Teny Gross is executive director of the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence, Rhode Island. The institute runs an outreach program and teaches non-violence in schools. Its approach has won support in the Providence community, and among activists here in Milwaukee, who call it a successful model for fighting youth violence. Gross speaks with Jane Hampden.
Alex Kotlowitz of Chicago is a Peabody award-winning journalist. His New York Times Magazine article, Blocking the Transmission of Violence appeared last month. Jane Hampden speaks with him from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he teaches writing.
For the past few years, Milwaukee has grappled with a triple digit homicide rate, and among the victims have been children. Some have been involved in gangs and criminal activity; others were innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson talked to one young gunshot survivor, as part of our series, Project Milwaukee: Youth Violence.
Research shows that youth who grow up in low income neighborhoods are more likely than privileged kids to become involved in gangs or take part in other violent activity. As part of our series on youth violence in Milwaukee, WUWM’s LaToya Dennis visits an after-school program that is succeeding in helping some kids turn around their lives.
We continue our Project Milwaukee series on youth violence now with a look at kids’ mental health needs. A report by the Alliance for Children and Families says at least 26,000 children in Milwaukee suffer from some type of mental disorder, such as anxiety, behavior problems or depression. Members of the alliance say there’s often a relationship between violent behavior and mental well-being.
Gun violence reached epidemic proportions in Milwaukee in the 1990s. Today, it is endemic --woven into the fabric of everyday life. That's according to researcher and physician Dr. Steven Hargerten of the Medical College of Wisconsin. Hargarten views youth homicide, especially among minority males, as a disease.
We've been exploring the issue of youth violence from a variety of angles for the past week on WUWM. We've met children who've been either victims or perpetrators of violent crimes. Some of the offenders wind up in the court system at an early age.
Barbara Notestein is executive director of Safe & Sound in Milwaukee. Aaron Edwards is one of the group’s outreach workers or “community partners.” They speak with Jane Hampden as part of Project Milwaukee: Youth Violence.
Ron Edari is a professor of sociology and urban studies at UWM. He’s a native of Kenya; he’s lived in Milwaukee since 1972. Edari speaks with Lake Effect’s Dan Harmon about the economic roots of violence in the city.
Last year, Milwaukee’s public schools became a testing ground for a national program designed to reduce school violence. Under the Violence Free Zone Initiative, specially-trained youth mentors from the neighborhood walk the halls of local high schools, breaking up fights and diffusing potentially violent situations. It appears the strategy has been working in the six Milwaukee high schools that have implemented the program.