December and January’s rash of murders in Grand Rapids raised questions at several public meetings.
They were discussed in an effort to curb violence.
Thursday, Grand Valley State University’s Johnson Center for Philanthropy presented the community’s compiled feedback and solutions.
Two questions included:
What triggers violence in the community?
What impact does violence have on the community?
‘Hopelessness’ was cited as a trigger. One impact of violence included young people ‘feeding into negative stereotypes’.
Some of the solutions presented included: increased parental involvement, improving education, improving gun intervention, community togetherness, and economic opportunities.
“We need to find a way to address the issue of identity within people in the community. That if they have more self esteem and self worth, that they’re less likely to engage in those types of behaviors,” George Grant Jr., with GVSU’s Johnson Center for Philanthropy, said.
Thursday night, LINC Community Revitalization brought together community groups and resources to help get people connected.
“Really, we try to bring as many people together to be part of the solution and really connect with the community and this is just the beginning,” Darel Ross, LINC’s co-executive director said.
“We’ll go door to door. We’ll do the neighborhood engagement to make sure as a community. We’re not only equipped, but we’re empowered to make change,” Ross continued.
You can find the full results of the Johnson Center’s study here.