The end of September marks the end of the most deadly September in 13 years in Chicago. In this past month,
Photo via Yahoo! News
which usually sees a drop in temperature leading to a drop in the violence that runs rampant in urban areas during the heat of the summer, Chicago has had no relief. Having had a particularly warm September, Chicago recorded 60 homicides in September, a devastating number for any community. What we see in Chicago, and in many urban areas known for their indiscriminate violence, is the effects of the illness of gun violence which shows no thought for age or gender. As shown in this brutal month in the windy city, a mother holding her child is no safer than those purveying street violence. The Guns Up Life Down movement is crucial throughout these communities who are becoming increasingly unable to live life for fear of death.
(Information via the Chicago Tribune)
Click for statics and shooting victims in Chicago
The Possibility Project’s Youth Justice Program (YJP) is available to your youth right now! The YJP will bring court-involved youth together to write and perform an original Off-Broadway musical based on the stories of their lives and their ideas for change. They will receive professional level training in the performing arts as well as participate in valuable workshops on leadership, conflict resolution, community engagement, and more. Rehearsals will be held at Teatro Circulo (64 East 4th St.) every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00-7:00 pm beginningAugust 25th. The performance will take place in February 2016. Train fare and snacks will be provided.
The Project is currently recruiting young people ages 15-20 who are (or have been) court-involved to participate in this exciting opportunity. If you have two or more young people interested in participating, the Possibility Project will travel to your location to meet them and present the YJP to them; if you have an individual youth who would like to participate, please contact Kenny Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-924-9204 so that he can arrange a time to meet. Recruitment is open until August 31.
The Pinkerton Foundation has been supporting the truly transformative work of the Possibility Project for a few years now to work with young adults in foster care. They are now expanding their wonderful programming to young people who are court-involved. Please think about who might be interested and get them engaged. They will not regret the experience.
Thursday, August 13th – 6pm
677 Lafayette Avenue between Marcy Ave. & Tomkins Ave (in front of the Magnolia Tree Earth Center)
Info and Questions: Contact Derick Scott, Outreach Supervisor, SOS Bed-Stuy 347 734-4622
There will be a gathering of members and supporters of the New York City violence prevention community for a celebration of the life and work of our fallen colleague, Willis Young. Willis was a Hospital ER Responder at Kings County Hospital Center with KAVI (Kings Against Violence Initiative). S.O.S. Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy staff worked closely with him and his KAVI colleagues at the hospital for over two years.
The plan is for dignified massed walk by candlelight from Lafayette and Tomkins to Restoration Plaza where we will gather in memory of Willis.
In a tragic turn of events, beloved friend, brother, son and KAVI Hospital Responder, Willis Young, sustained multiple stab wounds two weeks ago. He succumbed to his injuries on Monday, August 3rd. Willis “Young” Young will be greatly be missed by everyone he touched with his spirit and determination to help those around him.
Willis Young’s funeral will be hosted at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church at 12noon on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 (1927 Fulton Street (And Howard), Brooklyn, New York 11233). Viewing and visitation begins 10AM. Internment at Cypress Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers we ask that donations be made to the The King Young Fund.
In her article “A different Standard for Black Girls”, Dr. LeConte Dill, Assistant Professor at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate School of Public Health and KAVI’s Research Director, discusses the growing disparities of black girls in an unfair educational system which renders black girls vulnerable and unsupported:
Nearly 40 years ago, a metaphor or fable, if you will, about “upstream-downstream” was created by healthcare practitioners to better explain and argue for the value of preventative health care measures. The fable describes a group of community members standing near a river who witness someone drowning. Some of the community members jump into the water and pull the person to the shore. As soon as they do so, they try to resuscitate her.
Then, another drowning person floats down the river; and as the community recruits more lifesavers, still more drowning people float past them. Eventually, someone thinks to go upstream to find out what was causing so many people to be pulled into the river. More recently this fable has been used as a metaphor for those lost in the midst of a failing educational system in an effort to get Americans to look upstream to see the sources of the problem; and to query why so many of the failing students are people of color.
If we think of those upstream determinants as structural barriers, what happens when girls of color are pushed out of educational systems that are supposed to support them? How can a path be cleared for them that serves as a bridge to economic stability, and optimal life outcomes? In a new report, Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Over-policed and Underprotected the African American Policy Forum examines these concerns in New York City and Boston. The report breaks down data by race and gender, and its findings are disturbing. In New York, for instance, in the 2011-2012 school year, Black girls were disciplined 10 times more often than White girls. In fact, in some settings Black girls were found to face a greater racialized risk of unjust punishment than Black boys.
Girls of color are often more harshly punished for non-violent offenses that educators have coded as “disruptive” and “disrespectful.” They are sometimes punished for behavior that would be viewed as innocuous for boys. For instance, one girl interviewed for the report explained: “Some of the girls did have this sense of frustration, that there is a different standard for girls’ behavior versus boys. So boys seem to just get more looking the other way, or more tolerance of even the exact same behavior.”
Staying Committed: 5 Years after the Earthquake in Haiti
This is a unique time for rebuilding. It’s the beginning of the year. We’ve put together long, sometimes extensive and excessive lists about how things will be different and better. But how long does it actually take to rebuild aspects of ourselves? Neighborhoods? Schools? Communities? Countries?
I woke today and was going over my to do list and getting prepared for the days events and had a flashback to 5 years ago. I was sitting on my couch and got a phone call from one of my interns named Eric Cioe. Dr Cioe was on vacation in the Dominican Republic on his way to go whale watching. But something happened. I got a phone call that looked like it was from an international number and hesitantly decided to pick it up.
It was Eric and he said “Dr Gore. I don’t know if the news made it to you guys in Brooklyn but apparently there was a big earthquake in Haiti and they’re saying a lot of people were probably hurt. Do you think its ok for me to go help at one of the area hospitals? I’m not far from the border and there is a hospital nearby.” “Just be safe,” I said, knowing that if I told him “no” that he would go anyway.
While we were on the phone I turned on the news only to find the horrendous evolving casualties and destruction that had occurred. I was just in Port au Prince a year earlier taking pictures in front of the presidential palace and now its all gone.
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