5 recommendations from young black men to tackle the gun crisis in Philadelphia
A new study from the anti-armed violence association ManUpPHL offers solutions to the gun violence crisis in the city from those most at risk of being victims or perpetrators of this violence – young black men.
Why is this important: Their experiences around gun violence and the behaviors that drive the city’s gun culture are missing from most research, said Brian Ellis, chairman of the board of ManUpPHL.
- The results are based on hours of conversations with nine young black men between the ages of 19 and 35 living in communities plagued by gunfire.
- “We’re all trying to find solutions, but no one has ever asked them what can be done,” said Ellis, global leadership expert and qualitative researcher.
The recommendations :
- Develop a program with community groups for inmates to serve as mentors to other inmates who will be at risk of violence when they leave prison or prison.
- Create 300 jobs for people at risk.
- Establish a new educational experience for middle and high school students at risk of gun violence.
- Set up mental health substations in communities affected by violence.
- Train people to connect those involved in gun violence with resources and alternatives.
What they say : Many anti-violence programs “are not based on the realities of what these men are going through, where these young men are from, what these young men will react to,” said ManUpPHL Executive Director Solomon Jones.
- “For them to be part of the solution, they must be committed to it,” he added.
Zoom out: Homicides reached 491 this weekend, up 13% from the same period last year, according to the online police department dashboard. Murders are on track to exceed 500 for the year, surpassing the city’s record set in 1990.
- The violence disproportionately affects black residents, who accounted for 82% of homicides and 85% of shooting victims on Friday, police said.
- Young black men between the ages of 18 and 34 accounted for the majority of all homicides (252) on Friday.
- Homicide is the leading cause of death among black men under 45, according to the CDC.
And after: Jones called on businesses, nonprofits, sports franchises, universities and medical schools across the city to adopt the study’s recommendations.
- The city government lacks the capacity to deal with violence in Philadelphia quickly, he said.
- “We are in an emergency situation.… There are organizations and people in the community who can make this kind of thing happen quickly,” he added.