By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Stop The Violence is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to bring about a perpetual positive change among today’s youth. Their goal is to bring awareness and resources to aid in the prevention and intervention of violence through education.
On Sunday September 20, at 9 a.m. Stop the Violence along with DG Productions will kick off a 5k run at Stars and Stripes Park, 3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive.
This year’s run, themed “Bands on the Run,” will cater to the millennial generation, which encourages outside of the box events that inspire the creative and innovative lifestyle of the participants, said organizers.
The event will feature a 5k run with musical groups along the course playing their favorite tunes as each runner makes their way along the Lake Hefner Trails.
Food and music will also be available as STV will use this time to not only bring awareness to a worthy cause but to also celebrate the current and future accomplishments of such a great organization.
Stop the Violence Dancers will also be featured at the commencement of the race at the starting line. STV and DG Productions are both looking forward to another successful run.
Dance camps and back to school gatherings have been at the core of their success thus far. They are now expanding their selection of efforts to be more effective, efficient, and proactive in STV’s fight for the futures of today’s youth.
Registration for the run is $25 before September 20 and will be $50 on the day of the race. Early registration is highly recommended however not required. You can register online for this run here.
Online registration closes on Friday September 18, at 8 p.m.
“We realize that this is just one avenue toward a solution to the plight of our youth,” said Kuinten Rucker, Stop the Violence founder and chair. “We believe long-term plans, cooperating businesses, charitable organizations, community churches, state and local governing bodies working together with one goal in mind, which is our youth. We want to alter their paths of violence and show them the positive. We care!”
STV supports all efforts working toward the education, prevention, and elimination of Violence and its emotional scares in children.
The organization’s efforts have made contributions to Wilson Elementary, Douglass, Millwood, & Star Spencer High School’s, Miss Black Oklahoma USA, Langston University, & the Urban League Back to School Bash just to name a few.
“We have also put together some key programs including Stop The Violence Dance Camps which aim to teach leadership and team skills as well as topics on how to prevent violence,” said Rucker. “The youth in return were taught different types of dance including Modern, Jazz, Hip-hop, Step, Technical, & Gospel Dance.
“Stop the Violence is an Oklahoma City non-profit that has been changing the lives of metro youth for almost six years now,” Rucker added.
In 2010, Rucker’s cousin Kruz Laviolette was shot to death after trying to break up a fight. Kruz passed away in front of his little sister and brother, one in elementary and one in high school.
Days after that murder, Rucker started the non-profit and since then, he and his staff of about 20 volunteers have been able to touch the lives of nearly 1,000 metro youth.
“Violence is happening everywhere and not just in one neighborhood,” Rucker said. “Since the inception of Stop the Violence the organization continues to grow at an alarming rate. We are running out of resources very quickly due to the amount of youth we are working with.
“This 5K is one of our platforms and fundraisers that we have to help with the financial aid of the organization. We need more help from the community and businesses so that we can continue to serve this state,” he added.
STV is a violence prevention program for not just only at-risk youth but for all youth ranging from ages 4-18. They also host programs for the Adult generation as well.
Other STV programs include public awareness and public education; youth leadership camps which include choir, dance, & sports camps; back-to-school supply giveaway events and career building workshops.
For more information, visit www.stoptheviolenceok.com.