While COVID-19 may have altered educational institutions across the country, it hasn’t eliminated the job market for young people.
To keep young people active and motivated during this time, veteran actor and “The Wire” star Michael K. Williams is teaming up with nonprofit organization NYC Together to help source summer job opportunities for the youth of New York City, according to Because of Them We Can.
This year, NYC Together will host a virtual program and employ youth to disseminate information to about 500,000 people residing in New York City.
“The summer is almost here, y’all. And everybody from the hood knows that when school gets out, the murder rate goes up,” Williams said in a video posted on Twitter.
Here with an important message for y’all about Covid & its impact on NYC’s Black and Latino youth.
To help them stay safe & healthy this summer, DONATE to @NYCTogetherOrg & you could win a private Zoom with me & other folks from The Wire!
Donate here: https://t.co/pa4FiMz6oH pic.twitter.com/djqVbwCW6e
— Michael K Williams (@BKBMG) May 7, 2020
“It was true when I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn and it is still true today,” Williams said. “With all of the city budget cuts gutting all of the opportunities for kids in my community to have something to do or to earn a couple of dollars to take care of themselves and sometimes even their families over the summer, I’m afraid this year it’s going to be even worse.”
The relationship between hot weather and crime has been a long-time debate in the Black community. According to research presented in The New York Times, fewer murders were committed on cold days over hot days in recent years.
Williams’ initiative is driven by his passion for Black youth and wants to rectify what’s happening to them in light of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio slashing funds allocated toward the Summer Youth Employment Program.
Before the pandemic, almost 75,000 teenagers who mostly resided in low-income areas of the city, relied on the program to find work.
“Money is freedom,” said Williams, “and money will help ease the burden on their parents to pay for things like food, medicine, and all other costs that come with this COVID outbreak. So let’s flatten the curve.”
Williams is currently working to raise funds through a GoFundMe charity campaign to reach a goal of $75,000.
Those who donate will qualify to win a private Zoom call with the cast of “The Wire,” a Zoom lunch with actress Lana Parrilla, or a Master Class with comedian and actor George Lopez.
To support NYC youth and donate to the program, click here.