Local students address gun violence at live performance, youth summit

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Young South Floridians are sending a powerful message about crime in their community at a live music performance in Miami Gardens and at a youth summit in Miami, Saturday.

Talent, passion and calls to end gun violence filled the theater at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens at the Fourth Annual CD Compilation Release Event. Students and members of various local youth groups showcased their own music, featured on the CD “MDP4P.”

The title stands for “Miami-Dade Partners for Peace, and the CD, which is sponsored by Miami-Dade County and The Children’s Fund, features 23 tracks addressing the gun violence that’s plaguing our community. Senseless acts have loved ones left behind with heartbreaking stories to tell.

Members of one of the groups featured on the CD hope that, through their music, they can help create change. “Going into the studio and making a change for everybody who’s using guns,” said one of the young musicians.

“Music is something that we all connect with, and I feel like us talking about this in our songs is going to help pass it along faster and better,” said another group member.

Thomas Demerritte, the president of the ADMIT Program, is also a producer, and he helped bring the young performers into a studio to record. “We’re trying to let the young people use their own methods and their own voices to be their salvation,” he said. “We try to give them a voice, because we feel that they are the ones experiencing and they know about it. Maybe sometimes they have the answer where sometimes adults do not.”

Efforts to stop the gun violence also took place at a youth summit at Jackson Memorial Hospital. More than 150 role model students from various schools, including Highland Oaks and South Dade Middle received presentations about relations with police and gun violence prevention.

“We’re talking about the crime in the community and how to avoid it, how when you see something, say something,” said U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.

Brand-new role models were inducted into the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project. a program that’s already changing lives.

It certainly changed Matthew Wright’s life. “When I was 3, I had lost my father in front of me,” he said. “Before I joined the program, I was like a little rebel. I was disrespecting my mom at a young age, and when I got into the program, it really changed my life.”

Through such programs and the “MDP4P” mixtape, one concerned community hopes that there will be change and bullets will stop flying.

For more information about “MDP4P,” click here.

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