Yestday, over 50 youth gathered at the Boys Club in East Harlem to speak about youth violence in the community. The event started with inspiring words from Mike Hines, who spoke about his years in prison for homicide. Mr. Hines who now has two degrees, encouraged youth to think before you act. Mr. Hines did not shoot a person nor stab a person, he got into a fist fight which lead to a death.
Following Mr. Hines inspiring words, youth had an opportunity to share their concerns around the violence in the community and then the youth broke out into groups to brainstorm possible solutions. Some of the solutions to gangs, bullying and cyber bulling were: more community centers and sport programs, more cops at night, more counselors available in schools to talk to troubled youth, awarness workshops on gangs and bullying, safe spaces for teens such as teen lounges.
This event was made possible by, El/Barrio/East Harlem Youth Violence Task Force: A collaborative initiative of the office of Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito with Art for Change, Barrio Media, Children’s Aid Society, City Year, Community Board 11, Council for Unity, Downtown Community Television Center, East Harlem Tutorial Program, Harlem Community Justice Center, Harlem RBI, New York Academy of Medicine, Scan, Steps to End Family Violence/ R.A.P.P., Transform America, Union Settlement, Urban Dove, Youth Action Programs and Homes, Inc.