In examining the plight of black youth in America the list goes on to how many lives have been lost at the end of a gun whether intentional or unintentional. This raises several topics such as race relations in America, gun control laws in America all of which force us to look at the bigger picture. While some remain angry and helpless and at a lost of what to do, Briana has made it her mission to education youth on gun laws and their rights, she can be found organizing with community activist in New Jersey and New York City through her organization No More Rounds.
1. Can you tell me a little bit about what prompted you to start No More Rounds? No More Rounds was started in response to the lost of my friend, Demetry Presley almost 2 years ago. After losing him, I knew I couldn’t just sit around and not do anything to prevent others from feeling the same pain I was feeling. My initial vision for NMR was just to create a documentary that allowed others to vent about their personal experience(s) with gun violence and somehow find a way to cope with my own lost through their words, but it has grown into a movement of activists determined to end the senseless violence in our communities.
2. How has this movement changed your outlook on life? This movement has given me a more open outlook on life. It has taught me how to be more understanding to everyone’s way of thinking and that there’s more than one way to tackle every problem or in this case epidemic. There are many ways to help prevent gun violence. For NMR, I chose to focus on educating our communities and hosting/collaborating with like-minded organizations to host positive events that will keep us off the streets.
3. What are some initiatives that you currently have in place? Currently, No More Rounds is working on putting together a high school tour in the city of Newark to educate our youth on gun violence and ways it can be prevented.
4. What are some things you wish to see in the near future for No More Rounds? My future plans for No More Rounds is to take our educational workshops to other school districts in New Jersey, work with free local after-school/summer programs to build attendance especially for our teens and produce a few more documentaries to allow more people to share their story with gun violence.
5. Share a gem of advice to women on the importance of educating themselves and men on gun violence. Most people have boxed it in as just a black male issue, but this is also affecting women as well. Though we are more likely hear about our brothers falling victim to gun violence, this issue affects our sisters as well. Just last week a 19 year old girl was shot and killed in Newark on her front steps. I say that to say bullets have no gender or age and that this is a black community issue. We all need to educate ourselves and be more proactive about policing our own streets so we can see true change in our communities.
To Learn more about Briana and and how to get involved in her movement No More Rounds check out her website here.