Youth Vision Promotions and Visionz Magazine will host another public anti-violence Youth Development Forum, entitled ‘Peace in Hamilton Parish’, this weekend at the Crawl Gospel Hall.
The event, which will focus on support organizations, persons and programs that support our at risk young people, is part of a community networking series in the group’s bid to make a difference in combating gang and gun violence in Bermuda, cupled with the negative impact of antisocial behaviour.
Guest speakers include newly appointed Gang and Gun Violence Coordinator Pastor Leroy Bean, and Nicky Furbert, the mother of gun murder victim Rico Furbert, who was killed in the double murder shooting at Belvins Grocery in Happy Valley in January 2013, that also claimed the life of Haile ‘Star Child’ Outerbridge.
To date, four men have been convicted in connection with that double murder. The last man was convicted earlier this month when Gariko Benjamin was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was also ordered to serve 25 years behind bars before he becomes eligible for parole, which means that he will be at least 50-years-old before he can be released from prison.
Benjamin, 25, jumped bail and skipped the island to Africa and the US, where he was on the run for about two years before he was brought back to Bermuda to face trial.
Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves, who described the double murder as a “terrible crime” also noted that although Benjamin did not pull the trigger, he was a “knowing, willing and intentional participant” in the double murder that was part of “gang warfare”.
With a total of four men behind bars for this heinous crime, he said: “The taxpayers of this country have been put through much inconvenience and expense through the trials on this matter so far.”
Other speakers at the upcoming forum include former inmate Andre Minors, boxing coach Robert Somner, Pastor Jahkim Smith, Berkeley Institute Counselor Tyrone McHardy, and Robyn Swan, a former prison officer and young political candidate.
There will also be live performances by a number of local artists, including Corvin Melody, Jsilva and Amori ‘Marvo’ Browne.
Food and refreshments will also be available on sale during the event, which runs from 7pm to 9pm at the ‘Peace in Hamilton Parish’ forum on Saturday, October 21st, at the Crawl Gospel Hall. And there’s an open invitation for you to attend.
Lead organizer Desmond Crockwell said: “We encourage everyone to come out and join the anti-violence network.”
Said Mr Crockwell: “We are making a difference.”