Youth Violence Prevention Week kicks off in Minneapolis

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Chess is a game that requires many skills, and the same things that can help you win the board game can also help you in the game of life.

“Focus, discipline. It teaches you that if you make the wrong choice, you could lose your king or queen,” said Deseria Galloway, CEO of Wellspring Second Chance Center.

On Saturday afternoon, the children and their parents had the chance to try their hand at chess with the local non-profit association. The event helped launch the city’s youth violence prevention initiative.

Over the next week, in neighborhoods across the city, a variety of events are planned with the aim of empowering young people to help prevent youth violence.

“What moves are you doing? Are they good moves? We’re taking those chess principles and applying them to everyday life…these are tangible skills they can learn and take with them,” said Galloway.

For Doe Slanger, the issue of gun violence is painful and personal. Her brother was killed two years ago and the person responsible has never been arrested.

“A lot of pain, a lot of anger and it can take you the wrong way,” Slanger said.

He hopes the conversation he had with the youth group on Saturday will be the first step towards a brighter and more peaceful future for a city that has seen so much tragedy.

“When it comes to violence in every way, from the physical part to the mental part, it’s important that we talk to each other, understand each other and take care of each other on a human level,” said Slang.

Calendar of Youth Violence Prevention Week Events

Youth Violence Prevention Event, hosted by African American Survivor Services

1-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday April 2-3

Parking at Lake Street and First Avenue (former Kmart site)

Youth participants present/perform expressive art forms related to their visions of violence-related issues in their community. A space will be provided on the second day of the event for participants to interact and share ideas on violence prevention policy changes and prevention strategies.

All-Star Weekend Game, hosted by TOUCH Outreach

2-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, April 2-3South High School, 3131 19th Ave. S.

This event is filled with team and family style games and sports, providing safe, engaging and positive activities for young people and their families. It includes three point and dunk contests with prizes.

Coyle Cup, hosted by Pillsbury United Communities

4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, April 5 to 8

Brian Coyle Center, 420 15th Ave. S.

This basketball tournament is a safe space where participants can develop a healthy body and mind with the social and emotional support of positive adults. It’s a fun way for young people to have interactive learning opportunities.

Youth Safety and Violence Prevention Camp, hosted by We Push For Peace

10am-2pm Wednesday April

1300 Lagoon Avenue, Suite 240

This event helps to empower youth ages 10-14 and equip them with personal safety strategies and coping skills.

Hope Fest, hosted by Restoration Inc.

12 p.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday April 6

Sanctuary Covenant Church, 710 West Broadway Ave.

This family-friendly event provides fun, violence-free healing spaces that instill hope and promote healing in young people. It includes food, door prizes, sports, music, art, fitness, dance and healing.

Spring Break Jam, hosted by the Futsal Society and the Whittier Recreation Center

5-8 p.m. Thursday April 7

Whittier Recreation Center, 425 W. 26th Ave.

This fun and engaging evening of activities for 12-18 year olds includes food, music, bingo, basketball and soccer competitions.

Youth Violence Prevention Basketball Tournament, hosted by One Step Forward

1-4 p.m. Friday April 8

Harold Mezile North Community YMCA, 1711 West Broadway Ave.

This event helps empower young people through physical activity in safe and positive spaces. It increases awareness of youth violence prevention, providing information and resources to youth and their families. Along with the tournament there is live entertainment, guest speakers and food.

3 on 3 tournament, organized by Don’t Shoot Guns Shoot Hoops

12 p.m. Saturday April 9 and 9 a.m. Sunday April 10

Colin Powell Center, 2924 Fourth Ave. S.

This event uses a basketball tournament to create a safe space for young people and raise awareness about gun violence prevention.

My neighborhood is safer thanks to me, hosted by Asian Media Access

Saturday-Friday April 2-8

Young people attending Youth Violence Prevention Week events share their thoughts and experiences using the hashtag #MyNeighborhoodIsSaferBecauseOfMe. Social media campaign helps raise awareness of youth violence prevention and empowers young people to support each other, show pride in what they have achieved and use creative expression to speak out violence.

For questions or more information about upcoming events, you can contact the Office of Violence Prevention at [email protected]

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