Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck will host an online Mayors’ Forum with four other Hampton Roads mayors on Monday, April 12, at 7 p.m. Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer, Chesapeake Mayor Rick West, Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover, and Newport News Mayor McKinley Price will join Tuck.
The forum will air on the city’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HamptonVA) as a live event, and people are welcome to watch and write questions. The forum is a kickoff to Hampton events recognizing Youth Violence Prevention Week, also called the Urgency of Now Symposium, sponsored by the city’s Office on Youth and Young Adults. Details can be found at hampton.gov/ruon
The mayors will be joined by Anthony Smith, executive director of Cities United, a national network focused on eliminating violence in American cities related to African American men and boys.
The group will discuss the impact of youth violence in the region, focusing on ways to prevent crimes, including: How can we address the root issues in society? What are cities doing now? What are partner agencies and non-profits in our cities doing? What are the opportunities for volunteering, mentoring, and other programs?
The group will likely touch on the effects of Covid-19. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: “Young people are particularly vulnerable to the disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, with many at risk of being left behind in education, economic opportunities, and health and well-being during a crucial stage of their life development.” The U.N. office said: “Many of these hardships are also known risk factors associated with crime, violence, and drug use, and may expose youth to increased victimization and involvement with crime during and after the pandemic. Such risks, accentuated by confinement and restriction measures, include limited access to education and employment, inequality, stress within families/households, poor mental health and well-being, and loss of social and community networks.”
When many people think of youth violence, they focus on the perpetrators. However, according to data from Statista, an online information platform: “The number of adolescent violent crime victims in the U.S. far surpasses the number of adolescent perpetrators.”
- Firearms are the leading cause of death for young adults ages 20-24, accounting for almost one in four deaths in this age group and over half of the deaths among young Black men, specifically. While firearms drop to be the second leading cause of death for the general population for ages 25-34, they hold their position as the leading cause of death among Black men through age 39.
- Young Black males (15-34) are especially disproportionately impacted, making up 2% of the population but accounting for 37% of all gun homicide fatalities in 2019. Their rate of firearm homicides was more than 20 times higher than White males of the same age group.
- Also in 2019, firearms were the leading cause of death for American children and teens ages 1-19. Of these youngest victims, 44% were Black.
(Compiled from Centers for Disease Control 2019 data by The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence and The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence)View at 7 p.m. April 12