It's a good thing how Jay-Z is getting involved in our African American culture. It's time we slow down gun violence in our black communities. He is really using his voice to stand out behind his music while having the NFL to back him up.
Jay-Z's Team Roc and the NFL debuted a public service announcement that honors the life of Hadiya Pendleton, a young girl who was fatally shot in Chicago in 2013.
Hadiya Pendleton's family has continued to keep her legacy alive. The Chicago teen is the subject of Team Roc's latest PSA about putting an end to gun violence.
Pendleton is one of many stories of kids being killed by gun violence from all over the world. Pendleton was gunned down as she was spending time with friends at the city's Harsh Park.
The video titled "Hadiya's Promise" is narrated by her mother Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, who shared her daughter's hopes and dreams as well as her own efforts at social justice in her young years.
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"We lost all her children, we lost generations," her mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, says in the announcement. "In junior high, she had a whole PSA: 'Don't be a part of gangs.' She stood up for what she believed in."
Pendleton was shot by Micheail Ward, who told police he shot at the group of teenagers because he thought they were rival gang members. Ward was sentenced to 84 years in prison in 2019.
"If we give the young people something to do, if we provide them with love and care, it would lift the awareness to the young that their voices matter and their lives matter — and they should be the ones to do something about that."
Weeks before her murder, she performed with her school band at former President Barack Obama's second inauguration. Mr. Obama brought up Pendleton's death at his State of the Union Address in 2013.
The announcement, the latest from The Responsibility Program, a joint initiative from Jay-Z and the NFL, also highlights Project Orange Tree, an awareness campaign created by Pendleton's friends that "focuses on educating youth about violence and its roots," according to the project's website. The name comes from the idea that hunters wear orange clothing to signal to other hunters no to shoot them.
The PSA also urges viewers to go to hadiyaspromise.com, the website for the Hadiya's Promise, an organization that seeks to end gun violence.
Seven years after her death, the teen's story was shared through Team Roc, the philanthropic sector of Jay Z's Roc Nation. The PSA is the second video released under his social justice partnership with the NFL announced last year. The first PSA aired during the Super Bowl and included the family of Bothan Jean, an unarmed black man who was killed by an off-duty police officer.
In Hadiya's PSA, her mother discusses the Orange Tee initiative and the Hadiya's Promise which looks to combat gun violence in Chicago and beyond.
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