Ben is a native of San Francisco, spiritual leader and longtime activist for peace and justice in the Bay Area. In 2008, he relocated his family to a difficult neighborhood in Oakland called the “Kill Zone” to understand and respond to the epidemic of gun violence, firsthand. During this tenure, he was an instrumental leader of relaunching Oakland’s first successful iteration of Operation Ceasefire, a data-driven, violence reduction strategy, contributing heavily to a 50% reduction in homicides over five years. In 2014 Ben launched Empower Initiative to support bridging and belonging work across the country.
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