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Friday, September 24, 2021

Profiles in Courage: Special Updates on Erica Ford and Dr. Kahil El’Zabar | Chaz’s Journal

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When the Sandy Hook shootings shook the world a decade after Ford founded LIFE Camp, Inc., she was selected to be a part of a gun-violence task force established by President Barack Obama and headed by then Vice President Joseph Biden. In a recent NPR article by Juana Summers, Ford praised President Biden’s $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan, which aims to deploy more than $5 billion to support community-based violence prevention programs. She is quoted saying it is fitting that the funds are being included in a measure “that is going to rebuild the roads and the blocks that many of our children died on. Because recovery is real, recovery for our people is real. And yes, it’s jobs, but it’s a lot of hope, and therapy, and services to help heal from the generation of death and destruction.”—Chaz Ebert

Special update: Erica Ford was recently interviewed by Dr. Tara Narula on “CBS This Morning” about how Life Camp “tackles the roots of gun violence with a holistic prescription for peace” (the full segment is embedded below). The program’s Fund Peace coalition is calling on Congress to support the Biden Administration’s commitment to funding community violence intervention and community-based public safety solutions in the American Jobs Plan. Ford is also voicing her support for Senator Cory Booker’s Break the Cycle of Violence Act, which “authorizes new grant programs to support violence intervention initiatives.”

To donate to Life Camp go to the official site.

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2. DR. KAHIL EL’ZABAR – Visionary Multi-percussionist and Composer

Dr. Kahil El Zabar (PhD Interdisciplinary Arts from Lake Forest College, 2006), was chosen as one of five amazing people that we featured in our Profiles in Courage: Five on the Black Hand Side during Black Writers Week because as a visionary in the world of music and composition, his innovative style has been applauded and taught in universities, concert halls and schools around the world. He is the leader and founder of the internationally renowned Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and the Ritual Trio, and has recorded more than 60 acclaimed projects worldwide. He has won numerous awards over the years for his musical skills, from Down Beat and Jazz Is magazines, as well as the Jazz Journalist Association. Sir E’Zabar was Knighted by the French Government in 2014, (Chevalier Medal of Letters) for his impactful contribution to the arts internationally. He was named Chicagoan of the year in 2006 by the Chicago Tribune. He has been an artist in residence since 2008 in the City of Bordeaux, France, where he has created, organized, and produced a myriad of stellar performance and exhibition projects. He is considered by his peers, as well as filmmaker George Lucas, to be one of the most innovative and influential musicians of his generation.

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