BY: JEFFERY ROMAN
As the warm weather season makes its approach, we’ve already seen an uptick in violence and violent crime related activities and death in pockets of Milwaukee’s most distressed communities. Recent efforts to scour violence—be them well-intentioned—are scattered and insufficient, and lack the leadership and support to meet their full potential. Intentional efforts require a coordinated approach that brings together youth, families, community resources, public leaders and investment to not only talk, but act on curbing violence rooted in the hopelessness felt by those in Milwaukee and its surrounding communities.
Responses to violence are different than solutions to violence. Responses are reactionary. Solutions require in-depth analysis into root causes followed by proactive collective partnership and cooperation to address them. While government plays a role in making this happen, the community must take responsibility for providing the direction, leadership and voice to organize, rally and act for greater impact.
Over the past months, Community Advocates’ Milwaukee Brighter Futures Initiative, the Medical College of Wisconsin- Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) and the City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention have been working to do just that. Together they have formed the Coming Together Partnership for Violence Prevention, a clearinghouse for youth and gun violence prevention efforts across the city.
This week, National Prevention Week, we take the lead in bringing awareness to violence prevention through inviting your involvement in the re-launching of SAFE SUMMER MILWAUKEE!
This summer we take a proactive approach in connecting youth and families to resources and activities designed to keep Milwaukee streets safe and free from gun violence during the summer months (June 1 – August 31, 2014). We invite your participation and ideas as we WORK TOGETHER to change the culture of our city. In order to do so, we’ll be identifying programs and resources, planning events and advocating for increased investment and support from public leaders and for positive alternatives for youth in Milwaukee’s hardest hit neighborhoods. Together, we can make the changes Milwaukee needs to be a safer, healthier community.
To be get involved, share your ideas on Twitter and Facebook using #SAFESUMMERMKE.