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Minneapolis summer program to quell youth violence shows results

A summer-long youth violence prevention program in Minneapolis, called Summer 612, engaged 1,000 young people with creative projects to help raise awareness of the problem and solutions.

Now the results of the project will be showcased Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Minneapolis Central Library.

Eight groups worked on projects in film, visual arts, performance and basketball. The young people reflected on their efforts to address the culture of violence and then shared them with family, friends and peers, organizers said.

The eight programs to be highlighted Thursday are:

  • Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota — A video depicting positive things going on with youth to promote peace and unlearn the culture of violence in the Somali community.
  • Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota — A video project using on-the-street interviews and video booth ideas to collect youth’s opinions on how they see violence in their lives and how to stop youth violence in north Minneapolis.
  • TVbyGIRLS — Movie and public service announcement about the process of learning about domestic and dating violence and talking to girls about what they do to make a difference in their relationships.
  • Youth Education Justice Initiative — film exploring a key contributor to the culture of violence in schools: the treatment of students as numbers. Film will also highlight the efforts of youth to unlearn this culture of violence.
  • Pillsbury United Communities Waite House, Hope Community, Little Earth and Main Street Project — “Build Bridges, Not Fences” community mural collaboration promotes mural painting as a vehicle to teach and deliver community-building skills while connecting youth with a larger community network through neighborhood engagement.
  • YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis Y-ReConnect — through “Remix Your Kicks,” youth transitioning back home from residential correctional placement will design and paint a pair of tennis shoes representing how they see peace and a non-violent neighborhood in Minneapolis.
  • Pillsbury House Theater: Them Elements Dance Crew — a performance piece incorporating dance, spoken word, theater and video, reflecting on the causes and effects of violence.
  • Above the E.D.G.E Global Basketball League — A youth sports program that develops and strengthens the positive character, social and physical qualities of each participant, while cultivating a healthy spirit of fun for each participant.

Summer 612 was sponsored with a grant from the Minneapolis Foundation.

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