NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – It has been more than ten years since the founder of the New Orleans Peacekeepers, Willie Muhammad, and new member Dr. Ansel Augustine with Black Catholic Ministries launched their “Squash the Beef Hotline.”
Now, the two are making a new effort in hopes their message reaches thousands of people.
“So, myself and Dr. Augustine and others have come together, and we solicited the help from those in the community to raise funds to put up the billboards around the city,” Muhammad explained.
One of the three billboards sits at the intersection of Chef Menteur Avenue and Downman Road in New Orleans East.
This is how it works: If you are experiencing conflict with someone, you call the hotline to set up a meeting with the New Orleans Peacekeepers.
“Then, we seek to have a separate meeting with the person that they’re having a conflict with or they’re engaged in the beef with, and then the goal is to get them to come to a secured environment, and we’ll begin the process of doing the conflict mediation,” Muhammad said.
Muhammad and Augustine say the goal is to resolve trivial conflict before it ends in violence.
“This is putting our faith into action,” Dr. Augustine said. “We can pray all we want, but if we’re not praying with our feet, as we say, and making a difference in the community, this is what this is about. We have a saying that it takes a village to raise a child, but it’s going to take that same village to save that child.
The two also say they can’t do the work alone.
“This violence, even though it affects, on the large scale, the black community, but it’s a New Orleans issue, and everybody has to get involved because it’s affecting the overall atmosphere here in the city,” Muhammad said.
If you would like to support the New Orleans Peacekeepers in their mission, or you are looking to resolve a conflict, call the Squash the Beef Hotline at 504-321-3190.