Monthly Archives: March 2012

Renaming of 139th St. and St. Brook Ave. to Naiesha (Nana) Pearson Place Saturday

Saturday, we will be holding a street renaming to rename 139th St. and St. Brook Ave. to Naiesha (Nana) Pearson Place.

Naiesha (Nana) Pearson was killed at her neighborhood’s end-of-summer barbeque when two men got into an argument and a gun was fired. Unfortunately, the bullet ended up hitting Naiesha and she later died in the hospital. But beyond that tragedy, her death had a ripple effect that reached far beyond the neighborhood.

After the untimely death, her family and community took on the responsibility of preventing further deaths to gun violence. Naiesha’s death led to the creation of the Walk Against Gun Violence rally, which is now an annual event in the South Bronx community. After her death, Naiesha’s aunt, Gloria Cruz founded the Bronx chapter of the New Yorkers Anti-Gun Violence, as well as the first Gun Buy Back program in the Bronx. Her death also led to create stricter rules for buying guns and to require bullets to be microstamped with unique markings in order to identify them.


Wednesday: Panel on Combating Youth Violence with Melissa

Melissa will be speaking on a panel at the New School’s Center for New York City Affairs will be holding an event Combating Youth Violence: Concrete Solutions for New York City on Wednesday, March 21 from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM at the Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, 55 West 13th St. (between 5th and 6th Avenues), 2nd Floor. Admission is free but attendees must reserve a seat by emailing

Youth violence has declined sharply over two decades–more than 70 percent in New York State, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Yet in some neighborhoods there are now increasing reports of gang activity and violence. Tensions and distrust remain high between law enforcement officials and community members–especially young people. Leaders in other cities have shown that youth, communities, and law enforcement can work together for successful solutions. Can we follow that path in New York? What strategies are already working, and how can we make them stronger?

Remarks from:
David Kennedy, author of Don’t Shoot: One Man, A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America; Director, John Jay Center for Crime Prevention and Control

Followed by a conversation with:
Phillip Banks, III, Chief of Community Affairs, New York City Police Department
Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member, District 8, New York City Council
Reean Charles, Organizer, Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (Y.O.S.O.S.)
and others