Safeway Passage Summit II planning in the works
End The Violence Columbus (ETV) held a national town hall meeting to discuss their ongoing mission. The meeting was led by ETV’s President and Founder, Sean “Mr. End the Violence” Stevenson, with over 40 attendees from former gangs across the country participating. They discussed topics like intervention and how to help those living in hard-to-reach communities.
Maria Stokes, ETV’s Operations Director, highlighted the rise in gun violence in Columbus since 2017 and the disproportionate impact it has on the Black community. Attendees shared their personal experiences, with one member from California discussing his involvement in a gang and subsequent 30-year incarceration.
The group agreed that violence is increasing among younger generations and identified social media and the influence of older generations as factors. They suggested solutions such as policing their own communities and providing education to youth to help them understand why violence is not the answer.
End The Violence is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Columbus, OH with a mission to reduce violence through:
- Proactive, direct intervention with youth surrounded by violence – with life situations that have the potential to escalate to violence;
- Economic opportunities including both traditional and non-traditional pathways to individual, household and neighborhood financial stability and prosperity;
- Trauma-informed social services that meet people “as they are, where they are” to address the roots of violence – poverty, mental/behavioral health, isolation, and education to name a few;
- Neighborhood Revitalization model that is an inclusive, sustainable, and equitable alternative to typical “gentrification.
The national expansion goal of ETV is underway with plans for the 2nd Safe Passage National Gang Summit. The meeting ended with assignments for attendees to bring to the next meeting in April, such as bringing more people and data to help identify specific programs needed in their cities. ETV hopes to continue these meetings to effect change in Central Ohio and beyond by expanding the non-profits mission and developing chapters across the country.
ETV National Town Hall Series: Violence in America is a series of candid, solution-oriented conversations with government, civic, and community leaders across the country about challenges of violence and solutions. This Series represents the next step towards harnessing the power and influence of the first National Gang Summit to equip cities across America to leverage the influential Credible Messengers that reside in their local communities to END THE VIOLENCE. Through the model program in Columbus, OH, End The Violence has reached over 6,000 people in last 18 months with intervention, mediation, peer counseling and social services – changing the lives of the “hardest-to-reach” communities and populations including shooters, their networks, and system-involved individuals, who are typically “UNserved” and labeled as “UNserve-able.” End The Violence USA serves to “Influence The Influencers” and bring the leaders from every constituency – government officials, civic leaders, and credible messengers – together to accomplish a common goal: safe communities for families everywhere.