This is what young people need!
Veteran actor Michael K. Williams is helping New York city youth find summer jobs in the midst of COVID-19, Black Enterprise reports.
Williams has teamed up with the nonprofit NYC Together to help youth in New York find summer jobs in an effort to prevent violence in the city. The Brooklyn native understands the importance of keeping youth active, even in the midst of social distancing, especially in under resourced communities. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, funding had to be pulled from NY’s summer youth program and re-directed toward more urgent matters. More than 75,000 young people, many of them from low-income communities, depend on that funding each summer, to help take care of themselves and their families, and to help them stay away from the looming danger that comes with the seasonal change.
“The summer is almost here, y’all. And everybody from the hood knows that when school gets out, the murder rate goes up. It was true when I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn and it is still true today. With all of the city budget cuts gutting all of the opportunities for kids in my community to have something to do or to earn a couple of dollars to take care of themselves and sometimes even their families over the summer, I’m afraid this year it’s going to be even worse,” Williams said.
For long, researchers have suspected that there is a correlation between weather and violence, mainly because people are outside more. NYC Together takes all of this into account and works by raising money to provide jobs for inner-city youth. This year, the virtual program will employ teens to disseminate information to some 500,000 NYC residents. “The program will consist of culturally appropriate and informative campaigns that educate members of the Black and Latinx community about COVID-19 and will give youths the opportunity to work in tandem with health experts, law enforcement, adn community-based organizations in an immersion program to produce creative solutions to challenges presented by the health crisis,” the org said in a statement.
NYC Together has created a GoFundMe to raise money to employ the youth. The goal of $75,000 has been almost halfway met. Anyone who donates will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win various prizes including a Zoom Reunion with Williams and the cast of “The Wire,” a 30 min Master Class with comedian George Lopez or a Zoom lunch with actress Lana Parrilla.
“Money is freedom and money will help ease the burden on their parents to pay for things like food, medicine, and all other costs that come with this COVID outbreak. So let’s flatten the curve,” Williams said.
Here with an important message for y’all about Covid & its impact on NYC’s Black and Latino youth.
To help them stay safe & healthy this summer, DONATE to @NYCTogetherOrg & you could win a private Zoom with me & other folks from The Wire!advertisement
— Michael K Williams (@BKBMG) May 7, 2020
To support NYC youth and donate to the program, click here.
Thank you for all you’re doing Michael!
Photo Courtesy of Frazer Harrison/Getty Images