Def Jam Mogul and Grandfather of Hip-Hop, Russell Simmons has teamed up with the Mayor of Trenton, New Jersey to fund an urban outreach peacekeeping program.
Educating Neighborhoods to Obey Those in Authority (ENOTA) program, which correlates with the communities' efforts to stop the violence after the gang rape of a 7-year old sent shockwaves throughout the country, is designed to improve relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
According to the Trentonian, Simmons will provide half of the funds needed for the
ENOTA which was originally launched in 1985 by Captain Dennis Muhammad of the Nation of Islam. Since the program launch, Muhammad has been instrumental in the Hip-Hop Community helping to squelch beefs and work with young men from troubled communities across the country.
Simmons who will spend an estimated $50,000 for the program launch, will also receive assistance from the Mayor's charity, the Trenton First Initiative, who is expected to share half of the programs cost.
Participants in the program, also referred to as “Peacekeepers,” will patrol neighborhoods in orange jackets and carry identification cards to be easily recognized.
“We want to get men from the community and train them so they can move through the streets, so they can exude a positive attitude and presence,” Simmons told the Trentonian, “Their job is not to patrol in the same way that police patrol.”
Mayor Palmer has also offered his support for the rally that Simmons is hosting this Saturday (April 10th) in Trenton at the Lighthouse Outreach Ministry.
“There's so many people that want to do something,” Palmer said. “They're outraged, they're mad, but beyond that, they want to be able to help now and in the future, to try to, hopefully, stop some of the behavior, especially by young people.”