Archive for the ‘Youth Violence’ Category

More Violence…and Good News for Gays

November 9, 2007

More Americans than ever are supportive of civil unions for gays and lesbians, while the majority are still against full marriage rights. 55% believe rights equal to those afforded to opposite sex married couples should be given to same sex couples, accoding to an ABC News/ Washington Post Poll.
Article . Artur, take note.

A 16 year old Bessemer kid has been charged in the most recent shooting in Brighton. Related to the other recent shootings in Brighton? Probably. Tied to Bessemer violence? Probably.

I had a column in The Western Tribune about youth violence, that I don’t think I posted on here. In the column, I offer to lend out a DVD about Youth Violence produced by June Mack about the roots of youth violence and solutions. No one has contacted me…does that mean that youth violence is not considered a problem? (No comments about no one reading my column, please).

Here is the column:

I spent a day last week at UAB attending a seminar on Understanding Youth Violence. Several members of the Bessemer Neighborhood Association were able to attend thanks to cooperation between the organization and councilman Earl Cochran.

Several well qualified speakers presented results of studies and research involving students from Birmingham, Bessemer, Shelby County and other school districts. They also presented programs that can be delivered through schools and in counseling along with evidence that these programs work to lower rates of violence in families, schools and communities.

While some of their results were expected, some were surprising, such as fifth grade students in Shelby County being more likely (28%) to be a victim of violence than fifth grade students in Birmingham (20%). But what was not surprising is that violence among children spreads across all demographics, and Bessemer is no exception. The perception, and the reality, is that violence among youth in Bessemer is too common, and several shootings over the last few months provide evidence of this. In fact, the Bessemer Neighborhood Association initially formed after one such shooting in order to bring attention to violence and to seek solutions to the problem.

The program included a presentation by filmmaker June Mack whose two films The Voices of Youth Violence and Youth Violence: Inside the Skin explore violence through both a documentary approach and a dramatic subjective approach.

For the documentary Mack and her students interviewed gang members, incarcerated youth, innocent students, police, parents, teachers and psychologists. They used these “voices” as the basis for the dramatic story of the other film.

The makers of the film are part of a Birmingham organization called The Youth Violence Project, and are planning to use the films in workshops in various communities.

Bessemer should be one of these communities, and the Bessemer Neighborhood Association will be inviting June Mack and her group to visit our city for one of their two day workshops.

In the meantime, we will have a copy of the DVD, and will share it with other community groups, schools or churches that want to view it. To reserve the movie contact me through the web site listed below or by calling this newspaper.

**************************************************************

So, don’t you think June and her group, and this movie, could be beneficial toward reducing violence in our community?

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>More Violence…and Good News for Gays

November 9, 2007

>More Americans than ever are supportive of civil unions for gays and lesbians, while the majority are still against full marriage rights. 55% believe rights equal to those afforded to opposite sex married couples should be given to same sex couples, accoding to an ABC News/ Washington Post Poll.
Article . Artur, take note.

A 16 year old Bessemer kid has been charged in the most recent shooting in Brighton. Related to the other recent shootings in Brighton? Probably. Tied to Bessemer violence? Probably.

I had a column in The Western Tribune about youth violence, that I don’t think I posted on here. In the column, I offer to lend out a DVD about Youth Violence produced by June Mack about the roots of youth violence and solutions. No one has contacted me…does that mean that youth violence is not considered a problem? (No comments about no one reading my column, please).

Here is the column:

I spent a day last week at UAB attending a seminar on Understanding Youth Violence. Several members of the Bessemer Neighborhood Association were able to attend thanks to cooperation between the organization and councilman Earl Cochran.

Several well qualified speakers presented results of studies and research involving students from Birmingham, Bessemer, Shelby County and other school districts. They also presented programs that can be delivered through schools and in counseling along with evidence that these programs work to lower rates of violence in families, schools and communities.

While some of their results were expected, some were surprising, such as fifth grade students in Shelby County being more likely (28%) to be a victim of violence than fifth grade students in Birmingham (20%). But what was not surprising is that violence among children spreads across all demographics, and Bessemer is no exception. The perception, and the reality, is that violence among youth in Bessemer is too common, and several shootings over the last few months provide evidence of this. In fact, the Bessemer Neighborhood Association initially formed after one such shooting in order to bring attention to violence and to seek solutions to the problem.

The program included a presentation by filmmaker June Mack whose two films The Voices of Youth Violence and Youth Violence: Inside the Skin explore violence through both a documentary approach and a dramatic subjective approach.

For the documentary Mack and her students interviewed gang members, incarcerated youth, innocent students, police, parents, teachers and psychologists. They used these “voices” as the basis for the dramatic story of the other film.

The makers of the film are part of a Birmingham organization called The Youth Violence Project, and are planning to use the films in workshops in various communities.

