Marquise Brown | Contributing Writer
Hampton, VA- The Hampton Roads community has been filled with violence specifically deriving from young males. However, Hampton University has made strides to help better the community by participating with the Men’s Violence Prevention Program.
The goal of the program is to better the lives of young men by steering them down the right path. The organizer Raymond Samuel set up this program to help African American males stay on the right track. According to Newport News Police Chief Richard W. Myers “We have to be able to get more involved in the community to help reach the youth and break the code of violence”. The five-month program brings about 60 young men from many challenging backgrounds that are at a higher risk for violence than their peers. There are two- hour sessions that include interactive that are meant to enhance protective factors in these young men.
The positivity of this program is meant to combat the violence often seen towards or within the African American community. According to the NAACP’s website, “Nationwide, African- Americans represent 26% of juvenile arrests. 44% of the youth who are detained, 46% of the youth who are judicially waived to criminal court, and 58% of the youth admitted to state prisons”. The national review also reports that “the 200 or so reported killings of blacks by police officers- nearly all justified- pale in comparison to the 6,000 or so killings of blacks by other blacks”.
Hampton University has partnered up with Howard University and other institutions to help this program extend to black men across the country. The leader of the Made for More movement and Warwick High School Teacher Bridget Adams stated “We want to be involved in the community and make a positive impact on the younger lives”. The Men’s Violence Prevention Program is expected to grow from 60 students to over hundreds within the next year.
Dr. Linda Malone, Colon Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Hampton University stated that “We want our students to have all the knowledge and skills they need to be strong scholars in their particular disciplines, but were also trying to give students a kind of heart and desire to use their knowledge and skills to uplift their communities, our country and the global community”. The program aims to empower to young African Americans males to better their lives for years to come.
This summer Hampton students will help with the next chapter of the study, an analysis of preliminary data. This will determine if the uplift reduced the rate of violent attitudes and changed behavioral inclinations. It also will show if the program modules will need to be adjusted.