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The experiences and voices of young people are often not considered in conversations around their well-being, especially when it comes to violence prevention. When the adults in their lives – caregivers, educators, administrators, and policymakers – make decisions for them, they often do so in a reactive silo, creating disconnected, punitive conditions. They are not looking to young people and their environments to find interconnected, preventative solutions. 

For National Youth Violence Prevention Week, the Center for Youth Equity in the Violence Prevention Institute at Tulane University has curated a set of activities and events to raise awareness around what can be done to prevent youth being exposed to violence in their schools and communities. This week’s events also explore what structural and systemic changes are needed, the barriers to making those changes, and how communities can come together to support young people.

Monday, April 25, 2022 – Sandy Hook Promise Say Something Training

One way of preventing youth violence is recognizing the warning signs in those we know. What to do about that, however, can often be challenging and frightening. Sandy Hook Promise offers a program for middle and high school students that integrates with a school’s existing social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum to build competencies around having empathy, asking for help, building relations, identifying problems, analyzing situations, and making responsible decisions. The hope is that these skills will help young people ask a trusted adult for help and prevent someone from hurting themselves or others.

As one of the founders of National Youth Violence Prevention Week, Sandy Hook Promise is offering a free, one-hour virtual Say Something student training on Monday, April 25 at 2pm ET/1pm CT/11am PT. 

Attendees will experience Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something student training that teaches the warning signs of potential violence and when and how to speak up to get help. They will also hear from a staff panel about other no-cost youth violence prevention solutions.  

Register here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 – Violence in Schools: Recommendations for Administrators & Policy Makers

Young people rely upon the adults in their lives to uplift their potential, not stifle it. Facilitating that means fostering safe spaces that encourage growth, assuage fears, and increase self-efficacy. Schools are prime locations for children, teens, and young adults to experience success and connection. As such, they must be free from violence in all its forms. This, of course, includes preventing bullying and physical assault, but schools must also root out the ways discrimination, emotional harm, and oppression overpower growth.

The Center for Youth Equity in the Violence Prevention Institute of Tulane University is hosting a panel of parents, educators, administrators, and students to talk about violence in schools, the ways it shows up, what preventative strategies are effective and ineffective, and what policy makers can do to further support initiatives that prevent youth exposure to violence.

Join us on Tuesday, April 26 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. CYE is presenting this free, public event at the Allie Mae Williams Multi-Service Center at 2020 Jackson Avenue. We encourage teachers, administrators, caregivers, and students as well as the general public to attend.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 – CDC VetoViolence Facebook Live on Engaging Youth and Communities to Prevent Violence

The Center for Youth Equity in the Violence Prevention Institute at Tulane University is proud to be one of five National Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention (YVPCs) funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The VetoViolence program is hosting a Facebook Live event in observance of National Youth Violence Prevention Week. It will be led by Dr. Ashley D’Inverno, Division of Violence Prevention, CDC, and include special guests Dr. Jomella Watson-Thompson, Youth Violence Prevention Center – Kansas City, and Troy Grimes, Youth Violence Prevention Center – Denver.

This real-time conversation on Wednesday, April 27 at 2:15 CT on the CDC VetoViolence Facebook page will include the following topics:

  • The importance of community connection in youth violence prevention
  • Strategies that engage the community in preventing violence
  • Tangible solutions communities can implement now

Indicate your interest and submit questions prior to the event on the Facebook event page.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 – Organizing Your Community Against Youth Exposure to Violence

Whoever you are and whatever you do, you can help prevent youth violence and encourage others to do the same. Sandy Hook Promise has created an organizing wheel for you to activate for action. Visit their site, click the wheel for all the spaces you occupy, and discover your role. Share in the comments your results and any other ideas you have so we can continue the conversation and to support others in collaborating with the youth in their communities.

Thursday, April 28, 2022 – Beyond “Social Justice:” A Conversation with Dr. Dylan Rodriguez

Advocating for social change is a key activity in creating access and opportunity for young people to thrive in safe communities. While this event isn’t specific to youth violence prevention, this virtual conversation with Dr. Dylan Rodriquez moderated by Center for Youth Equity Co-Director and Violence Prevention Institute Executive Director Dr. Samantha Francois will discuss movements of radical social transformation and how to dismantle systems of oppression. The Center for Public Service at Tulane is presenting this event as part of their speaker series.

Join us on Thursday, April 28 from 11 am to 12:30 pm CT via Zoom. Advanced registration is required.

Register here.

Thursday, April 28 – Screening and Discussion of “On These Grounds” Documentary Film

Schools are perceived as safe spaces; however, deep-rooted inequity and historical power structures create environments where violent interactions can occur between adults and the students in their care. Prevention is possible by examining these systems to discover the systemic roots. 

The Center for Youth Equity in the Violence Prevention Institute at Tulane University will present a screening and discussion of “On These Grounds,” a documentary film released in 2021 investigating school-based violence between a White resource officer and a Black student. Through interviews and footage, the film moves beyond the act itself to attempt to understand the role race, power structures, and oppressive systems play as root causes of violence. To support community well-being, mental health and healing practitioners will be at the event to offer free services.

Join us on Thursday, April 28 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. CYE is presenting this free, public event in the Diboll Auditorium on the first floor of Tulane’s Tidewater Building at 1440 Canal Street.

Friday, April 29, 2022 – A Call To Action: What Will You Do To Prevent Youth Exposure to Violence

What part can you play in youth violence prevention? Whether you are a caregiver or have children and young adults in your neighborhood, you can support thriving, equitable communities that offer access and opportunity to everyone throughout their lifespan.

  • Acknowledge the structural and systemic roots of violence are the same as the social determinants of health. These are the environments in which people are born, raised, live, work, and play, and they affect an individual’s access to economic stability, housing, education, health care, transportation, and other key resources.
  • Connect with the young people you know and ask them what they need to thrive. Listen to their stories and discover ways you can support their goals, improving their self-determination and self-efficacy.
  • Get involved with a local youth services organization, especially those that make young people part of their leadership structure. Provide whatever resources you are able, and remember that your time can often be the most valuable resource. Being a volunteer or mentor to a young person has a mutual benefit.
  • Share your commitment to preventing youth violence via your social media channels. Amplify the voices of organizations in your area offering opportunity for young people and challenging the inequitable structures and systems that perpetuate violence.
  • Write to your policymakers to encourage them to support preventative measures of punishment. This might include more funding for education, mental health supports in schools, enrichment activities for young people, resilient infrastructure, workforce development, and community resources.
National Youth Violence Prevention Week - April 25 to 29