- Faith & Family
Reginald Saunders, 32, has enjoyed his young life, writing music for some of the industry’s top celebrities. He says that last year he wanted to begin to give back to his community as well as help talented youth from the Liberty City area who shared similar dreams of becoming singers, dancers or producers. The event was so well received that Saunders is back again, preparing for this year’s second annual Stop the Violence and Dance Competition. It all takes place at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20th. Partnering with him this year will be his niece, Tiffany Williams, 23, a young entrepreneur who will share a motivational speech with youth who attend.
“Violence is the number one problem plaguing inner city youth — sometimes they react inappropriately because they don’t know any other way,” he said. “We want kids to really think about the consequences of their actions.”
Saunders says he first thought of the event because of the role that music plays in the lives of Black youth.
“You may not be able to get kids to sit down for a lecture, but they listen to music,” he said. “The message of peace and resolving conflicts without violence translates well — youth start to live what they hear. With that in mind, we are focusing on bringing positive messages through the music.”
Miami native and rising rap phenom Brianna will perform her hit “Marilyn Monroe” and has given her full support to the show, which includes both a dance competition and an opportunity for young singers, poets and instrumentalists to share their gifts in a Showtime at the Apollo-like forum.
“The event’s title speaks for itself — it’s a positive way for young people like myself to be active, have fun and dance,” Brianna said. “Most youth today are into hip-hop music and dancing so this is a perfect outlet to display our youth in a more positive light. I’m excited about performing this year. This event will be amazing and something no one should miss.”
Toine the Don and Larry Dogg will co-host the event. Miguel and Rick Ross are among this year’s invited guests. Saunders says there’s still room for dancers that wish to compete and hopefully equal the success of last year’s co-winner, FBI KIDZ, who will also take to the stage. For more information, contact Saunders at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website, www.stoptheviolenceanddance.com.
By D. Kevin McNeir