Connections – Taking Aim at Gun Violence

Because gun violence disproportionately affects African-American men and boys, particularly those who live in high-poverty communities, efforts to end it must also address issues of race, place, and poverty, a report from CLASP finds. According to Taking Aim at Gun Violence (11 pages, PDF), 53,850 African-American males were killed by firearms between 2000 and 2010, while rates of gun violence among young African-American men were highest where dropout, unemployment, and poverty rates are also high. The report calls for rebuilding and strengthening distressed communities by providing the infrastructure and resources needed to improve education and expand job opportunities, including out-of-school activities, cultural institutions, and vocational programs. Such efforts, the report argues, must take into consideration five key strategies: targeting federal, state, local, and private financial resources to communities of concentrated poverty; building community capacity to deliver services to struggling youth; re-engaging students who have dropped out or are at risk of doing so; offering subsidized employment, internships, on-the-job training, summer jobs, and transitional jobs; and promoting healing from trauma and adversity.

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