By VoiceWaves Beat Reporter Patrick Moreno
It was a regular day at a grocery store in Long Beach until gunshots rang. A younger Camerine Ponn, now 21, was shoved into a nearby bush by his cousin. When he stood up again, he found his cousin dead on the sidewalk. Although Ponn was saved, it was too late for his cousin.
Ponn’s story was one of several different types of stories shared at Sunday’s kickoff launch for Long Beach’s Season for Nonviolence campaign.
The event was osted by The Center, working in collaboration with VoiceWaves, the City of Long Beach, and PeaceBuilders. The Season for Nonviolence is a 64-day-long international event dedicated to empowering communities through the peaceful principals and strategies of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and Mohatma Gandhi.
In the video clip, 2nd District Council Person Suja Lowenthal describes what the campaign might look like to different people, and what our city can gain by participating.
For community leaders already dedicated to building a lasting peace in Long Beach like Michelle Molina, Chief Executive Officer and Owner of PeacePartners, the 64-day event is just one sixth of a 365-day-per-year effort.
In the video Molina discusses deconstructing the idea of peace into smaller more achievable victories so that residents can feel empowered to change their community, instead of intimidated by the global impact of leaders like MLK and the Mohatma.
“Agitating and then binding” are some of the fundamental processes of social justice, said Lowenthal. “We also have women’s history month and black history month, but we don’t only celebrate those things at those times. “
Another video premiere was featured Sunday when Molina introduced a collaborative anti-bullying music video for, “No Matter What” written by Cathy-Anne McClintock and performed by CathyAnne McClintock and Chad Petree of Shiny Toy Guns.
The music video for “No Matter What,” features Molina’s daughter Antonia in the role of a friend who sticks up for a young girl who is bullied at a middle school.
The other half of Sunday’s event was a travelling film festival called LUNAFEST, which sold out all 300 tickets.
LUNAFEST features the work of often-unsung female filmmakers. Proceeds from the nationally touring film festival benefit local charities at each destination, and 15 percent of net proceeds go towards the Breast Cancer Fund.
For more information about the campaign, follow them HERE on Facebook.
The following is a list of the remaining events that have been scheduled for the Season of Nonviolence:
LGBTQ Reducing Disparities Project
“How we can change the experience of LGBTQ people in Long Beach”
features the release of ‘First, do no harm’ report for the California LGBTQ communities. Hosted by Mental Health America, The Center, and EQ CA.
Jan 31 from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Center in Long Beach
22nd Annual Interfaith/ Intercultural Breakfast
Arim Khamisa – Author, Activist & Inspirational speaker
“Teaching people how to achieve peace through the practice of forgiveness
Tuesday, Feb 12 at the Long Beach Convention Center
RSVP by Feb 5 at 562-435-8184
“Bully” Movie Screening and Panel Discussion
Hosted by Long Beach Library Services
Dates and times TBA
First Books at First Fridays
Promoting literacy in the 7th district and the city of Long Beach
March 1 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at Dana Library in Bixby Knolls
Violence Prevention Plan Community Forum
Hosted by the City of Long Beach
Focusing on all forms of violence including family, school, community, and citywide data from exerts
March 9, 9:00 am-12:00pm
Cesar Chavez Park
Cesar Chavez Day
Hosted by Centro CHA, NALEO
Citizenship workshop 8:00 am-3:00 pm with a candlelight vigil from 3-7pm
Saturday, March 30
Cesar Chavez Park