Home News Center Anti-Racism Resource: Responding to Tragedy

Anti-Racism Resource: Responding to Tragedy

May 31, 2022
NJJN



There have been 213 mass shootings in the United States in 2022. Learning of a new mass shooting has become an incomprehensible weekly occurrence. From the targeted killing of African American grocery shoppers in Buffalo, New York, to a mass shooting at a Taiwanese church in Orange County, California, and the most recent shooting of elementary-school-aged children in Uvalde, Texas - the pain felt from these tragedies is only multiplied by the thousands of families harmed by violence, which never make the national headlines.

Our youth justice movement ultimately aims to create safety for whole communities so that young people are free to grow into the beauty of their full selves. Truly achieving justice for young people, and therefore all of us, means creating environments that are safe from gun violence, white supremacist terrorism and systems harm. These are all the same ideals.

Thus, we must remain clear about our charge as a movement: dismantling the foundation of white supremacy that harms all of us and pushing for deep community investments, which prioritize collective healing and harm prevention. That means pushing for a vision of justice that includes:  

  • A robust mental health infrastructure that addresses access inequities for marginalized communities,

  • Safe and affordable housing and family sustaining jobs that help keep youth and their families secure, 

  • Deep investments in community wrap around support services and youth learning and development  opportunities

  • More counselors in schools

  • Healing and restorative-centered accountability

  • and much more to create a holistic, public health approach 

Responding to tragedies such as the ones we’ve experienced over the past few weeks can feel impossible. In such moments, we must remind ourselves that when we make the synchronous goals of dismantling oppression and community healing our primary cause, our efforts inevitably lead to solutions that support all of our ability to live free and safe lives. 


Resources:

NJJN’s Vision of Justice

NJJN’s Statement on Anti-Racism

Gun Violence is a Racial Justice Issue - BradyUnited.org


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