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.
Milwaukee has problems with youth violence, just as does nearly every other urban community. While that violence impacts vital components of everyday life such as family relationships, the schools and the criminal justice system, it can also impact economic development. Howard Snyder is Executive Director of the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation and spoke to us as part of our series, Project Milwaukee: Youth Violence.
Children in some Milwaukee neighborhoods are likely to become involved in gangs. Teens and even younger kids may sell cocaine, move guns from one location to another, or act as "lookouts" while illegal activities are underway. Officers Louis Kopesky and Daniel Knitter are with the Milwaukee Police Department's 5th District Community Prosecution Unit.
They told Ann-Elise Henzl about the problem during a patrol on the city's near north side.
It’s illegal for children to purchase a handgun or even possess one, unless they’re involved in a supervised activity. Yet in Milwaukee, as in other cities, some young people have easy access to guns and actually carry and use them. In this installment of Project Milwaukee: Youth Violence, WUWM's Marge Pitrof explores how young people get their hands on firearms and why some children want them.
In some dangerous neighborhoods of Milwaukee, it seems as if there's a roadside memorial every other block. The stuffed animals, votive candles, photos, and bottles of liquor are left at a tree, in honor of someone who died of gang violence. Often the victims and perpetrators of gang crimes are teenagers. Experts say that's a sharp contrast to 30 years ago, when gangs were almost non-existent here.
Joy Price is young adult librarian and coordinator of the Stop Teen Violence program at the Milwaukee Public Library. There's a seminar tonight at the Forest Home Library called “Protect Yourself.” Speakers will discuss safe relationships, conflict resolution and self defense. Price speaks with Jane Hampden.