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Russell Simmons Inspires Youth To Stay Away From Violence

During his visit, Simmons stressed the importance of meditation to more than 500 students. ATVN's Maddy Keavy reports.

Business mogul and Def-Jam Records creator Russell Simmons spoke to 500 Dorsey High School students about the importance of peace on Wednesday.

The event was a partnership between Community Coalition and RushCard's Keep the Peace initiative, which is a national grant program to support nonprofit, community based organizations throughout the country.

The goal of these programs is to promote peace and reduce youth violence. One of Simmons' focal points is 15 minutes of classroom meditation everyday. Even during the event, he joined the students in four minutes of meditation for practice. 

"The groups that you join the activities that you chose, they're part of being peaceful. It's an action. You have to go to work on peace. Peace is an action. Just like fighting, just like war, it's an action," Simmons said. 

Dorsey High School Principal, Dr. Reginald Sample and Community Coalition President and CEO, Marqueece Harris-Dawson opened the event with words of wisdom for the students.

Simmons' challenged Dorsey students to sign pledge cards, pledging their goals for peace. He was adamant about making the right choices, choosing the right friends and straying away from violence. 

"My concern is to go to work everyday and do the best I can to make these communities the best I can, to make these individuals do better," Simmons said in an interview after the event. 

A youth organizer with Community Coalition, Jelani Hendrix, helped organize event. He works with students every week holding discussions about everything from the community to college plans. 

"I think just inner city populations in general could benefit from this program [like] meditation. Like Russell Simmons talked about, you want to be at a state of peace at all times," Hendrix said, "That way you can navigate through life with the challenges that come, you can advance those obstacles."

Dorsey High will be the first school in South Los Angeles to implement meditation in daily classroom activities. Simmons' says he will continue speaking around the country sharing these peaceful techniques.  


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