Sunday, August 11, 2013. Chris returned to South Los Angeles on Sunday to join forces with the Los Angeles Police Department, 2nd Call and Gang Interventionists for the opening of his L.A. Unity Games, a series of neighborhood basketball games aimed to inspire a spirit of respect and compassion. Chris hopes that his Unity Games will bring much needed hope and attention to South L.A.’s neighborhoods and the inspiring heroes who uplift them.
The Games on Sunday recognized unsung heroes from South Los Angeles and Watts who exemplify the strength and spirit of respect, compassion and community.
Cynthia Mendenhall, Kathy Wooten, Jerald Cavitt and Reggie Sims, all of whom lost a child or children to gang violence, were honored for their extraordinary work and leadership to stop violence and bring peace to their neighborhoods.
Guests invited from community organizations were asked to bring back-to-school items as the price of admission which were donated to kids from the Jenesse Center Domestic Violence Intervention Program, an organization that Brown has been supporting for the past four years.
The Unity Games are a project of Chris’ Unity Campaign, which aims to inspire creativity and individuality while recognizing that we are all connected by our humanity. It is the motivating philosophy behind many of his artistic and philanthropic endeavors.
Chris launched his Unity Campaign project early in the summer featuring children and families from South LA’s Crenshaw Community in his “Don’t Think They Know” music video, a powerful and inspiring statement to turn away from violence and toward unity.
Later he launched WE US – Walk Everywhere in Unity Shoes, a community-wide effort in which Brown distributed 1,000 Reebok Classics to young people at three diverse neighborhood events in South LA to underscore the message that “wherever and whenever we walk, we are a unity community.” WE US events will take place in Brown’s hometown of Tappahannock, VA and also Richmond, VA later this month, as well as in Harlem, NY this fall.
In the Spring of 2013, Chris reached out to city officials and former gang members turned gang interventionists Skipp Townsend and Eugene “Big U” Henley to discuss working together to help uplift South Los Angeles’ often overlooked neighborhoods and to promote a message of respect and community.
Big U said, “the collaborative WE US project has brought joy and happiness to the youth of the Crenshaw community, not only with the Reeboks provided, but also through the inspiring message this campaign promotes. “
Townsend said, “Our young people relate to Brown because he’s real, he’s been through what they’ve been through. They see the hardships and negativity he continues to overcome with a positive attitude and determination to succeed.”
Early next year, Townsend’s 2nd Call will honor Brown with 2nd Call’s “Second Chance at Loving Life” award.