LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds of high school students in Inglewood have joined hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons in pledging to promote peace and reduce violence in their lives and communities.

KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports Simmons visited Dorsey High School Wednesday to join with 500 South Los Angeles youth to take a pledge for peace.

The event was held in partnership with Community Coalition and is part of RushCard’s Keep the Peace initiative, a national grant program designed to support nonprofit, community based organizations across the country promoting peace and reducing youth violence.

Students along with Simmons signed a pledge and share how they plan to put their peaceful lifestyles into action.

When asked how to deal with police violence, Simmons said teens need to focus on one word: “Respect.”

“The truth is when they show up, you gotta shut up,” said Simmons. “It’s how you respond to him is gonna feed how he responds to you.”

The message appeared to resonate with many of Dorsey High’s students, including senior Ryan Bell, who said making peace with police is all about shattering stereotypes.

“Kinda just stepping back, not really doing what they expect you to do, doing what they don’t expect you to do,” he said. “Really proving to them that racism and all that stuff is really not who you are.”

An advocate of quieting the mind to create change, Simmons also made a personal pledge to bring meditation to Dorsey High as part of the school’s curriculum.

CBS2’s Kaj Goldberg said many students scoffed at the meditation part of the program but many others took it seriously.

“I think half got the message while the other half are in La La Land,” said student Thaius Davis Welch.

Simmons also gave life and career advice and Goldberg said the majority “listened intently.”

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