Community dialogues to end violence begin in Grand Rapids
Caroline MacGregor February 26, 2013 | WGVU
As the "Stop It" movement gains momentum, it is becoming more apparent that there is no one
"I think at the end of the day the violence that we are seeing, whether it be the gun violence, spousal or child abuse, these are symptoms of a much greater problem."
That was Joe
Jones, interim president and CEO of The Grand Rapids Urban League which, along
with Network 180, is hosting the series of public dialogues.
dialogue opened with a look at post traumatic stress and aggression – the
direct impact on society from violent crime.
police and community members weighed in while social workers from numerous
agencies talked of families impacted by traumatic events stemming from violence
Social workers talked of the difficulty involved in reaching
families who turn away from a system that sends them in different directions.
Huge amounts of paperwork have stymied the efforts of one caseworker who says she has to chase down families burned out by a
well-intentioned but at times, bureaucratic system.
Other case workers, clearly
frustrated, blamed the mental health care system for not connecting families to
needed services fast enough. Frustration, while understandable, can however,
can be misplaced, according to Jones.
"There's the role of education, there's the role of the criminal justice system. Everybody has a play in this,that's just it; we can't just one system, we can't just blame a family, we can't the blame the community, we can't just blame the church; everybody has some skin in this game."
the second community dialogue will center on criminal justice and will be held at
Cesar Chavez Elementary in Grandville from 5:30-7pm.
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