The New Orleans Interfaith Peace Initiative is sponsoring the first New Orleans Peace Tournament targeting young men (ages 18-25) and will be held the Central City neighborhood at the historic New Zion Baptist Church located at 2319 Third Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. This one-day tournament is modeled after the Peace Games in Chicago, spearheaded by Father Mike Pfleger and several NBA Partners and is scheduled for July 3rd from 9am to 5pm and will target 60 young men representing many areas in the Greater New Orleans Area.
“Choosing to host the event at New Zion is significant to the Central City Community. Many youth don’t know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., started the Civil Rights movement hear in Central City 50 years ago. We want young men to feel empowered by discussing Peace, just like the leaders revered around the world. We hope that participants leave inspired to bring this spirit of Peace back to their neighborhoods,” states Pastor Nelson Dexter, Temple of Praise Ministries and the Isaiah Institute of New Orleans.
Our goals are to use basketball as a means to help young men build positive relationships, to enlist youth in becoming leaders and peace-makers, and to support them by identifying resources needed such as workforce development and social services that promote a better quality of life. While the participation of pro-basketball players will attract participants, the event’s goals are to provide lasting motivation to young men.
Former Mayor and President of the National Urban League, Marc Morial and United States Attorney Kenneth Polite, have partnered with NOLA Interface Peace Initiative and will address participants and faith-leaders and offer continued support and commitment to peace in New Orleans. From 4:00 – 5:00pm, Marc Morial and additional guest speakers, such as Greg Monroe, with the NBA Detroit Pistons and native of the New Orleans Area, will address tournament participants.
Event partners and guests will include, Isaiah Institute of New Orleans, One Voice Louisiana, Temple of Praise Ministries, Carver Desire Baptist Church, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, Loyola University of New Orleans, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite, Connor Sports, Members of the New Orleans City Council and a host of other community and corporate partners.
About the NOLA Interfaith Peace Initiative
The NOLA Interfaith Peace Initiative is a collaborative of 40+ organizations that envisions a united community supportive of the mayor, city government, institutions, and each other; all of us focused on bringing and maintaining peace in our homes, neighborhoods, and city. This initiative will create a network of sustainable neighborhood peace initiatives led by institutions of faith that focus on protecting and enriching the lives of our children and the prosperity of our city.
About the Peace Games
In 2012, Peace Games Tournament inspired hope and motivated in the Chicago communities. Since September 12, 2012, there have been zero reported shootings between the participants in the tournament. This is an extraordinary testament to the power of basketball as a way to promote peace, build relationships and create brotherhood. The Peacemaker Basketball League at St. Sabina also was born from the success of the 2012 Peace Tournament. The impact of the event resonated throughout the south side Chicago community, and inspired young men from the neighborhood to approach Fr. Pfleger about hosting peace games on a regular basis.