7 Ways to Address Youth Violence: Translating Detroit to Flint

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Without a doubt, youth violence is an issue that plagues the nation. Flint and Genesee County, right here in Michigan, is often times disproportionately affected with youth violence.

Mayor Bing, of Detroit, community leaders, with help of the Department of Justice, have recently proposed a series of suggestions, instituted together, that could combat youth violence. Seemingly more important, the plan proposes a way for youth to be lifted out of violence and into education and careers, for a better quality of life. I believe that these recommendations could also be implemented in Flint and Genesee County to help battle youth violence. The strategic principles are:

  • Change the culture to embrace non-violent conflict resolution,
  • Really understand the realities youth face,
  • Prevention strategies are always the first choice,
  • Prevention strategies focused on helping youth carve career paths are a priority,
  • Schools that work, students attending school,
  • Community empowerment, empowered adults and youth working together to change the  conditions of their neighborhoods, and
  • Address the challenge of crews and gangs.

Each of these points is nothing separately, but together, they have the ability to target violence on a major level. For example, community empowerment is quite challenging, but if possible, the whole dynamic of Flint and Genesee County could be changed giving rise to a new era for the area. Further, changing the culture to embrace conflict resolution is an empowering idea of its own.  I am confident that these changes could change the future of Flint and Genesee County.  It Is important to realize that a notable change in one are, or an intervention in one area may not translate to another, but I believe that using this plan is a step in direction of change.