Saturday, July 9, 2016

Stop the Violence (Action Plan)

Introduction and Background

Community violence is an ongoing issue that is causing people around the world to feel unsafe. As it becomes more common, it is becoming normalized in society despite the fact that it is an unacceptable and dangerous threat to everyone’s lives. To confront this issue, I will be focusing on raising awareness about youth violence prevention and reducing fights or tensions on campus. Statistics display that 800,000 youth are taken to the emergency room each year because of violent assaults, and twelve are murdered each day in the United States (CDC, 2016). Why is it that we must grow accustomed to this? We need to take action together as a community rather than as individuals alone. Based on observations and experiences in my own community of Richmond, many teenagers and their families are more worried about their safety while going outside rather than focusing on education. When I was in eighth grade, I went to my current high school to play with my middle school marching band for Homecoming. It was ended early because of a shooting that took place. I remember the strong impact it had on my friends and I during middle school. We didn’t want to attend Richmond High because of all the bad events that posed as threats to our lives. When our school is looked up on YouTube, the most viewed videos are school fights and news covering the stories of a student's death and rape cases. What I want is for people to stop feeling hopeless about the violence in our community. There are ways we can stand up against it. It is crucial to take action with this issue because we must maintain a safe environment that we’d want all our loved ones and people we know to live in peace. I’ve heard stories of too many students and their families being negatively impacted by violence, whether they are affected emotionally or physically, or are discouraged to attend school because of fear of being the next victim.

Action Plan

The major goal of my plan is to provide a safe space, such as a club or support group, for students to come together and discuss violence-related issues. Since every identity group is victimized by violence, this will be an open space in a school classroom welcoming every person and respecting what they have to say and give to this cause. We will find methods how we as youth in the community can effectively spread awareness and knowledge about violence. Some roots of youth violence include violence seen at home, the media, or street, bullying, mental disorders, dating drama, access to weapons, drugs and gangs (Teen Help, 2015). To display positive demonstrations of anti-violence, I can use social media to make accounts for my plan to post videos, messages and images in order to promote peace for the youth. I can also use school resources such as the CIS Health Clinic for help when dealing with other's emotions. Some people I will need support from are committed friends or students, the principal, the security and a teacher. To get this started, I will recruit well-respected and responsible upperclassmen in my school  in order to get a club started in school and to let the principal know that we are serious about our plan. Since I will be participating in Link Crew next year, I can get easy access to freshmen and find individuals that can be student representatives so that this program will continue even after I graduate. It also will make it become more inclusive because it will get lowerclassmen to feel involved and active in school. The sooner people are taught about community and youth violence issues, the more likely we will improve the environment and put good intentions into young people’s minds. It is indeed true that the youth are the future. A challenge that might come into play is ageism. As youth, we should be respected and supported since we are working for a positive change in the community and eventually, the world. This is why my plan involves getting a supportive and passionate teacher to facilitate our violence awareness and prevention organization. We will become much more credible through this so that we can get more adults involved such as security and police in our school. Although students know that there is security around, they still continue to participate in interpersonal violence. Perhaps, holding mandatory workshops and activities for the whole school throughout the year regarding this issue will make them think twice when faced with violent behavior they have control of. I plan on attracting people to this organization by making events enjoyable. I will need things such as money for food, awards and field trips, weekly meetings and intimate activities.


The success of my action plan will be measured through the amount of youth that will be actively engaging to be leaders in school and the community. I am hoping that it will last for many years after I graduate.  I will evaluate my plan by making weekly or monthly goals so that the objective will always stay focused and productive. These goals will include recruiting more students, holding school/community events and spreading the word around to more people. I will be applying what I have learned here in Brown’s Leadership Institute to my future efforts with my action plan and beyond. I'll challenge myself and others to apply different leadership styles of being assertive, practical, idea-oriented and team-based.

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