Bessemer should be one of these communities, and the Bessemer Neighborhood Association will be inviting June Mack and her group to visit our city for one of their two day workshops.

In the meantime, we will have a copy of the DVD, and will share it with other community groups, schools or churches that want to view it. To reserve the movie contact me through the web site listed below or by calling this newspaper.

**************************************************************

So, don’t you think June and her group, and this movie, could be beneficial toward reducing violence in our community?

Back from the Beach…Important Meetings

September 4, 2007

Pensacola Beach was great. I learned some new things about my camera and I think I got some great bird photos…here are a couple.

Hall’s Seafood, Paradise Inn Grill, Hemingway’s and Sidelines (with packed seating and the Alabama game, the Auburn Game, the Tennessee game and the Georgia game all playing on the numerous tv’s, with fans from each school trying to prove they can be ruder than the others) were just some of the places we ate.

Thursday night the Bessemer Downtown Redevelopment Authority and Auburn University’s Urban Studio sponsored a public forum to solicit input for revitalization of downtown.

Attendence was sparse, but diverse. Business leaders and business people from downtown, representatives of Bessemer Historic Homeowners Association, downtown residents, community leaders, and one city official (Sarah Belcher) was there.

Bessemer is the 44th community that Auburn’s School of Architecture will use their assets- based approach with. Cheryl Morgan, an AU professor, and her fifth year students gathered information about things that we as Bessemer residents think are important aspects of our town and downtown in particular. Icons like the Bright Star but also important architectural aspects like the Carnegie Library building that houses the Chamber of commerce, and the old Post Office which houses the growing library. Buildings throughout downtown are aching to have the aluminum torn off and their rich architecture exposed again.

They also compiled a list of historical figures (how many knew Diana Ross was born in Bessemer?) and events. Major routes in to Bessemer and what people see or how they “know” they are in Bessemer are also being considered.

Finally, they asked about our dreams and visions for downtown Bessemer are. Things like rails to trails, art galleries, and B&B’s were brought up.

They will take this information plus their own research and present preliminary ideas on September 24th at the Sweet House at 6:30. They want input that day from even more citizens, so you who live in Bessemer need to plan to be there.

Another important upcoming event is UAB’s Understanding Youth Violence conference on October 18th from 8:30 to 3:00. This is good for community leaders, teachers and counselors and social workers and others. For more information contact Andrea Eden at aeden@uab.edu or 205-975-9413, or email me at metrocat10@aol.com and I will forward the brochure to you. Seems like an important topic considering what happened at Legion Field recently. The Bessemer Neighborhood Association will be represented at this meeting.

>Back from the Beach…Important Meetings

September 4, 2007

>

Pensacola Beach was great. I learned some new things about my camera and I think I got some great bird photos…here are a couple.

Hall’s Seafood, Paradise Inn Grill, Hemingway’s and Sidelines (with packed seating and the Alabama game, the Auburn Game, the Tennessee game and the Georgia game all playing on the numerous tv’s, with fans from each school trying to prove they can be ruder than the others) were just some of the places we ate.

Thursday night the Bessemer Downtown Redevelopment Authority and Auburn University’s Urban Studio sponsored a public forum to solicit input for revitalization of downtown.

Attendence was sparse, but diverse. Business leaders and business people from downtown, representatives of Bessemer Historic Homeowners Association, downtown residents, community leaders, and one city official (Sarah Belcher) was there.

Bessemer is the 44th community that Auburn’s School of Architecture will use their assets- based approach with. Cheryl Morgan, an AU professor, and her fifth year students gathered information about things that we as Bessemer residents think are important aspects of our town and downtown in particular. Icons like the Bright Star but also important architectural aspects like the Carnegie Library building that houses the Chamber of commerce, and the old Post Office which houses the growing library. Buildings throughout downtown are aching to have the aluminum torn off and their rich architecture exposed again.

They also compiled a list of historical figures (how many knew Diana Ross was born in Bessemer?) and events. Major routes in to Bessemer and what people see or how they “know” they are in Bessemer are also being considered.

Finally, they asked about our dreams and visions for downtown Bessemer are. Things like rails to trails, art galleries, and B&B’s were brought up.

They will take this information plus their own research and present preliminary ideas on September 24th at the Sweet House at 6:30. They want input that day from even more citizens, so you who live in Bessemer need to plan to be there.

Another important upcoming event is UAB’s Understanding Youth Violence conference on October 18th from 8:30 to 3:00. This is good for community leaders, teachers and counselors and social workers and others. For more information contact Andrea Eden at aeden@uab.edu or 205-975-9413, or email me at metrocat10@aol.com and I will forward the brochure to you. Seems like an important topic considering what happened at Legion Field recently. The Bessemer Neighborhood Association will be represented at this meeting.