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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Help to reduce gangs and youth violence

Arlington and Mansfield area leaders launched a new collaboration called Our Community, Our Kids to support strategies that reduce gangs and youth violence.

Our Community, Our Kids is a newly formed collaboration that is working toward a coordinated and comprehensive plan for addressing the needs of youth. Its purpose is to address gangs and violence, and increase support for youth in southeast Tarrant County.

According to a release by the City of Arlington, the initiative grew out of a 2006 United Way Arlington study on child abuse and neglect. The effort was renewed when area leaders agreed to focus their collective strengths and resources on providing at-risk youth with alternatives to gangs as part of a Gang Summit and Gang Intervention Committee hosted by the Arlington school district in 2008.

The collaborative effort held a kick-off breakfast on September 30, 2010 at the Mac Bernd Professional Development Center in Arlington ISD. MISD Superintendent, Dr. Bob Morrison, was unable to attend the event, but sent the following supportive video message:

Our Community, Our Kids from MISDTV on Vimeo.

The partners in the effort include the City of Arlington, Arlington ISD, City of Mansfield, Mansfield ISD, Arlington Police Department, Arlington Chamber of Commerce, YMCA of Arlington, Arlington Alliance for Youth, Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington, Cornerstone Baptist Church, United Way of Tarrant County, Tarrant County Juvenile Services and the University of Texas at Arlington.

In case you are wondering why MISD is involved in this effort since it seems primarily focused to our north, 40% of the students in the District come from the city of Arlington.

We'll provide more information as this initiative developes. Check out the program flyer (PDF) for more information.

Related: "Our Community, Our Kids" Launches to Support Youth