• Christopher Jones Memorial Scholarship Application

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    On November 17. 2007, Christopher “C-Snake Boogie” Jones went from being an ordinary 16-year-old to a statistic, the 52nd homicide victim in the Rochester region for the year when he was gunned down outside his home. In honor of his memory, his mother Sirena Cotton founded the ROC the Peace Fest and ROC the Peace, Inc. ROC the Peace is a small grassroots nonprofit with the mission to support the fight against violence in the community through prevention education, community outreach, and service along with collaboration.

    The Christopher Jones Memorial Scholarship awards African American/Black and Latine/Hispanic
    graduating high school seniors that have been accepted into a college/university.


    • African American/Black or Latine/Hispanic
    • Current graduating high school senior
    • GPA 2.0/C or higher

    Required Application Materials

    • Official High School Transcript
    • College Acceptance Letter
    • 300-400 Word Typed Essay
      • ROC the Peace’s motto is, “Peace begins with me.” How does peace begin with you and what does a peaceful Rochester look like?
    • One Letter of Recommendation
      • The recommender can be a school counselor, teacher, work supervisor, community organization leader, or church official.
    • Recent Photo
    • Photo Release Form

    Application Deadline – July 1st

    Mail/Email completed applications to:

    ROC the Peace, Incorporated
    ATTN: Christopher Jones Memorial Scholarship
    PO Box 24084
    Rochester, New York 14624

    Questions? Please contact 585-708-9787 or business@rocthepeace.com

  • Youth For Peace

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    Encouraging change in our community starts with peace in our youth

    Sirena Cotton
    • Are you concerned about the youth in our community?
    • Do you want to be a part of the solution?
    • Are you a mentor?
    • Are you willing to volunteer your time a few hours a month?
    • Are you a youth between the age of 5 and 18?
    • Have you lost your sibling, parent or close friend to violence by death or prison?

    If you answered YES to any of these questions, then Youth For Peace is for YOU!

    We are looking for mentors and youth who wish to join our Youth For Peace group. We meet once or twice per month.

    How to get started:

    Contact ROC The Peace today. Call/text 585-708-9787 or email business@rocthepeace.com.

  • Roc the Peace in OUR Community

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    Roc the Peace in OUR Community (RTPIOC) is a new RTP program. The focus will put emphasis on Children who have lost their Parent(s) or Siblings to violence.
    This program will kickoff April 2018

  • Event Photos Now Available!

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    Our biggest event yet, the 6th Annual Rise Up & ROC The Peace Fest was another successful event full of laughter, cheer and fun for the entire family. Please feel free to share a photo with your friends and followers! Continue Reading

  • Annual ROC the Peace fest brings community together

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    Excerpt courtesy of the Democrat & Chronicle
    Written by Carlos Quinones

    Growing up as a western New York native in the mid-1980s, I felt an overwhelming sense of togetherness and belonging that at times now seems missing in Rochester, and in larger society as well.

    With that in mind, the Roc the Peace fest — for the past five years — has become a key event for the community, drawing residents and groups from all economic walks and ethnicities, fostering goodwill and a commitment to nonviolence.

    Designed to bring awareness and resources to victims of violence, Roc the Peace began in earnest in response to a mother, Sirena Cotton, losing two sons to street violence. Cotton saw the value in bringing together mutually invested community groups and leaders to address a larger common interest; a common need.

    Read more on Democrat & Chronicle


    Grassroots Effort Brings Awareness and Resources to Victims of Violence

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    Rochester, NY June 23, 2015

    ROC The Peace and Rise Up Rochester announces the staging of the 6th Annual Rise Up & ROC The Peace Fest to be held on Saturday, July 18, 2015, at Jones Square Park in Rochester, New York. Designed to bring awareness and resources to victims of violence and their families, this event is in direct response to a grossly disproportionate level of violence in the past few years.

    A day long event in the heart of the city, various community groups will be on hand presenting opportunities for educational enrollment, vocational training, free food and more. The chief of police and past and present Mayors have been regular attendees. Featuring events for the whole family, including speakers, singers,poets and dancers, this year’s keynote speaker is Amen Ptah and features national recording artist HEXX. In addition, ROC The Peace was started by Sirena Cotton in 2008, a year after she lost her 16­yr old son to a senseless murder in Rochester.

