One of the hardest parts about coming up in the 'hood is gun violence. You are faced with the sad truth everyday. Whether you hear it outside your windows, or you see it on the news, it desensitizes you and exposes you to the possibility that your life can come to an end just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And sadly, that was the case for Tayshana Murphy, the star athlete who was slained after trying to run from two gunmen. According to a New York Times article, Murphy had been frantically looking for her brother at the Grant Houses in Manhattanville, NY. That's when two gunmen began chasing Murphy up a few flights of stairs armed. Murphy was shot in the hip, chest, and hand. According tothe NY Post, this was the result of an earlier beef with a "brother" to the victim, a beef in which Murphy had no direct association with.
As an ally to the LGBTQ community, and an avid associate of many of those within it, I was deeply saddened when all of my friends were talking about this incident. Not only did a star athlete lose her life over senselessness, but a sister, to both the urban and LGBT community was gone.
Four years later, Murphy name has resurfaced, and its all for a good cause!
- Tayshana Chicken Murphy Foundation, Mission Statement
I'm a firm believer that life gives, and takes away for a reason. Our traumas serves purpose, and that's exactly what Mr. Murphy did after his daughters' passing! "I feel that teenagers and young adolescents should be cultivated and nurtured so that anything they set their minds on is within their grasp. My plan for this foundation is to assist in the growth of young people", says Taylonn Murphy.
The Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy Foundation was created to promote peace and "cultivate and nurture the minds of at-risk youth", something that doesn't get a lot of building upon in urban neighborhoods, outside of classrooms. Often times, we are hard wired to believe "if someone hits you, hit them back", rather than resulting to talking out problems, feelings, and creating solutions. TCMF utilizes several programs all centered around youth empowerment, gun violence awareness and prevention, and other altruistic-oriented interactions.
S.I.M.B.A (Strong Intelligent Minds Building Alliances), for example, is a discipline & youth empowerment program, geared to young entrepreneurs seeking employment or business opportunity, all while creating links with like-minded individuals. Both Sides of The Gun: An In-Depth Look Into Gun Violence is an hour long seminar which gives the audience an exclusive opportunity to engage in a dialogue and hear the first-hand accounts of the damaging results gun violence leads to.
Currently, Taylonn is campaigning to fund the foundation further and expand the greatness of this organization. I stand behind him 100%. As a member of the Urban community, I can say that since being in NYC I've heard one too many gun violence incidence in the past month and some change. The humanity is slowly disingrating and I think as humans, we have a civil duty to cultivate that little bit of humanity that is left in us all.
Whether it's through volunteering, or philanthropy, pay it forward to move the human race forward. I think that is something Tayshana Murphy would have appreciated, and what Taylonn Murphy is advocating for.