By Jurry Taalib-Deen

As of February 1, 2022, a massive campaign was launched to attack the growing violence plaguing Toledo. The Urban MinorityAlcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program, UMADAOP, officially fired its first strike by advertising positive and strong messages, based in love, to help curb the epidemic.

John Edwards, CEO of UMADAOP, told The Toledo Journal that the safe neighborhoods campaign attacks violence, illegal use of drugs and alcohol and other types of criminal behaviors, as well as working to prevent suicide. “We feel like love is the missing component. Love is definitely missing because that’s the main ingredient. Only a lack of love would cause someone to take another life.”

He added, “There used to be a time when people could attend sporting events without the fear of guns being fired, but now, that almost seems like the norm.”

The campaign begins with the messages such as “Wuddup fam, let’s spread the love,” being spread throughout various media outlets. But then, the real trench warfare begins when that message is put on various types of clothing, such as Love hoodies sweatshirts and other complimentary items, which will be given to young people throughout the city; at least 600 youth will be a part of the first wave deployed with the messages.

Montrice Terry

Montrice Terry, “Big Trice,” the Voice of the City Park League, CPL, will be heading up the ground offensive when it comes to recruiting young people to take part in the campaign and when it comes to getting the message to people either prone, to violent behavior or may know of someone personally, involved in that type of lifestyle.

The project is funded by the Lucas County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

UMADAOP invites everyone, including students and every type of organization and business to join in the spread the love campaign.

Any student wanting a free hoodie with the message, “Wuddup Fam, Let’s Spread the Love,” visit and scan the QR code and follow the instructions.

9513/9517 Montrice Terry, “Big Trice,” displays posters and hoodies that will be used to help get the message out.