Take Charge of Your Health Today. Be Informed. Be Involved…Gun Violence


We continue to mourn the loss of the many individuals we have lost to gun violence. Everyone has been impacted in some way, knowing neighbors, friends, and family who have lost loved ones to such horrific and senseless violence. And we know how much our Black communities are disproportionately impacted.

In this month’s health page, we focus on what we can do to create safer and more connected communities together. Dr. Brent emphasizes talking more about gun safety and about mental health support for our young people. What thoughts do you have for increasing talk within our Black neighborhoods about gun safety and mental health?

Carlos: We absolutely need to discuss the reality that having more guns does not make us or our neighborhoods safer. Whether in schools, after-school programs, churches, libraries, and living rooms, we all have a responsibility to talk about the devastating impact of guns on our communities — especially on our young people – and work towards reducing the presence of guns. Simultaneously, we must continue to address the stigma and silence around mental health. It is key that we ensure that our young people and their families have access to, and actually receive, culturally responsive mental health care.

Dr. Salahuddin also underscores the need to increase mental health resources, especially for our neighbors who have lost loved ones to gun violence. What are ways that the Urban League can help families get connected?

Carlos: The Urban League has been dedicated to nurturing the resilience of individuals, families, and communities. We recognize that the history of chronic disinvestment and disenfranchisement of our neighborhoods have created profound inequities. A critical part of increasing the positive supports that our neighbors deserve requires us to leverage our ability at the Urban League to connect community members to mental health resources, economic opportunities, stable housing, and nutritious food, among many other areas. As Dr. Salahuddin notes, we have to stop normalizing gun violence and recognize its consequences on our health and well-being. The Urban League is at the forefront of supporting community resiliency, and we are committed to doing this work collectively with our partners engaged in order to foster a more just and equitable region.

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