S.T.R.O.N.G. hosts community engagement activities, Peace Marches and Rallies to commemorate the lives, families, friends and community of gang violence victims and in effort to build cohesiveness and awareness of important issues impacting our communities.
S.T.R.O.N.G. has a long history of partnering with law enforcement agencies, school districts, clergy, and elected officials focus on developing systems that aid in reducing incarceration of our youth and violence in our communities. At the core of these relationships is recognition that the goal of reducing gang and youth violence will only be achieved through collaborations between diverse partners. Too many program models and approaches pin community-based efforts as incompatible or contradictory to the work of other institutions but S.T.R.O.N.G.’s approach utilizes the strengths of all partners to leverage resources and achieve the best results possible.
S.T.R.O.N.G. Peace Rallies and Marches, in addition to STRONG Talks, was how S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth initially got started back in 2000. Hundreds, even thousands, of community members and activities would come out to create awareness to the youth, gang and gun violence that plagues communities of color throughout Long Island and served as calls to action for all. Peace marches and rallies have been held on Nassau Road between Freeport and Hempstead, Zion Cathedral in Freeport and Kennedy Park in Hempstead.
More recently, S.T.R.O.N.G. began hosting Victims Impact Panel (VIP) meetings. VIP meetings are interactive and in depth exploratory conversations about the impact of violence on our communities that include victims and offenders, youth, families, school administration, and community stakeholders. The goal of VIP meetings is to share thoughts and experiences and develop solutions on how we can work together to build safer communities and stop the cycle of violence.