Historically, it has been older black men who have taken the lead in ending gun violence in their communities; which is a good thing. But since the signs saying ‘don’t shoot, I want to live’ don’t work, there is a need for other ideas to stop this crisis. So why aren’t more young black men taking charge of an issue that probably concerns them most?
Young people at Howard University called for change and got it. Now young black men in Philadelphia are offering data-based solutions to end the city’s gun crisis.
Nonprofit organization ManUpPHL launched a study explaining why this crisis matters, their recommendations, and a “zoom out” on the overall gun crisis in Philadelphia and how it specifically affects young black men.
ManUpPHL chairman of the board Brian Ellis says this research is important because “the behaviors driving the city’s gun culture are absent from most research,” Axios said.
The study’s findings are the result of conversations with nine black men, ages 19-35, who live in communities where gun violence is common.
Develop a program with community groups for inmates to mentor other inmates who are at risk of violence when they leave prison or prison.
Create 300 jobs for risk persons.
Create a new educational experience for middle and high school students at risk of gun violence.
Set up mental health substations in communities affected by violence.
Train individuals to connect those involved in gun violence with resources and alternatives.
what they say: Many anti-violence programs are “not based on the reality of what these men are going through, where these young men are coming from, what these young men are going to respond to,” said ManUpPHL director Solomon Jones.
These are important recommendations because they don’t recognize black men as just a single group of people going through the same experiences. There is individuality among black men and each person goes through unique situations that can lead to them committing gun violence.
Each person should be treated differently.
What’s next: Jones called on city corporations, nonprofits, sports franchises, universities and medical schools to follow the study’s recommendations.
The city government does not have the capacity to quickly address the violence in Philadelphia, he said.
We have an emergency. … There are organizations and people in the community who can make this happen quickly,” he added.
According to the Philadelphia Police Department, the homicide rate is up 13 percent from the same time a year ago, with the homicide rate just hitting 491 and heading to more than 500 by the end of 2021.
More than 80 percent of those murder and shooting victims are black. Of the 491 murders this year, 252 are young black men between the ages of 18 and 34, Axios reports.
Those are staggering numbers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if similar numbers are found in black communities across the country.
Fortunately, the young black men of ManUpPHL come up with concrete solutions; hopefully other young men across the country can do the same for their communities.