Local minister organizes summit to curb teen violence

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A local minister who is fed up with teen violence is planning to do something about it.

The minister is Vance Chisolm, but he is better known in the Richmond community as Minister V or ‘Heavy Hitta.’ This weekend, he is planning a summit for teens called Hip Hop Elevation Teen Summit 2015.

“We’re doing it because we have a lost generation of teens,” Chisolm said. “They’re walking around, they’re angry, they’re lost and a lot of them just need some guidance. They need some direction.”

Minister V plans to use hip hop to attract teens to the summit.

“We’re using a hook, which is hip hop, but we’re using elevation hip hop,” he explained. “Today’s hip hop is degradation because it’s degrading women, talking about drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, but we’re talking about elevating their mindset through inspirational hip hop, through positive hip hop conscious hip hop.”

Shakeithy Johnson knows all too well how violence is impacting the community; she lost her 18-year old son Zekei to violence two years ago.  Her son had plans to go to California for college to study engineering and to play football. Two days before leaving town, however, he was gunned down.

“He (the suspect) didn’t know my son and he didn’t know nothing about him,” Johnson said. “He didn’t know the future that he had that lied before him, he didn’t know that my son could’ve helped save his life, he didn’t know what God had in store for him. He could’ve been the person that could’ve helped him, you never know. He’ll never know.”

The grief-stricken mother plans on speaking at the summit.

“What we all need to know is it needs to stop,” Johnson said. “We all to need to reach out to one another, we need to reach out to our kids, we need to understand it’s not just saying something we need to do something.”

Hip Hop Elevation will tackle various issues from conflict resolution to bullying and gangs.  There will be free food and entertainment such as poetry, rapping, skits and dancing.  The summit is scheduled from 12p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the downtown Richmond library at 101 E. Franklin Street.

On Sunday. summit organizers will host a Hip Hop Elevation Skate Party from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Skateland of Richmond at 5512 Hull Street Road.

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