Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C. recently hosted a breakfast program at its office featuring Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond with guest speaker Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis. Community leaders attended this program, which focused on the 25-year mission of Rev. Dr. Hammond and his wife, Rev. Dr. Gloria White-Hammond, to improve the lives of high and proven risk youth in the City of Boston. The program was moderated by Davis Malm partner Tony Hewett and included remarks by Jamie Bush of Bush & Company. In response to growing gang violence, The Hammonds started Bethel AME Church in 1988 as a church community with the goal of addressing the issues through community involvement. By collaborating with the public school system, courts and prisons, local business communities, and law enforcement, Bethel AME has developed successful partnerships to help educate high risk youth and prepare them to lead healthy, productive lives.

The Hammonds have established a reputation among Boston’s leadership for tactical, strategic and collaborative approaches to intractable problems with generational roots. In his presentation, Commissioner Davis spoke about the importance of community partnerships and working with churches such as Bethel AME. “Without the support of the business community, the partnership programs created by the Hammonds to deter youth violence would not be possible,” said Commissioner Davis. “The Hammonds continuously look to collaborate and find practical solutions to solve problems, all with an absolute lack of ego. This is a key component to the success of their tireless work.”

Rev. Hammond referenced the organization’s relationship with local law enforcement stating, “One of the things we realized was we had to change the way we think about each other. When the police saw clergy members taking action to help solve the problems law enforcement was facing, it created a change in their approach. That change and openness laid the groundwork for a spirit of cooperation to tackle the common problems facing our youth.”

To celebrate and help continue the work of Bethel AME and the Hammonds, a gala event, “A Voice at the Table, 25 Years of Transformative Partnerships,” will take place on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at the Park Plaza Hotel. For more information about the event, please visit the event website: www.avatt.org or call Jamie Bush at (617) 526-9368(617) 526-9368.

For more information contact: Joanne Thorud; (617) 589-3894; jthorud@davismalm.com

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