PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – A local nonprofit is hosting a “No more gun violence” block party in North Portland this weekend. It’s the last of the summer series of events hosted by The Next G, a group that helps young men in the community.
“It’s very important we have events like this because what it does is it shows there are people out here that care for our community,” said Maurice Fain, The Next G Founder. “A community that cares for our kids.”
Fain’s main goal is to have the community come together and enjoy food and entertainment with their neighbors while having conversations on ending gun violence in the city.
“This event is also going to bring some healing to the community,” said Fain. “I believe if you bring in healing then we can start dealing with solutions and coming up with different ways on how we can stop this gang violence or at least put a curb into it.”
In June, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced the Safer Summer PDX initiative, investigating $2.4 million into organizations to curb gun violence. Next G received $181,121 in August. Fain says leading up to Safer Summer PDX, he and others held several conversations with the mayor on ways to address gun violence.
“With Next G and some of the other organizations like Love Is Strong, Global Movement Network, we all come together to make sure we are out in our community, we are doing the work, we are talking to the young people and asking them how can we help you stop doing what you are doing.”
Fain says Next G and other organizations across the city have embraced neighborhood organizing as a way to build safer communities. He believes events like block parties and gatherings throughout the summer work to create safe spaces for people to come together, have fun, feel safe, and build a sense of community for those who attend.
The “No more gun violence” block party is set for this Sunday at 3505 North Mississippi Ave from 3-7. Fain says there will be live music by DJ O.G. ONE and Saeeda Wright, as well as food from Southern Kitchen and Rose City Scoops.
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