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Editors Note: If you recall in 2010 a North Minneapolis Community Violence Report was finally released from 2009 to the general public. Its strange that nobody is talking about this “antiquated” report that after the town hall meeting, children from the debunked City, Inc participated in a Q & A facilitated by “the experts” listed below. To this day, “the experts” still can’t answer any of the important questions.
“The reported is misleading and never focuses on the relationship between poverty, violence and the lack of opportunities in north Minneapolis. Obviously, this is ‘funding’ performance meant to redirect the attention of the community away from real issues is folly. Don’t take my word; infuse north Minneapolis with 2000-5000 jobs. It would reduce violence and I attest some non-profit agencies will have to shut their doors – but of course, this report is issued to assist them in keeping the doors open… Shame!”
(Please note. This story was originally published October 2010. Again, it goes to show you, “if nothing changes, nothing changes!”)
by Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief – IBNN NEWS and USA Radical Black
Minneapolis, MN (IBNN NEWS/Re-release/August 30, 2011)…A report dated 2009 from NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center in a partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Domestic Violence in the African-American Community (IDVAAC) titled “North Minneapolis Community Violence Report,” has led local North Minneapolis community members to erupt in outrage.
In conjunction with the report, a Community Town Hall Meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Shiloh Temple, located at 1201 West Broadway, to present the recently released North Minneapolis Community Violence Report. The report contributors followed by a panel discussion will make the presentation. Attendees will learn more about the nature of violence on the Northside and what can be done to stop it. A light lunch will be served. (Reserve your seat by calling 612-543-2556.)
The “contributors” to the report are:
- Dr. Esther J. Jenkins is a Professor of Psychology at Chicago State University and a Senior Research Associate at the Community Mental Health Council in Chicago.
- William Oliver, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. His primary research interests examine violence and incarceration among African Americans.
- Marcus Pope, M.ED, is the Associate Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, St. Paul, MN.
- Oliver J. Williams, PhD, is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community. Dr. Williams is a Professor of Social Work, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.
The official press release from NorthPoint Health & Wellness states, “The North Minneapolis community has struggled with a number of complex issues that affect its residents’ ability to thrive. These struggles include poverty, juvenile delinquency, domestic violence, gang activity, crime, drugs, prostitution, health disparities and pervasive community violence.”
The folks at NorthPoint also make this determination in their press release: “The NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center Community Board of Directors has identified violence as a public health issue in North Minneapolis,” stated NorthPoint CEO Stella Whitney-West, a Community Town Hall sponsor. “We must develop strategies to prevent and decrease the prevalence of violence in North Minneapolis just as we are working to prevent diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases.”
In 1991, C. Everett Koop wrote a forward for “Violence in America: A Public Health Approach,” by Mark L. Rosenberg and Mary Ann Fenley, “Identifying violence as a public health issue is a relatively new idea. Traditionally, when confronted by the circumstances of violence, [we] . . . have deferred to the criminal justice system. Over the years we have tacitly and, I believe, mistakenly agreed that violence was the exclusive province of the police, the courts, and the penal system. To be sure, those agents of public safety and justice have served us well. But when we ask them to concentrate more on the prevention of violence and to provide additional services for victims, we may begin to burden the criminal justice system beyond reason. At that point, the professions of medicine, nursing and the health-related social services must come forward and recognize violence as their issue and one that profoundly affects the public health.”
A comprehensive study done under Clinton administration Surgeon General David Satcher argued forcefully that youth violence is not only a public safety issue; it’s a public health issue. One key conclusion from that 2001 report suggests the road not taken:
“The most important conclusion of this report is that youth violence is not an intractable problem. We now have the knowledge and tools needed to reduce or even prevent much of the most serious youth violence, with the added benefit of reducing less dangerous, but still serious problem behaviors and promoting healthy development. Scientists from many disciplines, working in a variety of settings with public and private agencies, are generating needed information and putting it to use in designing, testing, and evaluating intervention programs. … Thus, the most urgent need is a national resolve to confront the problem of youth violence systematically, using research-based approaches, and to correct damaging myths and stereotypes that interfere with the task at hand.”
The report issued by NorthPoint fails to mention one of the top 5 systemic issues that go hand-in-hand with violence in a poor neighborhood is lack of economic opportunities.
In the Chicago Defender -September 2008 a story by Cheryle R. Jackson titled, “Education, economic opportunity best defense against violence,” Ms. Jackson states, “I am not making excuses for violent behavior, but violence, I believe, is a direct byproduct of undereducated people with no economic opportunities. We don’t need research studies to prove this point. We see it every day in neighborhoods around Illinois where schools are inadequately funded by a system that rewards students living in well-to-do communities and short changes everybody else.”
The Community Town Hall Meeting should provide information on the missing elements of this report.