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Students Engage with Community to Address Youth Gun Violence

What can our university do to end youth gun violence in New Haven?

A group of Southern students are working with Elm City community groups to address this critical problem.

At  “Owls Preventing Gun Violence” on Nov. 15 students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Adanti Student Center to  develop partnerships and devise solutions, joined by community members, activists, and families of homicide victims.

The event was co-hosted by Nik’kiyah Brown and Shayna Smith, majors in the Communication, Media, and Screen Studies Department who are spearheading this effort with their classmates as part of their capstone course. 

Both are from the New Haven area and have experienced personal losses from gun violence. 

Smith says: “A lot of SCSU students are New Haven natives. This is our community. We have a chance to help protect it.” 

Several mothers who have lost their children to gun violence spoke at the event including alumna Marlene Miller Pratt (who worked to establish the New Haven Botanical Garden of Healing Dedicated to Victims of Gun Violence in Westville). 

Other speakers include Chaz Carmon (Ice the Beef), Devon Rayment (BH Care), Leonard Jahad (CT Violence Intervention Program), Daniel Hunt, Stacy Spell (Project Longevity), and the New Haven Youth and Recreation Department.

The event was covered by both television and print media:

New Haven Register

WFSB

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