Children are the Future: Let’s Listen

Everyone knows that children are our future, and the city of Boston put their money where their mouth is. Boston recently held the “Youth Lead the Change” project, with help from the Participatory Budgeting Project. This was the first youth-led participatory budgeting process in a U.S. city which empowered young people, ages 12 to 25, to decide where 1 million dollars of public capital should go to best improve their communities. [1]

Participating youth were able to vote in four categories for projects that would better their communityvia text and voting stations. Projects had to be for brick and mortar …read more

Homeless Children – Across the Nation and Here in Baltimore

homeless (Photo credit: Bagunçêiro)

Across the nation, The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that approximately 550,000 unaccompanied, single young adults (up to age 24) experience a homelessness episode longer than one week – and while it’s difficult to track homeless youth, it is estimated that 380,000 are under 18 years old. Here at home, the number of Baltimore City Public School students identified as homeless doubled between 2008 – 2013; with 2,716 homeless students identified in the 2012-13 school year.

Children are considered homeless when they lack a fixed, regular and adequate night-time place of residence including:

Sharing …read more

74 School Shootings Since Sandy Hook, When Does It Stop?

There have been 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook. That equals an average of 1.37 school shootings for each school week.[1]

Courtesy of the Washington Post. This map is of the cities where the 74 shootings place. Note: Blue markers represent incidents in 2014; red markers are for incidents from 2013.

Those numbers are unbearable to write. How is it possible that we’ve watch this unfold weekly and nothing has changed. Perhaps you’ve seen on Facebook the bullet proof backpack or blanket you can buy your child. That’s right, to be a good parent you might have to buy …read more

Violence around Us – We Can Make a Difference

As my new hometown, Baltimore, searches for a solution to the continued murders that have plagued our community in 2014, I am overwhelmed with the violence in other parts of our world and our country. A young man in Florida was killed because he was playing loud music in front of a convenience store and a United Nations report is released about the systematic torture of the citizens of North Korea by their government.

At Campaign Consultation, Inc. we have been blogging about opportunities to take action in Baltimore to address the issues that can stop many of the social …read more

Is Ceasefire Baltimore’s Answer?

Baltimore has seen 33 murders this year. We are 44 days into 2014. After a more hopeful 2012 where Baltimore had its 2nd lowest murder rate* since the late 1980’s this is particularly striking. Communities are reeling and wanting answers. I was at a community meeting last night that had over 500 participants. Mayor Rawlings Blake has recently announced new crime fighting strategies in her State of the City address like implementing Operation Ceasefire and opening 24 hour Youth Connection Centers.

Operation Ceasefire had three components. Recognized gang members would be brought in under probation or parole …read more

The Dangers of Lead Still Loom

Jamaica has had a 40% drop in its murder rate from 2009 to 2013. There are many events that may have attributed to this drop: a major drug lord arrest; an emphasis on community police, violence reduction and combating corruption; and replacing leaded gasoline with unleaded. Wait, unleaded gasoline? That’s right. From 1990-2000, Jamaica started to phase out leaded gasoline, which leads some to believe that the beneficial impact of youth with lower levels of lead poisoning is just beginning.

Leaded gas which has been banned in the US since 1995, one of TIME’s 50 worst inventions, has been linked …read more

Trimming Childhood Obesity in the U.S.

Imagine this scenario:

You are a single parent with two young children to support. Your last five dollar bill is in your pocket and pay day is tomorrow. There are two locations where you can purchase food in your neighborhood – a liquor store that sells packaged goods, and a Burger King. Your kids are hungry.

What would you do?

Many people placed in this situation would (and do) opt for the less expensive food options in their neighborhood, when forced to weigh availability and cost against nutrition. These, and many other factors, have amplified America’s obesity epidemic among low-income …read more

What if George Zimmerman had known Trayvon’s Dad?

Interracial Marble Relationship 3 (Photo credit: wjserson)

What if George Zimmerman had known Trayvon’s Dad? I’ve been pondering that question for the past 24 hours and for me it’s progress and one step toward healing. For the past few weeks, my questions have been a lot more contentious.

In a statement released by Robert Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center, after the Zimmerman verdict, he asks many of the questions that have been on my mind and the answers were making me equally angry and sad. I’m saddened by the verdict, though it was not unexpected—many legal …read more

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action

Trayvon Martin Protest – Sanford (Photo credit: werthmedia)

Sorry Elvis, we still need to talk. Saturated, but it seems absurd to contemplate writing about anything other than Trayvon Martin this week. Staring at the masthead of our blog, and reading the tagline, viewing social justice challenges and opportunities through the prism of current events, I keep thinking, “now is no time to be silent,” because in the simplest of terms, this is both a challenge AND an opportunity.

But it is hard to have words, much less the right words. My head has been scrambled with the news accounts, …read more

Apps to Prevent Sexual Assaults and Domestic Abuses

One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.[1] Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.[2] One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.[3] One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.[4]

The statistics are overwhelming; and it’s clear that preventing and reporting abuse and assault needs to be …read more