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Violence is the Symptom of the Problem

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NARRATOR: Healing the hurt of young people begins with asking not, “What’s wrong with you?” but “What happened to you?” It also means confronting the racial segregation, disinvestment and lack of jobs and decent, safe housing, which generate suffering rather than hope for so many American children and families.

Olis Simmons, President and CEO, Youth UpRising:

We’ve all heard the adage that, hurt people hurt people. And it’s true. Violence is not the problem. It’s the symptom of the problem. The people with the greatest need have the least resource, have the least skilled teachers, the least outdoor space, the least music, the least recreation, the least art—the least of all of it, when they have the greatest need. And they know that other people have it and they don’t. We can’t have whole communities of people locked out of economic opportunity, undereducated, under and unemployed and believe that we can continue to thrive, because it’s just not possible.

Sandra Bloom, Associate Professor, Drexel University School of Public Health:

It’s time for all Americans to recognize that we’re suffocating the abilities of millions of children. We won’t really endorse real family values, which mean you take care of families, you take care of people that are raising children. That’s what we need to really believe in.