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February 04, 2023

Philly actress recites an original poem in Eagles' National Gun Violence Survivors Week video

'Let's extend a helping hand to build a sound foundation to help save our generation,' Ja'Nell Hall-Ragin said

There are very few things that galvanize a city, like sports. The Philadelphia Eagles have shown that this season with their league-best 14-3 record and a berth in next Sunday's Super Bowl.  

While the team is preparing to take on the Kansas City Chiefs for the NFL's ultimate prize, they are also continuing to pour into the community through the A Fan of Change initiative aimed at helping provide solutions towards ending the bloodshed in Philadelphia by gun violence.

On Friday, the team released a new video with the help of a Philly-born actor and poet Ja'Nell Hall-Ragin, for National Gun Violence Survivors week, which takes place from Feb. 1 through Feb. 7.

The 1-minute and 30-second video starts with Hall-Ragin speaking about the Eagles on the field and the hope and unity the team brings the city but quickly turns grim by talking about the violence the city endures daily. The video also features several organizations in the Philadephia area that received funding from the Eagles as leaders fighting to end gun violence.

"Underneath all that pride, there is pain," Hall-Ragin says. "We can no longer remain silent to the violence when our people are crying for help. See, hurt people hurt people, but loved people love. So let's extend a helping hand to build a sound foundation to help save our generation."

Hall-Ragin lost her brother to gun violence and has lent a hand as a survivor by giving back to the community and working toward change.

Data from the Philadelphia Police Department's crime maps show at least 36 homicides in Philadelphia this year. From Jan 2020 through 2022, there were 1,577 homicides, including a city record 562 in 2021, the most since the city saw 500 in 1990.

Last month the Eagles pledged over $400,000 to nonprofit organizations working to end gun violence. Nine organizations that work as violence interrupters and financial education programs split the money, some receiving as much as $50,000.

Last year the Birds, in conjunction with the city, created a website with resources to bring together information and keep young people on the right path. The team debuted the campaign with a pledge of $300,000 to 32 local organizations through grants ranging from $1,000 to $15,000.