For Immediate Release
Nov. 18, 2021
Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, email@example.com
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Noted leader Tameka Greer, executive director of Memphis Artists for Change, member of the Black Southern Women’s Collective, and local leader with LIVE FREE, today sent condolences to the family of Adolph Thornton Jr., publicly known as ‘Young Dolph.’ She also expressed concern for the city of Memphis. Greer issued the following statement:
“Our hearts and spirits are broken. We are struggling to process the death of this beautiful and self-less leader. My church was scheduled to host a holiday event for children of incarcerated parents with Young Dolph in December. His was not an occasional selflessness; his generosity knew no bounds. Young Dolph didn’t deserve to die, and neither do the children, youth, and adults who lose their lives to gun violence every day.
“While we search for answers, we must ground ourselves in what we do in fact know. First, gun violence deserves serious but intentional focus. Elected leaders cannot use this moment to double-down on policies and practices that leave Black communities vulnerable, criminalized, and hopeless. They should invest in community-based gun violence intervention programs, as these have been proven to be the most effective strategy in keeping communities safe. Unfortunately, too many times, elected leaders’ knee jerk is to turn to police. However, policing is reactionary and criminalizing. Police are trained to enforce a criminal code not interrupt the cycle of violence.
“Additionally, policymakers must provide greater funding for jobs, education, housing and basic resources that gives people a fighting chance to thrive not just survive. If mayors in cities across the country are not meeting with gun violence interrupters to determine how ARPA funds are spent, they are setting their citizens up for failure and possibly death. We cannot pretend that a devastating pandemic, policies that make it harder for people with felonies to have gainful employment and over-policing will not destroy the hearts and minds of a generation. We know what works and that is what elected leaders should do in this and all moments.
“Local officials must also deliver on the promise made to invest $2 million dollars for gun violence interruption and those funds must flow to community-based gun violence interruption groups.”
In addition to her affiliation with the Black Southern Women’s Collaborative, and the Memphis Artists for Change, Greer is also a peace pursuer with LIVE FREE, an organization committed to gun violence intervention and prevention.