Intergenerational Dialogue

Youth Rising for Peace 2012 > Community Peacebuilding > Urban Peace
Broadcast on February 12, 2012
With Erica Ford & Brandon Bennett

Erica Ford

Philanthropist, Social Entrepreneur, Community Organizer & Youth Advocate

Erica Ford is widely respected as one of the most diligent and hard working activists of her generation. She is uncompromisingly dedicated to improving of the lives of Black and Latino youth and of the community-at-large. For over 20 years, this outstanding leader and internationally recognized peace activist has led the effort to combat violence and inspire youth in devastated communities. Her current service is centered on LIFE Camp, a youth-based nonprofit organization that promotes the value of LIFE and develops teens and adults into peer leaders, to avoid becoming perpetrators or victims of violence.Ms. Ford's lifelong activism has taken her all over the world.

Brandon Bennett

Activist, actor, spoken word artist, music producer

Brandon Bennett is not your average young male from the inner city. The activist, actor, spoken word artist, music producer already has a resume most grown ups would envy. Brandon, 15, and already a junior after skipping the first grade, lives in Bronx NY and attends Wadleigh High School. During his few hours of downtime, the spoken word prodigy writes poetry, prose and music. After Brandon's poetry was published in the fall of 2011, he was honored with a ceremony by local politicians at the Harlem State Office Building. Brandon is also an accomplished professional actor. After appearing in various movies, television shows and commercials Brandon became a member of the Screen Actors Guild in 2005. This school year, Brandon played the lead character in a Shakespearian play for his high school theater program.

Brandon latest accomplishment is being spokesperson for Rev Al Sharpton's National Action Network Youth Move. Brandon became a youth move member in August 2011. His activism in the last 6 months have included serving on the sanitation detail at Occupy Wall Street, co founded the NAN Youth Move Civil Rights Film Festival, taking young people to DMV on election day to obtain NYC State ID cards and marching, rallying and protesting against social economic injustice, community violence and fighting for worker's rights. At the Rev Jesse Jessie Jackson 2012 Hip Hop Summit, Brandon took the rap artists on the panel to task for the lyrics that are adding to the destruction and violence in our community.

Brandon has appeared in schools to talk to other young people about bullying, violence and the importance of a good education. Brandon often does sharp spoken word about social consciousness to get young people's attention, and they become mesmerized by the rapid flow of true and knowledge that spills from his lips. Another way Brandon connects to young people is creating musical beats and positive lyrics. Fans of his music know him as I am B 13. Members of the National Action Network Youth Move know him as a leader.