Minneapolis marks Youth Violence Prevention Week
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has proclaimed the week of March 22-26 as Minneapolis Youth Violence Prevention Week to coordinate with National Youth Violence Prevention Week. The proclamation emphasizes the extent of the problem youth violence creates in our country, as well as highlights the City of Minneapolis’ work to target and prevent youth violence. Among other things, the proclamation notes that:
- Youth violence is the second leading cause of death nationwide for youth between the ages of 10 and 24.
- Research is proving that youth violence is a preventable disease and that violence is a learned behavior that can be unlearned by systematically shifting social norms and community expectations of violence.
- The Minneapolis for Action has shown that public health models can be successfully applied to community violence and result in dramatic decreases in violent injury and death.
Throughout the week, there are a number of events and initiatives that folks can take part in or learn more about. They include:
- 3/22: Peace Pledge and Rally: Community Power Against Violence (CPAV) is a grass roots collaborative of over 15 community organizations working with youth to help develop multimedia tools for at risk youth. CPAV will be hosting a rally for diverse youth groups to discuss violence prevention
- 3/23: Blueprint for Action: Speak-Up Minneapolis/Hospital Protocol are two innovative initiatives launched by the City of Minneapolis to address weapons threats and to intervene in aftermath of gun shot injuries for juvenile victims.
- 3/24: Violence Prevention through Youth Development Resources (contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-807-2047 for list of featured programs)
- 3/25: Social and Emotional Learning in Schools: an initiative offered in Minneapolis public schools for parents and youth that include promotion pro-social skills such as coping with stress, anger management and impulse control, how to resolve conflict, and bully/violence prevention.
- 3/26: Family Support Programs: Project Murua/Kwannza Church have two pilot programs that reinforce parental practices which promote development and provide alternatives to practices which are harmful or nonproductive.
The City of Minneapolis developed the Blueprint for Action to prevent youth violence by approaching the problem from a public health perspective. Formally launched in January 2008, the Blueprint has four main goals: Place a trusted adult in the life of every child, intervene at the first sign of risk, restore youth who have been in the juvenile justice system, and unlearn the culture of violence. This program has received national recognition from the National League of Cities.
Juvenile-related homicides were at the lowest levels in 2009 since 2001. In addition, violent crime in the Fourth precinct (which includes four neighborhoods in the Blueprint) decreased 35 percent from 2007. Moreover, arrests for violent crimes in the same geographic neighborhoods were down 35 percent from 2007.
For more information on Minneapolis work to prevent youth violence, visit the City's website.
Published Mar. 23, 2010