YA!’s Paris Davis Interviewed –
The nation is aware of a general increase in gun violence, roughly coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic. There is much discussion, at many levels — in the media, before legislatures and city councils, and on the streets — about possible solutions.
What is often overlooked in these discussions is who the victims are in this surge. A new article in The Guardian seeks to address that. As always, surge or not, it is people of color who are the victims of violence in American cities. It is young men, women, sons, daughters, moms and dads, people with sons, daughters, moms and dads, who suffer in the aftermath. The victims are entire communities, who see their precious youth wounded, traumatized, or dead.
This article in The Guardian, part of its Guns & Lies series, which “investigates the programs in California’s Bay Area that have helped prevent gun violence and the people who work to address the trauma,” takes the time to expose the personal, emotional pain of violence and loss, and presents solid research and statistics showing who the victims are. Like another recent entry in the series that gave YA! KWP Coordinator Jasmine Hardison a voice, this new article wisely features extensive commentary by Youth ALIVE! Intervention Manager Paris Davis. Paris points out that violent incidents were down across the board prior to the onset of the pandemic. And while the public health and economic devastation of COVID have contributed to the surge, the necessary social precautions of COVID have changed the work we do to prevent violence. Here is Paris in the article:
“It had a hard impact professionally. You used to be able to go into the community and mediate. Covid messed with what we were able to do,” said Davis. “We had to start supporting clients virtually. But sometimes it wasn’t best for a client when they needed to see someone in person.”
We never stopped doing everything we can to bring support and love to the wounded and to prevent violence in Oakland. The city has had success in the past and will again. In the meantime, this article is essential reading.
Read the Guardian article: Inside the San Francisco Bay Area’s pandemic murder surge: “No one knows this pain but us.”