I wanted to highlight this post from Greater Greater Washington; the piece was written yesterday morning, the City Paper picked it up yesterday afternoon, and the comments thread debate is still going now. Bryan Weaver, executive director of Hoops Sagrado, recounts his twelve-year connection to Jamal Coates, who was killed in the 13th & U funeral shooting. He concludes:
“I don’t profess to have the answers. If I did, Jamal would not be dead. But I do have some ideas about how we as a community — the entire community — can begin to frame the conversation that will hopefully bring about real change and possibly save some lives [...] We need real action. We need people who are really willing to look at our system and fix it [...] The best way to stop a bullet is an education and a job.”
The debate has focused, at least in part, on whether small and localized changed can make the difference or whether a national paradigm shift is necessary. For a simple answer, I’d say that the former is of course critical while we are waiting on the latter. But I’d also posit that education and outreach programs created for a single neighborhood, a single street, or a single block can have an impact (and an intimacy) that no national program could ever duplicate.
Do check out the post in full and TBD also has an interesting perspective. Moreover, take a look at some of the amazing work that our non-profits are doing in Education and Human Services. The changes may be local and specific, but that translates to deep and undeniable.