The musician wants to help people develop skills to become first responders in urban neighborhoods.
Roc Nation's Vic Mensa wants to be known not only as an artist, but as an activist as well. He recently ruffled feathers with his politically-driven visual for "Camp America," a single that brings focus to the deplorable conditions at ICE detainment facilities. The South Side Chicago native is now turning his attention to his hometown as he hopes to help young people develop new skills while helping their communities at the same time.
The street violence in Chicago has gained national attention and even this past weekend, NBC Chicago reported that four people were dead and 56 others were wounded in connection to shootings throughout the city. This year alone, there have been over 250 homicides and now that the summer months are upon us, schools are closed, leaving many students susceptible to violence. According to Essence, Mensa is using his SaveMoneySaveLife organization make sure that 11,000 young people are not only spending their time wisely, but learning how to help others by becoming street medics.
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“We train and equip first aid responders in Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods, and teach them how to not bleed out, how to stop blood flow from gunshot wounds," Mensa said. He shared that he developed the idea for the program after traveling abroad. “I was in the occupied West Bank in Palestine and I met a young man from Gaza who was from an organization called Build Palestine. [They] had a similar program where they trained 35 first aid responders, I think it was in Gaza...their ambulance situation and first response situation is actually a lot like Chicago. Like the ambulances take a long time, might not come, might not be anywhere good to get treated, and it’s a war zone.”