On Saturday, the Gun Crisis reporting team attended “A Game of Peace,” a basketball tournament organized at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center by Philadelphia Ceasefire, a public health violence-intervention program. Photographs for the Gun Crisis Reporting Project by Jim MacMillan.
The tournament was modeled after a program led by Cure Violence, formerly Chicago CeaseFire, which was correlated with reduced gun violence in that city’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood. Philadelphia CeaseFire’s Marla Davis-Bellamy says the local organization plans to organize more events.
About 100 people cheered on four teams wearing colorful “A Game of Peace” tee shirts while others cooked hot dogs, kept the music playing, painted children’s faces and led other activities. Philadelphia 76ers posters and other free items went quickly.
“Lost Dreams on Canvas” — a mobile portrait exhibit of children who have been innocent victims of violence — was also on display at the tournament. Over 100 artists have donated their time and talent to paint over 400 portraits.
Finally, we stopped in on a homecoming block party for PJ Rainey, the 13-year-old girl who lost an eye to a stray bullet last week in North Philadelphia. PJ is still feeling camera-shy but we are happy to report that she looks terrific and spent the day playing basketball and laughing with friends and family.
We are also happy to report that Philadelphia got through Saturday night and into this Sunday morning with no gunshot victims reported, although one young man was wounded Saturday afternoon.
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