MLK program co-sponsors anti-violence play
Seton Hall’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Program is co-sponsoring a production of the play “One Hour 2 Live” at East Orange Campus High School on Saturday, April 30 at 6 p.m., according to a broadcast email from the Office of Mission and Ministry.
According to the email, the play aims to move young people to appreciate the sanctity of each human life and to fund other anti-violence programs in local communities.
The play will also be presented to the community by the PowerZone Foundation and Mothers of Murdered Sons and Daughters to help spread the message of anti-violence, according to Robert McGrady, president of the East Orange High School Clifford J. Scott Alumni Association and a PowerZone Foundation member.
“The play talks about the unseen consequences of teen gang murder and what happens behind the scenes when you take another life,” McGrady said. “After the show we will have a group discussion to hear reactions.”
The PowerZone Foundation is a non-profit group founded to uplift and help young kids in the community as well as uplifting the community itself, McGrady said.
“What really touched me more is that one of the actors in the play is a senior college student that was gunned down,” McGrady said. “It reminded me of Jessica Moore and how unfair that was.”
“One Hour 2 Live” is written and produced by Princeton H. Holt, pastor of DAWN Ministries in Brooklyn, N.Y. and president of the Soul of DAWN Performing Arts Troupe, according to the play’s website.
The hour-long play is about a young gang member with one hour left to live, who is visited by his two victims who reveal the ramifications of his deeds, the broadcast email said.
After seeing the play, McGrady said he reached out to people at Seton Hall saying that this is one message that students need to hear.
“This doesn’t glorify violence, it talks about the impact of violence,” he said.
The University was considered an option to hold the play, according to McGrady, but ultimately the high school was chosen.
“We chose East Orange Campus High School because it holds 900 people, and it is a central location,” McGrady said.
McGrady said he hopes to raise some funds to give back to Jessica Moore’s mother in her name, perhaps in the form of a scholarship, as well as to local community groups.
“After talking to the family we learned that Jessica Moore had formed a group about encouraging adults to return to school to finish their education,” Rev. Forrest Pritchett, director of the Dr. MLK Jr. Leadership Program, said. “We will contact the family once we get money to see if they are interested in us making a donation to that cause.”
McGrady said Moore’s death is a sign that violence needs to be combatted.
“In Jessica’s killing, God sent a message that someone has to do something about the violence and work towards a resolution,” McGrady said.
McGrady said he hopes Pritchett and Seton Hall students can form a relationship with East Orange students.
“Whatever time they can give to come help out or hang out, through mentoring or tutoring, because our students need to see positive people and that there is more to life than basketball, rapping and football,” McGrady said.
McGrady hopes Seton Hall students will attend the play to express their feelings about a fellow student’s death due to violence.
“I would love for Seton Hall to come out to show the students Seton Hall’s pain and show and discuss that they were affected by the Jessica Moore incident,” McGrady said.
Pritchett hopes the University community can help the future.
“I solicit prayers from the whole Seton Hall community, aside from the play, as the first stage in laying a foundation for the future,” Pritchett said.
Joanna Toole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.