Roc Nation released a PSA about stopping gun violence that they’ve dedicated to the late Hadiya Pendleton, who was fatally shot in 2013 at 15 years old.
Roc Nation’s latest PSA highlights the importance of ending gun violence and is dedicated to Hadiya Pendleton, an unarmed 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Chicago in 2013. The PSA, released by Team ROC, serves as the latest initiative from Jay-Z and the NFL’s Responsibility Program, and highlights Hadiya’s Promise, an organization that hopes to end gun violence across the country. The message is narrated by Hadiya’s mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton. The mourning mother begins the video by emphasizing all of Hadiya’s amazing traits, before the video shifts to focus on the tragic circumstances of the 15-year-old’s murder. Hadiya was shot in the back and killed by Micheail Ward in the Kenwood Park area of Chicago, on January 29th, 2013.
Cleopatra is at a loss for words to describe the pain of losing a child, but she does make a point about how her daughter’s death at the hands of gun violence went on to impact her whole family. “It wasn’t just a bullet that murdered Hadiya,” she notes. “It was a bullet that murdered Hadiya, her mom, her dad, her brothers, her friends. We lost all her children, her children’s children. We lost generations.”
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Cleopatra also discusses how Hadiya stood up against gang violence at her school during her short time on earth. “In junior high, she had a whole PSA: ‘Don’t be a part of gangs’ … She stood up for what she believed in. For her to be the one to lose her life has devastated everyone.” The PSA goes on to talk about Project Orange Tree, a campaign launched by Hadiya’s friends that aims to “educate youth about violence and its roots.”
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“If we give the young people something to do,” Cleopatra stresses, “if we provide them with love and care, it would lift the awareness to the young that their voices matter and their lives matter—and they should be the ones to do something about that…There is progress in honesty, respect in not giving up. We’ve got to make us right again.”