In a blog entry at NewsOne, Tamika Mallory urges blacks to take charge of their own neighborhoods and young people in order to help tamp down on the violence that is devastating communities across the nation.
In September of 2011, I penned an open letter to New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo imploring him to take some sort of action to combat violence. And through the years, I have addressed the issue repeatedly, whether working with grassroots organizations or meeting with family members of victims, or speaking on the dilemma on panels or right here in my weekly blog. I have been open and candid about my own personal loss to gun violence and the need for all of us to take action immediately if we care at all about our future. But I refuse to believe that the rise in violence in New York and elsewhere is happening on its own without contributing factors.
‘We call on everyone to mentor a young person, to volunteer at a soup kitchen, to read to the elderly, to help eliminate guns on our streets and to further the importance of education,” I wrote in March of 2011. Everyone knows that rates of violence and crime are directly tied to rates of employment, poverty, access to education and more. In order to curb the senseless shootings, we must work to establish better schools and job centers that help train those still looking for work. We have to get recruiters into our communities, and we must show both parents and kids that there is a possibility for upward mobility. We need to open more recreation centers and create more after-school programs so that young people can do something with their spare time. And most importantly, we have a duty to not be afraid of our kids and instead reclaim our streets.
Read Tamika Mallory‘s entire piece at NewsOne.
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