Edwin Buggage Editor-in-Chief
As the City calls for citizens to wear masks or face coverings when out in public, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman and Juvenile Justice Intervention Center (JJIC) Director Dr. Kyshun Webster to celebrate the donation by Hip-Hop Artist Dee-1 of protective masks and hand sanitizers to the Orleans Parish Prison and JJIC.
Dee-1 (David Augustine, Jr) is a rapper hailing from New Orleans, who have been at the forefront of feeding the world positive messages through his inspirational verses. He is also known as a philanthropist as well as doing public speaking engagements at churches as well as colleges around the nation.
Mayor Cantrell and Dee-1 has worked together previously, most recently when she asked Dee-1 to create a public service announcement to his fast to stay indoors during the Stay Home Mandate; Dee-1 turned the PSA request into the hit viral song “Corona Clap.” The video has over 10 million views across all platforms.
“When we say we need to meet people where they are, I mean all people. During this COVID-19 Pandemic, our system-involved residents are among our most vulnerable residents. We are grateful for Dee-1’s partnership with the national organization ‘Masks for the People’ and Pastor Mike McBride, for donating 6,000 masks given to Orleans Parish Prison and Sheriff Marlin Gusman, and especially for the 500 masks given to Juvenile Justice Intervention Center,” said Mayor Cantrell.
“JJIC Staff remains vigilant with taking measures to keep youth safe during this pandemic. Fortunately, we have not had any presumptive COVID-19 cases among youth. So, this donation of PPE’s for our youth, from Dee-1, is greatly appreciated and will support JJIC’s ongoing efforts to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread within our facility,” said Dr. Webster.
“As a City we have the opportunity to come together to unify and today during the COVID-19 Crisis we need this more than ever,” said Dee-1 in his remarks from the podium.
Given the impact of COVID-19 has on the African American community and his commitment to giving to those in need he says, “As a Black Man who has been successful and more importantly a man of God to whom much is given much is required.”
In speaking about the reason for this particular mask and hand sanitizer giveaway and his take on the COVID-19 Pandemic he says, “People need to know they are not forgotten during this pandemic. Also, we should use this obstacle (COVID-19) as an opportunity to show the best of humanity.”