Food for Thought

Local grocer listens, learns, & shares solutions at community anti-violence rally

Revive Radio interview:  P.O.C. talks gun violence with Jeff Brown, CEO of Brown’s ShopRite supermarkets. Transcript has been edited for print. 

Recorded 11/6/21 at “No Murders, More Love”, a day of community solidarity for gov’t leaders, organizers, advocates and neighbors to confront the threat of gun violence with love, support, generosity, honesty and respect.

Yep, yep, you already know what time it is! It’s your girl P.O.C, and I’m back in NW Philly with Mr. ShopRite himself taking a stand against murder, for more love. He’s here. He’s organizing. He’s in the building. He’s talking. And that’s the main point, we want to get the conversation going. How does it feel to be a part of conversation today?

JEFF BROWN:

I love being here and listening to people. Because there’s a lot of good ideas, a lot of paths forward, to make the progress we need.

One thing about you, you always show up for the neighbors, especially for events like this one. You’re out here, feeding people, being a part of the community. How important is this for you?

I feel that one of the things we need is love. So I give the love and I get the love, and I really do appreciate it. And it feels great to be here.

It’s the city of brotherly love, right?

Yes that’s real for me, and for a lot of people that I know.

We’ve been talking about gun violence all day. What are your thoughts on solutions?

One of the things I talked about today is, why aren’t we teaching our young people conflict resolution? Every single grade, every year, until they can’t get it out of their mind. Because our problem is they don’t know how to resolve the disputes they have. And they need help with that.

The second thing that I don’t understand at all — we know 70 – 80% of our young people don’t plan to go to college. So why do we have an education system that only trains kids for college? There’s like $40 – $50,000 /year jobs starting, that have a huge number of vacancies. And we don’t spend any effort training our young people to take those jobs. And that would get them immediately out of poverty. We should be doing that.

And speaking of jobs, as someone who supplies jobs for the city, what can we do to help our families who are living off of minimum wage?

I think if you work at a minimum wage job, now is your time. Because you don’t need to make minimum wage anymore. There are an incredible number of openings, in positions with real career options. If you’re taking a job and you’re working hard, you should have the opportunity to not have to be in poverty. If you’re working for minimum wage, that time is done! You should be looking for another job.

So for all of your community residents, all of your shoppers who come out and support you — what would you like to tell them when it comes down to gun violence, and how we can really spread and share that love in the city?

I think it starts out with sharing the idea that someone can disrespect you. I guess that’s the way you would say it on the street. It doesn’t have to be violent. If you talk it out, you can work out your disputes. A lot of the work I do in my career, is negotiating. I have four union contracts and we have love for each other, but we don’t always agree. And sometimes we insult each other. But then we all take a deep breath and come back, and work out our differences. And that’s what needs to be done here.

I’m Jeff Brown, from ShopRite and the Fresh Grocers. I’m on all social media channels @JeffBrownGrocer and I love getting feedback, I get it all the time. I’ll respond to every friend request and every message.

And I’m P.O.C. for Revive Radio.
Follow Revive Radio on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @revive_POC — reviveisalive.com

This post made possible through a partnership with WHYY’s News & Information Community Exchange (N.I.C.E.).  Read more P.O.C. on the Local here.

About P.O.C. 17 Articles
Tamara Russell (aka Proof of Consciousness aka P.O.C.) hosts and produces a variety of award-winning shows featured on Uptown Radio 98.5FM and Philly’s WHYY/NPR/PBS outlets. "Mad or Nah" is an original woman-on-the-street interview series from REVIVE Radio that asks Philadelphians about issues impacting their everyday life.

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