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Addressing Youth Violence Throughout the City of Boston | Race and Community Dialogue Series

Northeastern’s Center on Crime, Race, and Justice hosted the second presentation of its Race and Community Dialogue Series. The topic of this installment, Addressing Youth Violence Throughout the City of Boston, hosted a panel of experts from different agencies who play a role in supporting young people in Boston.

Led by moderators Harry Harding, Vice President of Community Engagement for Children’s Services of Roxbury, and Sam Williams, Executive Director of Concord Prison Outreach and Co-Director of the CRJ Community Advisory Board, the panel consisted of:

Lanita Cullinane, Superintendent of Bureau of Field Services, Boston Police Department
Isaac Yablo, Senior Advisor of Community Safety for the Mayor’s Office, City of Boston
Cory McCarthy, Chief of Student Support for the Boston Public School District

The interdisciplinary panel, comprised of individuals and agencies who work in Boston’s communities, reflects the holistic solution needed to address youth violence.

Throughout the discussion panelists explored the multifaceted and interagency approach needed to combat youth violence. Research shows that youth living in environments with chronic stressors are more likely to make poor decisions that involve criminal activity. Reflecting on the environments that lead to youth violence, like poverty, housing, job disparities and more, panelists discussed complex, yet actionable solutions. The panel shared how environmental stressors are compounded by social media and youth mental health issues, leading to more violent confrontations in the city.

Solutions range from programmatic work, like establishing after school and summer programs, to building pathways to economic development for young people. Panelists also emphasized the importance of helping young people learn and build skills for dealing with conflict in healthy ways, and working to repair disconnects between parents and their children. While the solutions to youth violence are massively complex and intersectional, there are a number of actionable steps that are being taken by these organizations to address this growing issue in the city of Boston and beyond.

Watch the full presentation.

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