this event was a beautiful movement to witness! We came; we saw; we conquered.
NextLevel Basketball Training and Skills Development Program, founded by Royce Veal, was established in 2012 and operates under the 501(c)3 non-profit organization “Chills Diamond Ring Education Foundation”. The program has serviced hundreds of youth from the urban communities of Boston, with a goal of providing them with life lessons and keys to success learned through mentorship, after-school programs, training camps and clinics. The program was created with the hopes of rejuvenating Boston Basketball, with an an emphasis on equipping youth with skills that can contribute to successes in everyday life, including: academic achievement, respect for self and others, teamwork, leadership, responsibility, and discipline. For more information regarding the organization’s programs, please visit http://www.nextleveliball.com and follow them on social media @nextlevel_iball!