Everyone is trying to solve the arms crisis in Philly. Is the answer more cooperation? | Local news

Four Philadelphia nonprofits originally planned activities on gun violence on Saturday, May 7th.

Organizers say the initial quadruple booking speaks of both the urgency of resolving the city crisis and the need for greater co-operation on the issue. Most groups have since had to reschedule their activities due to rain, or are considering it.

“The moment we start sticking together and showing strength and solidarity, then we can do better,” said Ton Bar, community relations director of the Masjid Philadelphia Community in Northwest Philadelphia. “But I think it’s too divided.”

The bar created an interfaith group called PhillyUnitedAs1 to help plan its “Peace Day,” and decided to hold it the Saturday before Mother’s Day. The event is designed to provide a health space for people affected by armed violence, as well as to disseminate information about prevention programs for young people.

He says Mother’s Day is a crucial time to draw attention to the growing number of shootings – which are currently on track to surpass 2,300 incidents last year – and to convey a message to people at risk of engaging in violence.

“Perhaps they can hear the grieving mother talk about how difficult it is for her to cope with life and how to continue living,” he said. “Then maybe they don’t pull the trigger so quickly.”

Mazi Kesher, founder of the nonprofit Philly Truce, also considered the Mother’s Day weekend a logical choice for his cultural carnival and resource fair, where he hopes to involve residents, nonprofits and politicians in implementing a 25-year plan to reduce gun violence.

“We have to make a statement to the mothers of the city who are losing their children to say,‘ Look, we’re going to make some effort, some social effort, ’” he said.

Researchers studying social organization have raised the “collective impact model” – the idea that several groups that pool their resources will be more involved in the problem than organizations that work alone.

This is an idea that has been shown to work in some cities to combat homelessness, food security and other systemic problems because it helps small nonprofits increase their capacity, build political will and bring about change more quickly.

Sarah Solomon, deputy director of the Penn Injury Research Center, said there is a lot of energy in Philadelphia right now, but organizations don’t always want to devote time to planning and working together.

“Organizations want to act,” she said. “They just want to go ahead and keep moving and hold their event because over the next few days there will be another shooting, then another shooting, and then another. «

She is currently beginning work on an inventory of nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia that engage in gun violence, with the ultimate goal of bringing people together to work together and assess impact.

“It’s a pity we all walk on each other’s feet,” she said. “Imagine if all four events that took place at the same time were one big, cohesive event that shared resources and attracted more people.”

Solomon is involved in the nonprofit Beloved Care Project, which is organizing a street festival against violence scheduled for Saturday. The event was to take place a quarter of a mile from the day of the youth “cessation of violence” at the Francis J. Recreation Center. Meersa.

Caliph Mujahid-Ali, founder of the Beloved Care Project, said several efforts in the same field are a plus because people can connect with their neighbors and be able to attend two events in one day.

He said he had heard about the event in the center of Meers, but it did not bother him.

“I said, what’s the problem?” He said. “I just want people to come out more, start doing more. People say, “I want to do that too,” and that’s good.

A bar from Philadelphia Majid said it had not heard of other events until recently. He said he was not surprised given the resistance he has faced between some groups dealing with gun violence.

“As soon as we can get rid of nonsense … then we can start moving forward,” he said.

To help with coordination, Kesher has created a community calendar in which nonprofits related to gun use can list their events. So far it is used by only a few groups.

“Everyone is talking about something,” Kesher said. “We need to get treatment. So people should come when they are [are] tired of the status quo in Philadelphia. ”

Other cities are trying to better cooperate. The Kansas City Public Security Partnership and the New Orleans Weapons Violence Prevention Collective Group are committed to combining the efforts of government and nonprofits to address the issue.

In Delaware County, Chester has successfully reduced gun violence through its Partnership for Safe Neighbors initiative. According to Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, the city has seen a 44% reduction in homicide killings and a 34% reduction in overall executions. As a driver of success, he called close cooperation with NGOs.

Proponents of gun violence prevention say it is important to continue to bring people together around the issue and engage residents in whatever services they may need, be it work assistance, therapy, legal aid, support in murder investigations, relocation or training on conflict resolution.

Some of the activities, originally scheduled for Saturday, are partly funded by the City of Philadelphia. The Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives in Criminal Justice and Public Safety is currently accepting applications for the fifth round of targeted public investment grants aimed at supporting nonprofits involved in the prevention of gun violence, including events. These grantees will be announced in June.

Future events of gun violence

101 Erie Avenue, 12 to 8 p.m.

May 7, from 13.00 to 19.00 (rains on May 8)

200 quarter south 60th Street

Youth Day – Stop Violence

May 21 (postponed from May 7), from 12.00 to 18.00

May 15 (postponed from May 7), from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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