The Norristown Weed & Seed Steering Committee is hosting a free two-day workshop on capacity-building for Norristown community leaders and residents this Thursday, Nov. 1 and Friday, Nov. 2.
The workshops, designed to aid community leaders and Norristown Weed & Seed members enact community violence prevention efforts in Norristown, is being conducted by Rev. Jeffrey Brown. Rev. Brown is the founder of Rebuilding Every City Around Peace (RECAP), a national initiative to combat gang violence, and co-founder of the Boston TenPoint Coalition, a group organized to adress issues faced by black and Latino youth. Both programs are free and open to the public.
The first session takes place tonight, Nov. 1, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library. Light food will be served.
The second session will take place Friday, Nov. 2 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Norristown Church of God, 329-351 East Wood Street. Following the Friday session, Rev. Brown will join elected officials and community leaders and residents on a brief "night walk" through areas of Norristown.
Rev. Brown visited Norristown in 2011 and reportedly won the support of Norristown Police Chief Russel Bono, who praised his work at the time in a letter to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman. Chief Bono wrote:
"When I was first approached with this proposal, I was skeptical to say the least. I have witnessed many attempts in the past to conduct similar programs and all have ended in failure. On Saturday, June 25th, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with the Reverend Jeffery Brown... I was very impressed with his presentation and the message he was sending out. The success of his program is without parallel in Boston and many other states and counties."
Rev. Brown's work with the TenPoint Coalition was cited in a recent New York Times article crediting the program with helping to "reset relations between the community and law enforcement" in Boston. He is also scheduled to meet individually with political and public safety leaders during his latest visit.