SOURCE: ROOT (Reaching Out To Others Together)

January 14, 2008 14:06 ET

ROOT Inc. Receives Resolution From Boston City Council and Establishes New England Chapter of ROOT in Boston

Press Conference in Boston on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 10:00am to Announce Initiative on "Gun Violence"

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 14, 2008) - ROOT (Reaching Out to Others Together), Inc. and its Board of Directors is proud to formally announce the establishment of the first official chapter of ROOT outside of its home base in Washington, DC, and the opening of the New England office located in Boston as it begins a nationwide campaign and movement to address the epidemic of youth violence and gun violence in cities and communities throughout America.

Due to the frequency of gun violence in our Nation's Capital, and from the tragic circumstances surrounding the murder of his only son, Kenneth Barnes, Jr., in 2001, Kenneth Barnes, Sr. established ROOT in 2002. The New England Chapter is the first of additional chapters that ROOT plans on opening throughout the United States. A press conference will be held in Boston, MA on Tuesday for the formal announcements.


Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Location: Freedom House 14 Crawford, St. Dorchester, MA 02124

Time: 10:00am

The New England Chapter is proud to host this historic press conference and will be joined by Congressman John Olver, First Congressional District, Massachusetts; Police Commissioner Edward Davis; Boston City Councilmembers Sam Yoon and Chuck Tuner; local community and victims of gun violence, as well as by a contingency from Washington, DC that will include Mr. Barnes. Members of the New England Chapter include William (Billy) Celester, retired Superintendent Boston Police Department/Co-Chair National Board; 1st Vice President Minister Don Muhammad, Nation of Islam Mosque #11/Co-Chair of ROOT National Task Force; 2nd Vice President John Wells, Retired Boston Police Department/President Nubian Voices of Experience in Public Safety; Treasurer Pastor Shawn O. Harrison, Community Activist/Case Manager-Bird Street Community Center; Secretary Albert Holland, Executive Director of Health Careers Academy; Legal Counsel/Clerk James Dilday Esq., ROOT National Legal Counsel/Past President New England Bar Association; Communications Director Leonard M. Lee, Community Activist/Founder/CEO Blakestone Associates; Parliamentarian Bill Owens, Massachusetts State Senator (Retired); Historian Ardis Graham, Community Activist; Sergeant of Arms Eric Straughter, Special Assistant to the Chancellor University of Massachusetts (Boston); Youth Coordination John Rice, Boston Educator/Community Activist; finally to be a part of this prestigious event arriving all the way from Florida will be Corbett Kroehler, candidate for Congress, US House FL-8.

Invited guests include the Deval L. Patrick, Governor of MA; Senators John Kerr and Ted Kennedy; Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of Boston; and Congressman Barney Frank.

A resolution introduced by Public Safety Chair of the Council, Steve Murphy has been passed by the Boston City Council and will be presented to ROOT and the New England Chapter in honor of Guns Aside month and for ROOT's efforts to reduce gun violence.

Kenneth Barnes states: "With the opening of this office in Boston, we will be able to expand on the past success Boston has had in combating violence."

ROOT believes that the campaign to reduce gun violence, violence, and increasing incidents of youth violence must be conducted at both the national as well as the local level. ROOT is currently working with the offices of Congressman Albert Wynn (D-MD) and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) who will be announcing legislation very shortly, introduced by Wynn and co-sponsored by Cummings, directed towards the systemic and endemic issues that create violence. This legislation, entitled "The Community in Action Self Help Initiative of 2008," will address the issues that create violence proactively and with community interaction rather than respond to violence reactively.

ROOT Inc.'s national initiative and the Blue Ribbon Task Force assembled by Congressman Albert Wynn is supported by several members of Congress, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Adrian Fenty, the Mayor of Washington, DC. Congressman Wynn's Blue Ribbon Task Force represents membership from coast to coast and members from all walks of life, regardless of political affiliation, ethnicity, or religious affiliation.

ROOT (Reaching Out to Others Together) Inc. is a nonprofit organization committed to advocacy, awareness, and education to reduce increasing incidents of youth violence and gun violence. ROOT motivates and mobilizes communities to take a proactive approach to reducing homicides and the gun violence occurring in cities.,,

Contact Information

  • ROOT, Inc. Media Contact:
    Priscilla Clarke
    Email Contact

    National Contact:
    Ava Harrison
    1-866-570-ROOT (7668)
    Email Contact

    Boston Contacts:
    William Celester
    James Dilday
    Leonard Lee