Grassroots’ Alternatives to Violence:
- :Empowering our neighborhoods to provide better opportunities in educational, economics, health-care and accessible transportation.
- Eradicating the underground economy of drugs, guns and other nefarious behaviors in so many of our urban communities, so it doesn’t have an opportunity to flourish.
- Ensuring that our urban communities provide safe recreational facilities for our children that are conducive to their development and socialization from 2:00 pm to -8:00 pm Mondays through Fridays.
- Maintaining clean schools and neighborhoods, shows our children that we care.
GMW is aware that the structural cause of violence is poverty, unemployment, and insufficient education:
- The Collaborative Forces needed to accomplish the above issues are:
- Faith and community based organizations
- City Government and reformed X-offenders.
Fix the Village and Save the Children
At Grandmothers, Mothers & Women Saving Our Children we are working to create hope and the opportunity for a better world. But we can only do it with your help. Join with us in our mission and
"Fix The Village And Save The Children"
Youth that are most likely to be involved in gun violence need to be specifically identified and target. Life skills opportunities should be provided for extremely: difficult to serve youth and young adults:
- Those between the ages of 14 and 25 are most at-risk for being involved with and/or directly impacted by gun and drugs violence in our city.
- We must find a way to work with students facing suspension for violence, youth on probation for violence, and youth detained, before they are court involved.
- Identify individuals that are actively involved in gun shooting and killings in Norfolk, and determine if they are gang leaders. Provide facilitators who have had similar life experiences, who can mentor in an environment that teaches and provides opportunities for pro-social behavior through healthy problem solving tools.
- Conflict resolution;
- Anger management;
- character development;
- Life skills training; with the intent of fostering resilience to the risk associated with violence.
Utilize the priceless resource in the persons of reformed ex-offenders.
- The City of Richmond, one of the most violent cities in California, established such a program with its Reformed X-Offenders; in order to tackle the problem of shootings and retaliatory murders with an approach that seems counter intuitive.
- While other cities were busy flooding high-crime areas with squads of armed police officers who spend their days stopping and frisking and arresting young men for minor infractions, the X-offender teams seek out high-risk residents and offer them mentors and financial support.
- The teams asked them to sign up for an 18-month program called Operation Peacemaker.
- They development a "life map" with concrete steps to built a different kind of life in exchange for an agreement they will put down their guns.
- The x-offenders helped them reach their goals with assistance that included a monthly stipend.
- In the final nine months of the program those who followed through with the plan was connected with job opportunities and social services.
- The participants needed structure, the team said, " they love having someone to tell them, look, you're not going to do that, You are better than that.
- The Richmond method pushed aside moral questions about who deserved help, money and public service and went to the heart of the homicide problem with one goal: fixing it.
- The x-offenders team mandate was to serve active firearm offenders who have avoided sustained criminal consequences.
It has been determined by epidemiologist that violence behaved like an infectious disease:
- The pattern of shootings conformed closely to those of an infectious outbreak.
- Clustering in specific areas spreading from person to person.
- Either because one infects the other or two or more people share the same environment.
The germ of violence incubates:
- Via families, peers and neighborhoods.
- Through television, video games, music, and movies.
The disease is transmitted by the germ of:
- Bad information and instruction
- Bad advice and bad example, that may be perceived by youth as being just the opposite.
The greatest predictor of violence is exposure to violence:
- The disease appears as techniques to survival when in fact, the opposite is true.
- The infected youth do not survive, they only learn how to die or go to prison.
GMW's grassroots solutions must begin with working to change:
- Beliefs and attitudes.
- Values and actions that promote violence.
This will require a comprehensive coordinated efforts on the part of the Village:
- Parents, guardians, schools, faith and community-based organizations.
- Social service providers and reformed x-offenders.
- Mayors, city councils, judges, prosecutors, social service providers, law enforcement officers.
- Crime victims are all critical to reducing violence in our communities.