SuitUp Gives Leg up to 15 young men from the Bayview’s Alice Griffith Community

MEDIA ADVISORY / REQUEST FOR ONSITE COVERAGE:
FRIDAY APRIL 8: 2pm – 5pm

Media contact: DP&A, Inc. / David Perry / (415) 676-7007 / news@davidperry.com        


WHAT:
SuitUp Gives Leg up to 15 young men from the Bayview’s Alice Griffith Community

Innovation New Violence Intervention Program Provides
Clothes and Mentoring to Participants

WHO:  Sponsored by Union Square Foundation, Macy’s Union Square,  
Black Men Enhanced, John’s Grill, Operation Genesis, SFSafe,
SF Police Department, and the Street Violence Intervention Program

Participants:  Andre Ennon, Brian Vandercourt, Daniel King, Demarion Jones, 

Dominik Foster, Dwayne Grayson, Eric Daniels, Jamariea Burroughs,
Jamon Butler, Leonard Hollingsworth, Moses Variste, Romano Scott,
Ronrico Kent, Samuel Jordan, Waltkece Ennon

WHEN/WHERE:  2pm: participants meet at Macy’s Union Square Men’s Store,
6th floor, for styling
3pm: Guests Arrive
3:15pm: Runway Show Begins
4:30pm: Closing Remarks
5pm: Reception and Dinner (John’s Grill/64 Ellis Street)

WHY/DETAILS: Clothes may not “make” a man, but a well-dressed gent is certainly better suited to make a good impression when seeking work. That is the idea behind “Suit Up,” an innovative initiative aimed at violence reduction in challenged communities. Sponsored by Union Square Foundation, Macy’s Union Square,  Black Men Enhanced, John’s Grill, Operation Genesis, SFSafe, SF Police Department, and the Street Violence Intervention Program, “Suit Up” provides men from Bayview’s Alice Griffith Community with a personalized fit by Macy’s Personal Stylist fashion expert, professional advice and mentoring to boost their confidence and help them onto a productive path.


“Having worked for many years in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, I know how important initiatives like ‘Suit Up’ are to breaking the cycle of violence, especially in marginalized communities,” said Marisa Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Union Square Alliance. “The partnership between business, law enforcement and the community are wrapping their arms around these young men and together fostering inclusivity in San Francisco. Union Square belongs to all of us, all San Franciscans, and visitors alike. This is our place to celebrate life’s achievements and to feel empowered.”

“Suit Up” will include an afternoon at Macy’s Union Square where 15 young men will receive a $600 Macy’s gift card and work with a Macy’s Personal Stylist fashion expert to select a custom look including a suit, shirt, tie, belt and shoes. The participants will be fitted and specially tailored, in preparation for a celebratory Macy’s Runway Show and dinner at the Historic John’s Grill on April 8, 2022.


“Macy’s is honored to be part of this partnership impacting our local community,” said John Sparks, Macy’s Union Square Store Manager. “We hope the customized suits and professional looks empower these young men to celebrate their individuality and own their personal style.” 


The idea for “Suit Up” came in 2021 from Robert Newt, a Supervisor at the Street Violence Intervention Program. Determined to see these young men succeed, Newt started a mentoring program with a year-long curriculum focused on self-esteem and positive transformations. 

“My vision for this mentoring program was to collaborate with community partners and teach these young men about the power of self-esteem,” said Newt. “I strongly believe that if we can get these young men to love themselves and see how powerful they really are, we can help set them up to be strong leaders in our communities.”

The San Francisco Street Violence Intervention Program is an outreach and crisis response program created in 2013 to reduce and intervene in youth related street violence for the City and County of San Francisco. Already, the “Suit Up” pilot project is gaining enthusiastic support from its community partners.

“We are so proud to support 15 young men from the Bayview’s Alice Griffith Community in this first ever ‘Suit Up’ Initiative,” said San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott.  “The ‘Suit Up’ initiative is about helping young people build confidence so they can learn to help themselves, and their communities.”

About the Union Square Alliance:
The Union Square Alliance serves members and creates a high-quality visitor experience by managing and activating public spaces, attracting new investment, and advocating for the district’s future success. Union Square is the vibrant heart of San Francisco and an international destination where visitors come to enjoy exceptional retail experiences, luxury hotels, world-class cultural institutions, and great public spaces found only in the City by the Bay. A lively 27-block community surrounding Union Square Park in the heart of San Francisco makes up the Union Square Alliance. It is bordered to the north by Bush Street, to the east by Kearny Street, to the south by Market Street and on west Taylor Street. For more information on the Alliance, go to www.visitunionsquaresf.com 

For more information on this New Violence Intervention Program, please contact Tiffany Sutton, SFPD’s Director of Crime Strategies, at tiffany.sutton@sfgov.org