Erica Ford And Khepera Kearse Speak On LIFE Camp And More

in the morning breakfast club morning everybody is DJ envy Angela Yee Shalom and a guy we are the breakfast club you got some special guests in the building yes indeed keppra curse and Erica for welcome guys good morning how are you tell us about this great great thing that y'all have the life camp Mobile RV life camp the hill gun-related trauma yes 35 foot orange peace mobile that we bring to different neighborhoods it has a recording studio in the back so that we can allow young people or people in general to put their paint on beats it's got a punching bag so that you could knock it out instead of shooting somebody out we have a whole therapeutic area which we call Cara's kitchen which we teach people how to be more alkaline as opposed to acidic and we have like a couch and hope we have healing circles healing conversations with parents and families we use it as if they want because some people can't come to certain sides of town and too we want to build bring peace to people help it be more marketable help it you know come right to you as well as give you a vehicle to mediate and intervene in conflicts right there when this happened it I love it man because I've been saying for the longest that I feel like trauma that's something we never deal with his people we don't allow ourselves the hills we end up just redistribute in that pain and that hurt the people that look just like us yes get started in this so I've been doing this work for 30 years and so and I was just talking to assistant I was saying that I I've been in so many shootouts in my life that I really it just became normal right um she was telling me about a shootout that she was in and I was like damn I don't never even realized that I've been in so many shootouts and one the fact of it become a normal can't be a reality for us and to what happens to our young people after they lose a loved one they kind of stop living like you said and um and I wanted to create something different and so I had the cold foundation which we started with to walk around putting a cold to the streets and then it elevated into life camp and now we presented a concept to the mayor's office under the Mayor Bloomberg and it was adopted started with five sites and five million dollars and now it has elevated to 22 sites and 36 million dollars and so out of that we kept pushing for the piece mobiles and mobile trauma units and now he just funded five of them to going three or five you know it's five now how do they travel you do you just go in specific areas at different times or so I got to Queens one brother Brownsville think tank Tim Addis has the Brooklyn one street corner resources has a hollow one true-to-life has a Staten Island one and released a grip has the Bronx one is so they cover the each of us cover our area and then different times like the Labor Day Parade or things like that we'll all come together and but we basically go to where crime is high where we know that people have the highest potential to shoot somebody or be shot so besides having the truck out there do you guys actively jump out there to try to piece things up wasn't one of those things it's like now you ain't going there for KK well actually I was gonna let Erica speak to that because I'm director of therapeutic wellness services but I will say that Erica as one of the architects of the New York City crisis management system each of our organizations has what we call credible messengers and those are people who have credibility in the street who have turned their lives around and those are the people that young people will listen to so that if there is a shooting or an incident of violence they can help squash a beef prevent retaliation or sometimes prevent the beef from popping off before it starts I was saying at the other day I'm so used to hearing gunshots and so into seeing shootouts that it is sad but it doesn't faze me it doesn't it doesn't faze me anymore which which is which is a bad thing you hear you hear gunshots before as a kid you'd run you get low oh my gosh but now it just doesn't feel like about when we was young how normal it was for us to get dressed to go to the club and bring our gun and then as you get older you like wow valid point right most people are subconsciously in survival mode so everything you do every time you take an action or thought your brain releases hormones so if you're living in an environment where there's a lot of gunfire or if there's just the stress of work or the stress of life your brain is releasing stress hormones right and your donors cortisol and adrenaline but if you don't actually fight or flee and release those hormones they build up your body and most black people most black and brown people suffer from PTSD because it's from cumulative stresses from stress that happens over time and so when you're constantly releasing those stress hormones your body stays in a state of survival mode because it's triggering that part of the brain that triggers your instinct to want to pop off so most people are actually living in that state and it's not physically it's not good for your well-being to constantly be in a state of survival mode because the smallest thing can trigger you so the first thing we do from a physical perspective is help to get the body alkaline so I love that you talk about stillness our grandmothers had the most prophetic saying go somewhere and sit down and be sitting and being sterile is where it's at but most people don't even know how to sit still so that's partially because of what's in the body the blood is poison from all the processed foods so think about your typical meal most people eating starch which gets really hard like paper mache mucus from dairy and meat and it's not to take you off your diet but just to understand balance right what is a typical breakfast they can egg and cheese that starch