Jasmine Hardison in The Guardian –
A September 2021 article in The Guardian on Oakland’s 100th homicide of 2021 is a clear-headed assessment of the current surge in gun violence, and how it affects lower-income Black and Latino communities most.
According to the article, “Firm answers on the reasons for the rise in gun violence remain elusive. Community members, violence interrupters and law enforcement have all offered up various factors that may be contributing, including pandemic-induced stress, economic hardship, anti-police sentiment, and the loss of the social structures for those most at risk of being shot or shooting someone else.”
While there are multiple causes of this surge after years of declining gun violence here, what is clear and unchanging is the pain and suffering this violence is causing families and survivors.
“It’s overwhelming and it saddens my heart,” says YA!’s Jasmine Hardison, “because I’ve gone through this already, so to hear these similar stories is disheartening.”
Jasmine is coordinator of our Khadafy Washington Project, tasked with supporting devastated families in the immediate aftermath of a killing. Our KWP staff of 4 crisis responders has been undaunted in its commitment to being there for families of each and every homicide victim in Oakland. Jasmine and the KWP staff — Marilyn Washington Harris, Nina Carter and Yvette Mora — contact each family within 24 hours of a homicide to offer culturally-appropriate, trauma-informed emotional support and practical guidance through the difficult first days and weeks of their long journey toward healing and peace.
Read the entire piece here – “This is a crisis”: Oakland records 100th homicide of 2021, outpacing last year
See also: Who Are the Victims of the Surge