In 2017, when her son questioned her about the violence that had been suffocating Baltimore City, Erricka Bridgeford initially pointed fingers at others. But, the next day after some introspection she decided to do something to make things better.
That summer, Bridgeford along with Letrice Gant, Ogun Gordy, Darnyle Wharton and Jakia Jason, launched the first Baltimore Ceasefire Weekend (a plea for 72 hours of peace), August 2017. That first Ceasefire there were two homicides. The second Ceasefire in November 2017 there was one homicide and the third in February 2018 there were no homicides. Subsequently, the Ceasefire Weekends, which occur quarterly in August, November, February and May, have been successful in reducing violence in the city, at least for 72 hours. Ultimately, the Ceasefire Movement since its inception has facilitated conversations and events focused on peace and in the process, raised the spiritual vibration of the city each Ceasefire Weekend.
Bridgeford, a self-proclaimed “West Baltimore girl” like so many other residents of that community have been directly impacted by violence with the murder of her brother, as other family members and close friends. Yet, she has used her anger and anguish to help propel the Ceasefire Movement, which has garnered international attention. For her work in fighting to quell violence, Bridgeford was named “Marylander of the Year” by the Baltimore Sun in 2017.