Effects of Violence on Oakland Youth
I recently learned about the You Tube video competition- Project Report. One of the finalists is a short movie- “The Effects of Violence on Oakland Youth.” In the first few minutes of the video, its your typical story about violence in Oakland. Oakland residents being afraid of their neighbors, afraid to walk outside, and afraid of being shot. Something we all know.
However Richgail Enriquez (the producer of the video) started to teach me something new, when she discusses how unique community violence is. This particular form of violence has been proven to lead to damaging emotional and psychological trauma compared to the type of trauma experienced by soldiers. This trauma can more often than not effect ones' academic performance. The video suggests a link between community violence, low-test scores, and the proposed closing of three Oakland Schools.
Residents of Oakland have become adjusted to the violence in the city. Few are addressing the emotional consequences and how they affect the community as a whole. The video starts a dialogue about the ripple affect of community violence. The film made me that much more appreciative of all of our Oakland educators who play important roles in helping potentially saving Oakland’s youth.
Watch the video yourself, and then tell us what YOU think about its messages about violence in Oakland!
Aja Minor, 24, is an intern with Heal the Streets. She is a Bay Area native and holds a BA in International Studies with a minor in Music and a MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies from California State University Long Beach. By working with Heal The Streets Ms. Minor hopes to empower and educate youth to fight for justice and complete social change.
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