TNT Wows DC:
For Teens on Target (TNT), ‘summer break’ is not your typical vacation.
In early August, Youth ALIVE!’s tireless TNT Violence Prevention Educators and Youth Leaders flew from Oakland to Washington D.C. to participate as panelists in Gun Sense University 2019. Among much discussion of how to stop mass shootings, the TNT youth leaders were there to be the voice of those affected by daily violence. At the event, attended by thousands of activists, they led a panel discussion on daily gun violence, presented a case study they presented to illustrate their approach to violence prevention and led a training on how guns end up in a community. They were very well-received, including with a standing ovation from the large crowd.
“A lot of people were coming up and shaking our hands and thanking us for what we do,” said Castlemont High School senior Seven Curley. Seven said that she was surprised to meet many other youth her age who were involved and trying to make a difference.
TNT coordinator Hisham Alibob made an impassioned speech about the imperative of preventing violence.
The trip catapulted not only Youth ALIVE! but the impact of community based violence prevention strategies into the foreground of a national conversation, particularly as the horrific El Paso and Dayton mass shootings occurred while the conference was underway.
Hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety, and attended by students, community partners, Moms Demand Action members and more from across the United States, the experience presented our youth leaders with an unprecedented opportunity to learn and to teach. And of course, this is only the beginning.