[caption id="attachment_18802" align="alignleft"]abcnews.go.com [/caption]“I’ll take anyone,” Davion said. “Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be…”
[caption id="attachment_18247" align="alignleft"]cedarcrest.edu[/caption]These are the words of an 18-year-old who recently graduated from high school in a high-poverty neighborhood in the nation’s capital: “Where I live, which is Ward 7, everyone is the same . . . If you follow the crowd, you’re going to end up dead or in jail because that’s where most of them are. But if you’re a leader and you make your own decisions, then you can set your path for life.”
Imagine your kindergartner is visiting a new friend’s house. During the hour they are running around together they’ll pick up and play with all three of the following things, but only two of them have been tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for safety standards. Which one do you want to be sure has been regulated for safety?
[caption id="attachment_17802" align="alignleft"]childrensdefense.org[/caption]Nearly 2,000 people attended Molly Conley’s funeral last month to mourn the young humanitarian who was the victim of a random drive-by shooting the day after her 15th birthday. She was shot in the neck while walking with friends to a sleepover in a residential neighborhood in Lake Stevens, Washington. Molly was a 4.0 student best known for her kindness which she used to encourage her parents to care for infants waiting for foster families and to start a group called “Mother’s Helper” that raised money to aid victims of domestic abuse.
[caption id="attachment_17663" align="alignleft"]womenshistory.about.com [/caption]Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons, is as important as the killing of White mothers’ sons, we who believe in freedom cannot rest.
– Ella Baker, Leading Mentor of Black Youth, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960’s
What if we looked at violence in America as a public health crisis rather than a crime problem? What if we look for promising practices and expanded the ones that work to eliminate the epidemic of violence that keeps our graveyards, jails, and prisons full? That is exactly the approach recommended by a panel of the nation’s leading gun violence researchers in a report released this week by the Institute of Medicine. Convened by the federal government in the wake of the Newtown shooting, the panel provides a national road map for the research that needs to be done to prevent gun violence and improve public safety, especially for our most vulnerable.
“One hundred fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation and 50 years after the March on Washington, we celebrate the spirit of our ancestors, which has allowed us to move from a nation of unborn hopes and a history of disenfranchised votes to today’s expression of a more perfect union . . . Where our paths seem blanketed by throngs of oppression and riddled by pangs of despair, we ask for your guidance toward the light of deliverance, and that the visions of those that came before us and dreamed of this day, that we recognize that their visions still inspire us.”
–Myrlie Evers-Williams, 2013 Presidential Inaugural Invocation