Strong City hosts second annual field day

Julia Goldman, Staff Writer

Eight years ago, Peter Gold, a Tulane University School of Medicine student, was shot in the Lower Garden District by a 22-year-old. After a full recovery, Gold founded Strong City to address the surplus of youth violence present in New Orleans that Tulane students may not encounter. 

On April 16, Strong City held their second annual field day, inviting over 150 children and their families to Tulane University’s campus. 

Participants hailed from a number of local organizations, including the Youth Empowerment Project, the New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter, the Community Academies of New Orleans and Start the Adventure in Reading

Gold established Strong City with a mission to reduce gun violence and support local organizations with similar visions. The organization is both a national nonprofit and student-run club with two community partners — the Youth Empowerment Project and the New Orleans Women & Children’s Center. With an executive board staff of Tulane students and a network of more than 200 volunteers, Strong City aims to directly support the children affiliated with its community partners through events like their field day. 

From soccer, food and face painting to laser tag and a game truck, Tulane’s Brown Field offered many different areas of entertainment for the kids to enjoy. 

“It’s so amazing to be able to bring everyone to Tulane’s campus and take advantage of all the facilities that Tulane has to offer,” Strong City President Becca Owens said. “Field day provides a sense of normality for all the kids we work with, because a lot of them are coming from unstable home lives and backgrounds and are navigating homelessness and poverty.”

While partnering with other nonprofits, the event created space for the children involved in afterschool programs and organizations. 

“It’s an honor to invite Strong City’s community partners to campus for a fun day of physical activity and community interaction,” Gold said. “Strong City aims to listen to our community partners, and one thing we heard is they wanted the New Orleans youth to engage with the Strong City community through outdoor activities.”

Owens said a member from NOWCS shared that Sunday was one of the most normal and joyful experiences that their families were able to experience in months. 

“We’ve grown so much in the past two years,” Owens said. “We started off with one partner in 2019, and we’re going into having four partners next semester.” 

Strong City plans to organize a Thanksgiving food drive in the fall and will continue to host monthly birthday parties for children at NOWCS.

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