Help Us Put More Boots On The Ground!
Martin Luther King Jr. Day March 2018
Monday, January 15th
We love what we do
*stop the violence in our communities.
*get our youth out of gangs and off the streets.
*create an environment in which our youth can be proud to be a part of.
*increase community involvement toward youth growth and development.
*enhance social skills.
*provide fun and safe activities and events throughout the year for all.
*educate youth on the significance of family and health.
*show youth they have the choice to have a better quality of life.
Best Kept Secret: Stop The Violence is a non-profit 501(c) 3 community based organization that is devoted to stopping the violence perpetrated to and by our youth in urban areas. Three distinctive components differentiate us from other organizations with similar missions.
1. Specific hands on strategies are employed by youth counselors and the organizers to increase the self-esteem of all the children with whom we have contact and, to offer alternative life choices.
2. Free Haircuts are given to attract youth to locations where they may hear the message of non-violence and develop trust.
3. Easy access is accomplished through the employment of a custom outfitted van that includes barber chairs. Best Kept Secret’s van travels to the communities where the youth reside to provide access in their own neighborhoods and to foster trust with the people delivering the message.
These exceptional competences will help carry out Best Kept Secret’s mission: to become a major force for combating the vicious recruiting tactics used by gangs to snare our children and to guide today’s youth to become productive members of society by finding positive alternatives in life.
Why is Best Kept Secret: Stop The Violence important?
Our children are killing each other at alarming rates. In 2002, more than 877,700 young people ages 10 to 24 were injured from violent acts. Approximately 1 in 13 required hospitalization (CDC 2004).In 2001, 5,486 young people ages 10 to 24 were murdered, an average of 15 each day (CDC 2004). In 2001, 79% of homicide victims ages 10 to 24 were killed with firearms (CDC 2004).
Teen Violence causes, incidence, and risk factors.
Homicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24 overall. In this age group, it is the leading cause of death for African-Americans, the second leading cause of death for Hispanics, and the third leading cause of death for American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Asian Pacific Islanders (Anderson and Smith 2003). Virginia ranked highest of all states for number of students expelled for firearms violations in the 2002-03 school year and second highest in 2003-04.
Causes of Youth Violence as perceived by youth.
According to interviews with youth in the nation's most violent neighborhoods, conducted by the National Campaign to Stop Violence, run by Washington, D.C. attorney Dan Callister, with support from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jack Anderson, and financial support from the Kuwait-America Foundation, the top three causes of youth violence are: 1.The Media 2.Substance Abuse 3. Gangs
We need to Stop The Violence!
Youth Violence Information and Analysis
According to Pedro Noguera, currently the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University, in his study “Reducing and Preventing Youth Violence” written while at the University of California, Berkeley, there is no single cause of youth violence that can be isolated and acted upon. The following is a summary of some of his findings.
1. Youth Violence as a Cultural Phenomenon: Our society glorifies and is entertained by violence even though we are disgusted by child abuse or crimes against our older citizens. At the same time, we admire and honor anyone in sports or the military that are paid to overcome their opponents or defeat their enemies. Violent images bombard our everyday life through media, our metaphoric language and even through our collective sense of the United States as the “most powerful nation on earth”
2. Youth Violence as a Learned Behavior: There are at least two societal behaviors that reinforce violence child rearing practices (spanking our children when they are bad) and our search for justice through violence i.e. endorsement of killing of killers or belief that personal safety can be achieved by allowing citizens to be armed.
3. Youth Violence as a Group Behavior (Gangs): Certain forms of violence (i.e. drive-by shootings) are more likely to be exhibited in urban areas. Although there is substantial evidence that violence is pervasive and not constrained by race, class, gender, or geographic location, most of the focus of U.S. policymakers, the criminal justice system, and current research has concentrated on young Black and Latino males -- and on manifestations of violence in low-income urban areas. The most popular images of violence in our society are associated with young Black and Latino males, the targeted group of stop the violence efforts. Very few have taken into account perceptions and stereotypes that are rooted in our history of racism and discrimination .As a result, our society has not only added to the marginalization and stigmatization of the targeted group, but also ignored a host of factors that contribute to the persistence of this problem throughout our society.
The one program that seems to have worked in California is the RAP program. A central feature of RAP involved the provision of culturally relevant services, including tutoring, part-time and summer employment, counseling, recreational activities, mentoring, and family workshops. In addition, youth in RAP were each assigned a case counselor who served as their confidant, broker, and advocate, and who closely monitored their behavior at home, school, and in the neighborhood. The operating assumption of the program was that case counselors who shared the cultural background of the youth, and who were not too much older, could most effectively assist them in avoiding trouble and improving their behavior. For the youth in the program, RAP counselors have supplied crucial emotional and psychological support, providing the stability lacking in their families and environment.