By Megha Goel According to the Center for American Progress, from 2008 through 2017, Ohio had the 20th-highest rate of gun murders, with a rate of 3.96 gun homicides per […]
By Megha Goel
According to the Center for American Progress, from 2008 through 2017, Ohio had the 20th-highest rate of gun murders, with a rate of 3.96 gun homicides per 100,000 people. Moreover, while only 13% of the population is African American, about 69 percent of the state’s gun homicide victims are black. On any given day America’s youth are met with a barrage of violence – in their schools, neighborhoods, through media and technology or in their household. Attention is needed to bring change and to improve the quality of life for kids and their communities. With constant exposure to violence on a daily basis, what is the impact on their long term success into adulthood? And how can organizations like EYEJ empower youth to speak out and take action against community violence?
The July 16, EYEJ Speaks episode entitled Exploring Violence discussed the myriad of ways in which young people are exposed to violence in their lives, and outlined solutions for empowerment. Moderated by Kenyatta Skyles, Producer of EYEJ Speaks, the panel included insights from a compelling lineup of speakers:
EYEJ Founder Mai Moore set the tone of the conversation by saying that the tragic Trayvon Martin shooting sparked the foundation of EYEJ seven years ago, “We asked the kids what kind of violence do you personally experience in your community. We gave them nine options; ranging from gun violence, gang violence, bullying, sexual violence, verbal violence, physical fights… and the data is spread across the categories evenly. 23% of the kids state violence to be a major stress.” From the youth perspective, Yumi states the topic of violence stems from the police-youth relationship: “Being a part of the Youth Council, I have heard a lot of stories related to gun violence. Kids are often taught not to trust law enforcement or the police, so they don’t have other ways of protecting or relying on other people… it’s a problem that needs to be battled head-on.” Some of the other program highlights include:
Our youth representative Yumi Ndhlovu concludes, “We are working on getting broadband internet and connectivity in Cleveland. We need more black people and kids in the media to represent our community. Media is controlled by people that are traditionally white and not people of color. Not everybody is truly represented. Also, the media is a great source of information and education.”
The EYEJ Youth Council is undertaking some impactful work to address the issues of Broadband access in Cleveland. Learn more about this work and support the Day of Giving Campaign on July 24th.
View the full episode of EYEJ Speaks on Exploring Violence on our Facebook page.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is the next episode of the Facebook Live discussion series taking place on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 10 am EDT. Please be sure to RSVP on Facebook or via Zoom to be part of this community conversation. Listen to the behind the scenes conversation with guests on the EYEJ Podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Podcast.
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