Michael “Blue” Williams, CEO of Family Tree Entertainment, is used to calling the shots when managing the careers of successful rappers. But for his “Guns 4 Greatness” gun buyback program, the Bronx native plans to use his executive skills for the greater good.
This Saturday March 30, in partnership with the NYPD and numerous entities, Guns 4 Greatness will take place in a large church in East New York, Brooklyn — an area known for gun violence. The first public-private initiative of its kind in the city, the program promises cash and entertainment industry mentoring to those who relinquish firearms, in addition to tickets to concerts by popular acts like Beyoncé.
Initially nicknamed the “Beyoncé gun buyback” by the media, Williams stressed that Guns 4 Greatness is a serious matter while addressing press at the Wednesday announcement of his brain child. Standing at six-foot-five in a dapper suit with gleaming accessories, the entertainment veteran spoke sensitively about society’s need to reach troubled youth.
“These kids, you’ve got to give them stuff and keep them engaged,” Williams told theGrio from the tranquil hall of the Christian Cultural Center, where the buyback will take place. “I wanted to be able to offer kids incentives for doing the work. If you go and you sign up for mentoring, and you continue to do the work, I’m going to get you tickets to Beyoncé, I’m going to get you tickets to Summer Jam,” a popular annual concert produced by radio station Hot 97.
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