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Music legend Russell Simmons was in the New York borough of Queens on Saturday, March 27, to attend a rally against rising crime and violence.

The rally supported the work of the Peace Keepers Movement, which uses mentors to curb violence in communities.

“For me this is significant because I grew up here,” he said at the rally. “Not too far from here, I sold drugs. I’ve had to change, and I’ve had leaders show me the way.”

The initiative – founded by Dennis Muhammad – deters violence and crime by creating a strong presence of community-minded men. The pilot program was funded by Russell Simmons to restore pride, trust, respect and strength to communities.

To see a photo of Russell and the new Peacekeepers of Queens, click here. For more information about The Peacekeepers email or 1.888.508.0883.

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