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Memphis Youth Run Stand-Out Social Media Campaign to End Gun Violence

Published by The National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention April 10, 2013               

     Memphis is one of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention's six initial participating cities. "In 2006, Memphis had the second highest violent crime rate in the country," according to the Memphis Youth Violence Prevention Plan. Although "January 2011 saw Memphis' lowest murder rate in 30 years," the plan notes that "youth violence is on the rise. In 2009, more than 54 percent (1,462) of those arrested for committing a violent crime were 24 years of age or younger—with offenders as young as nine years old."

     "If adults can't reach the youth to stop gun violence, then the youth will," stated 17-year-old Kevin Jones, Frayser Youth Council Executive Board Member. Jones and Jada Cowan, Frayser Youth Council President, are among the young people ages 15 to 19 who said "yes!" when offered the opportunity to run the youth social media campaign for Memphis Gun Down (www.memphisgundown.org), Mayor A C Wharton's five-part plan to address gun violence. Adult oversight is provided by Kingdom Quality Communications, Inc., the marketing firm that coordinates the overall Memphis Gun Down campaign in collaboration with Clear Channel Communications, Inc. The youth social media campaign is a core aspect of Memphis Gun Down's public education and awareness campaign, which also includes Web engagement and community action.

  The 20 youth on the Mayor's Youth Social Media Team write attention-getting and thought-provoking messages geared to young people about stopping gun violence. They also manage the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram accounts they use to spread the word. The team finds other effective ways of communicating with their peers, too. Frayser Youth Council members collaborated with youth from the Leadership Empowerment Center (LEC), a faith-based nonprofit in Memphis, to create the rap song "Gundown" (https://soundcloud.com/lec38127/gundown). Read More...

The Memphis Youth Violence Prevention Plan is incorporated under Goal 5: Reduce Youth Violence of Operation: Safe Community (OSC) 2012-2016. The Frayser Youth Council, established by OSC, provides opportunities for youth to be engaged and provide leadership in efforts to reduce crime in their community.

 Community Connections

18th Annual Crime Victim's Rights Awards

Please join Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr., Mayor A C Wharton Jr., Sheriff Bill Oldham and U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton III as they honor survivors of crime in our community. The Criminal Justice Professional of the Year and the Victim Advocate of the Year will be named. The event will be held  at First Baptist Church-Broad, 2835 Broad Avenue, Memphis 38112, Thursday, April 25, 2013. A reception and networking begin at 5:00 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m.. There is no charge for this event, but space is limited. Please call 901-222-3950 to RSVP if you plan to attend.  

Stewards of Children Training

Stewards of Children is a powerful child sexual abuse prevention training for parents and adults who work or volunteer with children. In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Child Advocacy Center will waive the training fee for any organization that calls before the end of April to schedule Stewards of Children training. This is a time-limited Child Abuse Prevention Month opportunity, reserved for the first 500 participants only. Training must occur by the end of June. To learn more about Stewards of Children visit WWW.MemphisCAC.org or contact Carol Drake at 901-888-4363 or cdrake@MemphisCAC.org.

Tony Allen Karaoke Night

Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen will host his "Tony Allen Karaoke Night" at the Kroc Center located at 800 East Parkway, Memphis 38104 on Tuesday, April 16 from 6-8 p.m. to benefit JIFF (Juvenile Intervention and Faith Based Follow-up). Allen will be on hand to meet with fans, sign autographs and sing karaoke all for a good cause.

JIFF, an accountable partner of Operation: Safe Community, provides youth from the juvenile justice system with the skills, support and direction necessary to break the destructive cycle of criminal behavior. JIFF is a 501c3 program dedicated to seeing youth flourish, free from a life of crime. By influencing the thinking, behavior and direction of young offenders (age 12-18) and their families, JIFF can help them pursue productive and pro-social activities. For more information and tickets to the event call JIFF at 901.522-8502 or visit www.jiffyouth.org

Monthly Crime Trend Report

The Operation: Safe Community Monthly Crime Trend Report for February 2013 is posted HERE .

The OSC Monthly Crime Trend Report is administered by Richard Janikowski, Director of the Center for Community Criminology and Research at the University of Memphis and the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.

In The News

 WREG Channel 3 News

Ron Pope, Director of Student Engagement Memphis City Schools and Angela Hargrave, Director of Student Services, Shelby County Schools discuss school safety and the 3rd Annual Assuring Safe Futures for Our Children Conference, held on April 4-5, 2013.

Commercial Appeal

Safeways, a data driven strategy of Operation: Safe Community designed to reduce crime in apartment communities, expands with local support. 

Support Operation: Safe Community

There are three easy ways to donate to support OSC in its mission to make Memphis and Shelby County safer:

  • Make A Contribution using your credit card safely
  • Mail a check to the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, 600 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 400, Memphis, TN, 38105
  • Participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) #59972