mucus and dairy right um starch I'm sorry starts dairy and flesh or bagel and cream cheese which a typical lunch hamburger and french fries pizza what's a typical dinner chicken macaroni and cheese where's the life in those meals hmm so anything that contains water contains life so fruits and vegetables naturally contain water and if you just balance out your meal with more alkaline foods it helps to actually regulate the body so things like that that we do on the piece mobile teaching families how to make little tonics and smoothies just to make the kids bodies more alkaline because they don't know what's happening and starch heats up the body so you either gonna be heated or you don't be hot it makes you want to FoF you know to fight off on a case so to speak and so that's one of the things we do on a physical level in addition to yoga and meditation and Erica can tell you about the urban Yogi's program which is phenomenal and what she did to turn some young people's lives around mm-hm so I was actually at a at a forum with Russell and Deepak Chopra and and it was the first time hearing about yoga and meditation and I told Deepak that shit is for white people it ain't for us to know we don't know meditation right and so he was like no it's gonna work it's gonna work and I was like well bring that shit to the hood then you know and and he did and he came out to the hood and he worked with a group of young people from busy projects and he worked with them every month and they became urban Yogi's you know and they were teased they were harassed but they kept going you know and now they're professional yoga trainers they worked the Kansas City Chiefs Chiefs they worked with the Chicago Bulls and did a yoga program out of Chicago they do yoga in the middle of the projects and they got like real jobs now and they've helped kind of change the cycle of some of the violence that has been happening in busy projects and around busy projects because now a lot of the young people are into physical fitness they're doing different things they got real jobs as opposed to continuing a legacy of those their fathers actually how's the project looking now you know because you mentioned basically projects and um I think I was a Southside maybe uh maybe a month or so ago and Southside totally changed thank you it was no longer hood thank you it was a a lot of older white ladies walk in the door our people were like where they put now people there cuz I mean that means that the hood the other hoods that you name it have to be overcrowded overpopulated yeah so they haven't moved in yet um to to Jamaica Queens like that but crime has gone down tremendously we have had up to four years with no one being killed in South Jamaica we went up to in our target area we went up to 560 two days with nobody being shot and and those things happen like prior to us coming in it was four people killed yeah 17 people shouting here and so those numbers of real lives you know on both sides of the guns so we we've been doing tremendous amount of work inside me and so busy projects these safest housing development in New York City right now and we remember the time when busy projects produce nothing but what's worse right and so the work works and and when we talk about you know continuing to marathon or investing in the streets this is really what people need to do it we need to help because the whole game we talk about the 80s and the whole drug game and its impact people are still more still victims from it and so we have to to put things and invest things that can help these young people change because either they're going to jail or the graveyard we don't want them to go to neither one you know and so we provide free lawyers we provide the therapeutic services we provide jobs we provide counseling and mentorship and different opportunities to turn young people bill this allows it to take us closer to more people how can gun trauma affect an entire family and community so you think about one person being shot that one person being shot directly impacts the parent because now you're talking about outside of the immediate stress you're talking about the hospital bills you're talking about potential legal fees depending on what happened or even bail in some cases if the victim was also involved in something else you're talking about the people who witnessed it who might have been down the block or across the street who live in the neighborhood who constantly see it and now they create this mental the subconscious agreement that it's not safe where they live you talk about the siblings who have to watch their sibling recover or even be a part of the recovery process if the person is paralyzed then you're talking about home care so you're not only impacting one bullet can impact a whole family we have an employee who his son was murdered and because of the death of his son his wife died of a broken heart you know black women suffer they are the largest population to suffer from heart disease because most women carry these stress in the heart mm-hm and so the daughter because of this death of her brother and her mother she developed a rare autoimmune disease from the extreme stress and she died so this one father lost three family members because of one bullet you know and then the impact on every institution hospitals the schools the police so it also costs you know one life cost so much but then Charlemagne you talk about intergenerational trauma talk about the fact that even from slavery there's never been like therapeutic services after slavery it's like okay you're free now go for it you know there's never been anything after the Jim Crow era civil rights and now today everywhere you look on social media another black man another Hispanic or Latino another person is being killed so you're constantly getting that programming right and so over time what that does is it actually affects the psyche