Connecticut Congressman John Larson wrote recently: “. . . children and teenagers are losing their lives, losing their friends, losing their family members, and losing their youth.
They feel fear, helplessness, horror and the sense that life and safety are in danger. Tragically, many have grown numb to the violence around them.”
The above description is as true for the residents of large cities like Hartford and Oakland as it is for a city like Seattle where in 2009 Dr. Debra Sullivan’s
son Aaron was shot and killed in a middle-class Seattle neighborhood. Aaron was killed not because he was involved in drugs or gangs, but because he
was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Safety is no longer a matter of location, but how we think about and relate to one another. Following this tragedy, BCDI-Seattle (Black Child Development
Institute) decided to do more than just promote youth violence prevention by supporting the mayor’s youth violence prevention initiative; they decided to lead an initiative that would recreate the sense of community efficacy many of our members grew up with in Seattle and around the country. They
recognized that we needed to engage our community neighborhood by neighborhood in becoming more involved with our young people.
Out of this deep sense of commitment, an initiative was born: BCDI-Seattle’s Youth Violence Prevention, Neighborhood by Neighborhood (utilizing the
Omega Boys Club Alive and Free Prescription™ ).
During our October 18, 2012 meeting at 7 pm, Dr. Wanda Hackett, President of BCDI-Seattle will present an overview of this initiative with suggestions on how to get involved. The meeting is expected to last 90 minutes.