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Voice Against Crime festival: a show of solidarity

TEAM: Organiser Rico, left, with Papa San

HUNDREDS OF people gathered at three events in Birmingham and Wolverhampton recently that were organised by Voice Against Crime (VAC), a church-based initiative working to address the recent spate of gun and knife incidents in the West Midlands.

Each bill – packed with talented, local artists including DJs, vocalists and poets – was headlined by famed dancehall star turned Gospel artist Papa San.

A potent mix of a revival church service and concert, the events were hurriedly organised by Rico, a VAC ambassador with a long history of building bridges between the Christian church and the streets.

Rico told The Voice: “It showed our response to people who are suffering and seeing their loved ones die needlessly because of guns and knives.

“It’s about helping us understand our responsibility, as a church, and on a basic level as humans. I had no plans to put any events on, but then I got a call from (Papa) San who told me he had some dates available. I prayed about it and felt this was something we should do. Voice Against Crime is love in action.”

San added: “My hope is that the message goes far and wide. We need to stand against fatherlessness – with no one to affirm some of our young men, it’s easy for them to get in with drugs, gang members who will try to father them, prison and so on. We need more people to join the stand against fatherlessness and impact community.”

Voices Against Crime is organising a series of workshops to dialogue with affected groups to address violent crime. For more information, call Rico on 07724 397 485.

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