Tag Archives: kobi dennis

Let Us Listen To All Of Our Young People’s Cries For Help To End Gun Violence

21 Feb

photo credit: IBTimes UK

While this nation mourns the losses of the lives of the seventeen students and teachers who were killed by a former student with an AR-15 assault rifle on Valentines Day at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the nation is also inspired by the student survivors who are speaking out and taking action.

I am inspired by their passion, conviction, and ability to rise up after the devastation and trauma they experienced just last week. These brilliant young people have had enough, and are calling on the adults to keep them safe so that what happened at Parkland never happens again. And, yes, it is a pity that the adults who possess the political power to create better gun control laws, and to ban assault rifles, have thus far done nothing to heed the calls for change–not after Columbine, 19 years ago, not after Virginia Tech, not after Sandy Hook,  not after the Florida night club, not after Las Vegas, and not after Parkland.

Through tweets to the President, and videos gone viral, our young people know how to use social media to mobilize, and to gain widespread attention. The young students at Parkland, out of self-proclaimed necessity, have become overnight anti-gun violence activists. Student Emma Gonzalez’s 10-minute brave and direct speech, has been seen by over 1 million people. Reporters and journalists are contacting and following the students’ activities, which include a planned National March Against Gun Violence in Washington D.C. on March 24th. Here is Emma’s inspirational speech, if you have not yet seen it: […]

Black Major Movement Rally In Providence

2 Nov

Today in my city of Providence, Rhode Island I attended a rally for the Black Major Movement on the steps of City Hall.

The Black Major Movement is working to make change in law enforcement, the judicial system, the school department and community organizations by calling for an increase in black leadership throughout the city of Providence, and in particular there is a call for the city to hire a black Major in the Providence Police Department, since there are no black officers higher than rank of Sargeant, and it has been this way for quite some time. The movement is being led by among others, community organizer, Kobi Dennis, founder of the Night Vision program, and the Providence Midnight Summer Basketball League, and Jim Vincent, President of the local NAACP.

The rally was a peaceful one, with people holding signs calling for attention to the lack of representation of people of color in leadership roles throughout the city, as well as wearing signs on their backs that read, “Black Major Movement.”  As noted in the Talk Back following Trinity Repertory Company’s “Every 28 Hours” I wrote about last week, the call for equality, and the statement that Black Lives Matter is not calling for violence against police–in fact the flyers announcing today’s rally circulated support that, clearly stating at the bottom, “Please Come In Peace As We Are Pro-Police.” The rally is instead a call for awareness, a call to validate the rights and concerns of people of color, and a call to validate the deservedness that black people  should have people that look like them represented in community leadership.

Here are some photos from today’s rally. I’m hoping that change will come soon, and wish to keep doing what I can to support this important work.

men with signs on back


Helen Baskerville Dukes and Eugene Monteiro

Helen Baskerville Dukes and Eugene Monteiro




Some of the crowd at the rally, Kobi Dennis (far left)

Some of the crowd at the rally, Kobi Dennis (far left)