Quavo Hosts Summit Against Gun Violence With VP Kamala Harris on Takeoff’s Birthday

Migos rapper Quavo’s quest to transform his nephew Takeoff’s tragic shooting into a force for change convened with a summit against gun violence on what would have been the late rapper’s 30th birthday.

Quavo held the inaugural Rocket Foundation Summit at the Carter Center in Atlanta on Tuesday (June 18) — the same day as Takeoff’s birthday. The music performer was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris in a fireside chat during the one-day summit, which included panel discussions about gun violence prevention and youth programs.

For Quavo, it’s been a rough road since Takeoff’s untimely death in 2022. But many of his family members — including his nephew’s mother — often encourage him to keep pushing forward.

Trending on Billboard

“It’s super hard every day. I’m still crying. I’m still grieving. I’m still mourning,” said Quavo, who along with his family launched the Rocket Foundation in honor of Takeoff and committed millions to invest into community violence intervention.

Last year, the Grammy-nominated rapper attended the Congressional Black Caucus legislative conference where he met with political figures including Harris and Greg Jackson, who is now the deputy director of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention after his stint with the Community Justice Action Fund.

“Just to look behind me and see that I got the VP and guys like Greg Jackson and other survivors that actually fell victim to the same thing, I know that I’m not alone,” Quavo continued. “This is my second calling. This is very personal to me. That’s what makes my drive and motivation to go even harder.”

Police say Takeoff was an innocent bystander who was shot outside a Houston bowling alley after a disagreement over a lucrative dice game. Takeoff’s death was among a string of fatal shootings in recent years that involved hip-hop stars such as Nipsey Hussle, Pop Smoke, PnB Rock and Young Dolph.

Quavo calls the foundation and summit a “certified movement.” Earlier this year, he and the foundation created the Sparks Grant program, which supports organizations working to minimize community violence.

The program will award $100,000 in grants to Atlanta-focused organizations.

“I feel like a lot of people just announce foundations and keep it moving for nonprofit purposes or even financial issues,” he said. “But I’m on the ground. I’m actually working. We’re getting things done. We’re getting results. We’re raising real money. We’re going down into the real communities where the problem has been an issue.”

Quavo’s discussion with Harris touched on the impact that community violence intervention can make and the importance of youth support systems in decreasing gun violence. A separate roundtable discussion connected families of victims with survivors.

“To translate that pain and grief into something that is about creating strength and empowerment in the community — including our young — is pretty extraordinary,” Harris said during the discussion while speaking to Quavo. “You have chosen to use your celebrity and the gifts you have as an artist to talk about and actually work on with action. It’s extraordinary. You are an incredible leader. A national leader on this.”

The summit featured panels with a focus on the gun violence crisis in the United States and how community violence intervention is a long-term solution for this issue. Another will discuss the importance of supporting youth in the fight against gun violence and visibility of youth resources.

Quavo hopes the summit can lead to more partnerships between the Rocket Foundation and the White House. He’s on a mission to ensure his voice is heard and honor his nephew’s legacy.

“It hits hard when it hits home,” he said. “We’re trying to avoid that. Just because it’s next door, you don’t close your door. You can open the door and help your neighborhood. It’s joining hands with the world and making sure this awareness is on a national billboard. That’s my platform.”


Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Emmy Noms, ‘Presumed Innocent’ Episode 7, and René Redzepi and Matt Goulding on ‘Omnivore’
Wolfgang in the Meadow
5 Best Mercedes Benz Colognes for 2024 Living Fast or Slow
A Joyful Journey at Jock Safari Lodge
The “Cobra Kai” Cast Shared Their Favorite Season 6 Moments, Props They Took Home After Filming Wrapped, And More — All While Playing With Puppies