Sept. 18, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A community-based organization is leading a peace march from the Astoria Houses to the Queensbridge Houses tomorrow to show the unity of neighbors against violence.
Fathers Alive In The Hood (FAITH) is organizing the march after a tumultuous summer that saw a surge in gun violence across the city, as well as protests against police killings of Black men and women.
“From police shootings to us killing us, we on both frontiers,” said FAITH founder and president Kenny Carter. “But I’m more focused on the value of our lives.”
Carter, who was raised in the Queensbridge Houses, said the community cannot remain silent in the face of the ongoing violence. He said residents must join together and show strength in numbers, with the message that each others’ lives are indispensable.
“I believe that when we begin to show the value of life in our communities to our youth, they might be able to value life a lot more,” Carter said. “And it’s truly priceless.”
The peace march will bring together residents of the Astoria Houses, Woodside Houses, Ravenswood Houses and Queensbridge Houses with stops at each along the way. FAITH is asking participants to wear all white clothing.
“White is the dress code,” Carter said. “We figured we going through some dark times — let’s brighten it up.”
The nonprofit was started in 2012 in response to the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Darryl Adams at the South Jamaica Houses. Carter — who now lives in Jamaica with his wife and two children — said he couldn’t sit silently by.
He began FAITH and started a mentorship program for young boys and a fatherhood support group through the nonprofit. The goal is to give the people the support and guidance to help them reach their full potential.
“For people who are trying to make a change, it’s important to show presence and say listen we had enough of us,” he said. “We’re marching because it’s enough of us killing us. We need to show unity, we need to show strength and we need to address some of the dark issues that our communities have.”
The march will begin at the Astoria Houses Community Center, located at 4-05 Astoria Blvd. at 12 p.m. PPE will distributed for those without it.
A second peace march will be held on Oct. 1 in South Jamaica.