Home / Music & Arts / Russell Simmons, Queens students urge nation to 'keep the peace'

Russell Simmons, Queens students urge nation to 'keep the peace'

Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons took a break Thursday from the noise of civic activism to promote a little peace and quiet.

Well, peace anyway.

Quiet is a little more difficult to achieve when you’re surrounded by 800 students at a Queens middle school. But the kids lowered the volume long enough to hear Simmons talk about the value of good choices in the struggle to keep the peace and reduce youth violence.

“You are who you hang with,” Simmons, the RushCard co-founder, told the crowd of students outside Catherine and Count Basie Middle School 72 in Jamaica. “Find people who are going where you want go — and you want go up.”

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The event was organized by Russell Simmons (l.) and rapper DMX (r.) in connection with the nonprofit group LIFE Camp.

The event was organized by Russell Simmons (l.) and rapper DMX (r.) in connection with the nonprofit group LIFE Camp.

(Go Nakamura/New York Daily News)

Simmons’ appearance was part of RushCard’s Keep the Peace initiative to reduce youth violence nationwide. Simmons said RushCard is investing $ 25,000 in the New York City community to reduce youth violence with local nonprofit LIFE Camp.

The boys and girls, in bright orange “Keep the Peace” T-shirts, were joined by students from MS 93 and Redwood Middle School. Simmons asked the students to pledge to keep the peace in their communities and social circles, and the kids were quick to get on board.

“I feel pumped up,” said MS 72 eighth-grader Izaih Brown, 12. “There’s too much violence going around these days.”

Students formed a human peace sign in the schoolyard at the Thursday event.

Students formed a human peace sign in the schoolyard at the Thursday event.

(Go Nakamura/New York Daily News)

Prior to the school session, Simmons held a similar event on Rikers Island with LIFE Camp’s Urban Yogis team, and following the event he spoke with current and former gang leaders in Queens with rapper DMX and LIFE Camp staffers.

“I try to give my money but I also try to show up.” Simmons told the Daily News. “I enjoy working with the kids and I see that it makes a difference. Teaching kids to know themselves is the most important thing. Adults are too late sometimes.”

Tags:
russell simmons
dmx
new york public schools
jamaica

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