Louisville students ask for change ahead of National Youth Violence Prevention Week
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A group of students and young adults in Louisville are hoping to shed light on the violence they have been exposed to every day as National Youth Violence Prevention begins.
National Youth Violence Prevention Week runs from March 28 through April 2.
Louisville’s Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods Youth Implementation team is made up of people ages 14 to 24. Together they aim to raise youth voices and highlight strategies that would stop the violence.
Solyana Mesfin is on the team. She is a West End resident, where she said she is exposed to gun violence on a regular basis.
“I’ve lost some family members as well to gun violence, and friends as well,” Mesfin said. “It’s not something that’s unique, I have many community members. It’s a daily struggle for them. It’s kind of the life that we live. It’s unfortunate that it’s so normalized.”
In order to make a difference, one week isn’t enough, and city leaders have to make concrete changes to avoid inevitable violence, she said.
Throughout the week, students can get involved in a variety of ways including:
- Signing a peace pledge to stand against violence and efforts to create a safer community
- Registering for the Networking Night on March 29
- Registering for the One Love Ambassador Institute, held on April 2
- Engaging in acts of kindness
- Learning lessons centered around conflict resolution
- Holding compliment days where students will say, give, praise and reassurance to peers
- Learning about the three steps to violence prevention – look for warning signs, act immediately to prevent a violent incident, saying something to a trusted adult
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