As last year’s homicide numbers in Baltimore rose to record levels, Erricka Bridgeford knew something had to be done.
Partnering with hip-hop artist Ogun, she started a Facebook chat that led to a grassroots effort with a single plea: no shootings for just 72 hours. The idea was so simple — and stark compared to the city’s increasingly violent landscape — that it made international headlines.
Bridgeford, The Baltimore Sun’s 2017 Marylander of the Year, discusses her experiences with the movement during the presentation “Nobody Kill Anybody: The Ceasefire Weekend in Baltimore” 6 p.m. Monday, March 5, in Room 153 of Salisbury University’s Conway Hall.
Also known as the Baltimore Peace Challenge, the anti-violence effort was comprised of more than 30 events, culminating with ceasefire weekends declared in both August and November. While shootings occurred on both those occasions, a third ceasefire, declared earlier this month, was successful.
“The movement has produced something greater and more lasting,” the Sun said. “It made a city benumbed by violence feel once again the terrible loss of years of murders and shootings. It awakened a sense that the cycle of killing can be broken and that the power to do it lies in our own hands.”
In her talk, Bridgeford shares how the idea for the ceasefire weekends emerged, and how organizations, individuals and gang members responded. She also discusses lessons learned and what might come next.
Sponsored by SU’s Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, admission is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-677-5045 or visit the PACE website at www.salisbury.edu/pace.