    To honor her son’s memory, Cotton started a rally called ‘Peace for Chris Fest’ which was later renamed ‘Roc the Peace’ to honor all victims of any type of inner­-city violence. Cotton later partnered with Rise Up Rochester, Incorporated, a 501c3 nonprofit that empowers the community to establish and maintain a nonviolent culture and provides support to crime victims and their families.

    Media contact: Antonia Wynter

    Email: business@rocthepeace.org

    Telephone: 585­-708­-9787

    Website: ​rocthepeace.org


  • 6th Annual Rise Up & ROC The Peace Fest Scheduled for July 18

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    Event brings awareness and support for victims of violence and their families

    January 5, 2015 (Rochester, NY) –ROC The Peace and Rise Up Rochester announces the staging of the 6th Annual Rise Up & ROC The Peace Fest to be held on Saturday, July 18, 2015, at Jones Square Park in Rochester, New York. Continue Reading

  • ROC The Peace Launches #IamROChappy Campaign

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    sc_adam-mcfadden-rtp-fest-2014Today is not only a day to celebrate our country’s independence, but the first day Roc The Peace launches it’s online multi-video “I am ROC Happy” campaign. The campaign is aimed to help restore pride in Rochester, New York while promoting the 5th Annual Rise Up and Roc The Peace Fest scheduled to kick off on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

    “Happy” is an award-winning hit single from producer and pop artist Pharrell Williams. The infectious tune has attracted people of all cultures, capturing the top spot in over 20 countries worldwide. People all over have mimicked the music video, featuring common, “everyday” people walking to the tune. Roc The Peace’s rendition is no different, only customizing it to feature various areas of greater Rochester, New York.

    The videos feature volunteers of all ages, dancing, skating, walking, smiling with the idea that Rochester is made to live. “Your smallest contributions make a world of difference to your loved ones and to complete strangers,” explains Rochester native Tone Williams, a volunteer for ROC The Peace. “We are committed to restoring hope and pride in an effort to curb violence in our city.” The campaign is designed to inspire others to become more positively involved with the community and the successful turnout  demonstrates the effectiveness of the creative effort.

    ROC The Peace is an organization founded by Sirena Cotton, after her 16 year old son, Christopher Jones, was gunned down outside of his home in Rochester in 2007. Jones marked Rochester’s 52nd homicide that year. Since then, the name of the function has changed but the mission has not: to curb inner-city violence. Cotton is working diligently with other organizations such as Rise Up Rochester, a non-profit organization geared to uplift the city. The 5th Annual Rise Up and Roc The Peace  Fest will be staged on July 19th 2014, 12 PM at Jones Square Park. This year’s keynote speaker will be Hon Mayor Lovely Warren along with a performance by Michael Burton, 2014 Roc Awards winner for Best Male Gospel Artist. An afternoon lineup of local talent will showcase to include rap, poetry, dance, vocal artist comedians and more. As joint partners, Rise Up Rochester and ROC The Peace expect a record turnout this year and have prepared food, games, prizes and much more for this family oriented event.

    ROC The Peace is in part Toneee.com (web development, graphic design and social media marketing), Setting The Tone (marketing and project management), CROCK AV STUDIO (filming and production) and 12 Parks Studios (production). The “Happy” videos and more information regarding this year’s festival are available at rocthepeace.org/happy.


  • Grassroots organization sets happy tone

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    Roc the Peace (rocthepeace.org) will be recording a citywide music video to raise awareness of its cause alongside Rise Up Rochester (riseuprochester.net) and Setting The Tone, from April 7-11, 2014. The video will use an award-winning single “Happy”, written and produced by national recording artist and producer Pharrell Williams. The single is already an Internet sensation with millions of views, especially since the launch of Williams’ website, 24hoursofhappy.com. Dubbed “I AM ROC HAPPY”, the video will mimic the official music video and feature the song repeatedly using seemingly everyday people. This version will use residents of Rochester almost exclusively. The video is slated to film in popular neighborhoods and government buildings and small businesses such as City Hall, Avenue D Recreation Center and Unkl Moe’s Restaurant from Monday, April 7 through Friday, April 11, 2014. Those interested in performing on-camera are encouraged to complete the online application available at bit.ly/roc-happy-app.

  • Less Talk, More Action

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    Every year, hundreds of lives are changed forever due to the violence here in Rochester, New York. In fact, prior to 2013, Rochester enjoyed four years of near-record lows in all crimes. We believe this is partially due to community outreach and awareness programs such as our annual event.

    Continue Reading

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