Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is leading a neighbourhood campaign in his native New York to put a stop to rising violence and crime activity in the area.
The co-founder of Def Jam Records joined locals in the borough of Queens on Saturday (27Mar10) to raise awareness about the Peace Keepers Movement, which aims to curb crime by encouraging a strong presence of men in the community in tough neighbourhoods.
Simmons tells the New York Daily News, "For me, this is significant because I grew up here.
"Not too far from here, I sold drugs. I've had to change, and I've had leaders show me the way."
The campaign comes as statistics for the number of murders in Queens was reported to have risen by 29 per cent since the start of 2010, compared to the same period in 2009.