and as you know cuz I know you do a lot of work in this area it becomes epigenetic so people talk about oh my son has my face like you have a beautiful family and V and they have your features right so you inherit traits like character trait I mean traits like your physical traits but you also inherit states of being and so if you're constantly passing on the generational trauma of violence whether it's violence in the home violence in your mind anger it actually there's something called epigenetics where it can shift your DNA so you can be born with the propensity to be violent angry or have those stress symptoms so one of the things we teach also because we're unconventional with it we don't have time to sit on a couch for three years and go all the way back to the first time you can remember something we have to do we have to heal right now and we know that miracles happen in an instant and so one of the things that we've learned and that we teach is that most emotional upset first of all upset is your set your settee and lower forces coming up right most emotional disturbance comes from this making it about yourself I can't believe you would say that to me right why are you looking at me like that oh this brothers trying to get at me right and so or I can't believe he cheated on me when you make it about yourself that's when you actually cause the emotional disturbance because two of you could say the same thing to me but you're the only one that I would make it mean something and you know jay-z has a live what you eat don't make me shit right it's one of them it's actually a brilliant lie because why should something that you do towards me unless you physically touch me why would I then cause myself emotional distress and release all those stress hormones that are gonna destroy my body why would I want to make myself sick for something you did so we teach people the science of the mind just like understanding how a car works you got to understand how the subconscious works so we teach people how to shift what they make that mean it actually stops people from responding and reacting to everything around them yeah don't take things personal comes from just being around gun violence like how we talked about when you were in these neighborhoods we hear a gunshot so we might see people getting shot like how do we deal with that anxiety in trauma so again PTSD is cumulative stress like you said one in three black people have PTSD and that could be the inability to sleep could be your hair falling out it could be just erratic behavior or constantly feeling worried or nervous and so we teach different things from the physical stimulation aromatherapy is real simple you know just getting essential oils we use a lot of lavender you can put that on the pillow at night or just rub it between your hands and breathe in you know we teach B people breath work and breath techniques and again we teach the people how to shift the body because when you're stressed you go to emotional eating so if you crave like crunchy salty fried things it's usually because a lot of times even if you're just eating it and you're not hungry it's because you have unrep you have repressed anger or you have unexpressed emotion that's me so we teach people the science of food because again the body is like a great car we put so much time and energy into under an understanding how a car works but not on the body and how the mind works we know how to work the physicality but not the mind so for us knowledge is power and when you learn the science behind things it's like oh wow okay what's really going on cuz I'm just popping these chips I just busted down this entire pint of haagen-dazs and I wasn't even hungry I realize I do that at the airport a lot for whatever reason the plane like it just stresses me out like I always got to go buy chips and I only eat that stuff right so then you want to ask yourself what am I scared of what in this moment am i dealing with and so being present is important because most people are not present there either worried about the past or afraid of the future so you getting on the plane is the fear and it's so subtle and so quick that your mind automatically goes to that trigger response because you've cultivated the habit of generating some fear around getting on the plane so the first thing you can do is focus on being present if that means listening to some music doing something tactile that you enjoy art is often good or reading something but just being present in the moment because most of the time you're thinking about the future and if you practice that it's like working a muscle over time you'll be so present stuffs gonna come things are going to trigger you but you can get off of it faster or you can process it quicker how can people donate and add to the cause as possible so you can text all in for peace that's all in and the number for peace and you can text that to five one five five five so again text two five one five five five and the and the language is all in for peace or you can go to peace is a lifestyle calm and donate on the website and how can they find the truck if they want to find a truck is there any way they can look or do they have to just search for it how can they get to find the truck so once we start I mean it depends if we're dealing with a sensitive situation we would probably not want people to find the truck they become knocking on window you doing a mediation and stuff but will we have any events and where we are on our website social media all our social medias life camp Inc life campaign well we appreciate you for joining us and we appreciate it a month ago yeah it's incredible y'all should come downstairs and check it out we have it parked out front okay Nikki will take the camera down there or all right well we appreciate you for joining us guys thanks for having us and it's the breakfast club good morning [Music]