News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Don Drumm Studios

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Greater Akron Chamber

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Cleveland hosts a national gathering on ways to curb urban violence
Religious leaders gather  to discuss gang violence, the role of churches and more

Kabir Bhatia
Rashad Byrdsong (right) and Bishop Tony Minor (center) say rites of passage and community outreach are two ways to stem the tide of urban violence
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Religious leaders and community organizers from around the country are at Cleveland State University this weekend, looking for solutions to urban violence throughout world.
Urban violence summit in Cleveland this weekend

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:17)

The International Urban Peace, Justice and Empowerment Summit kicked off four days of dialogue on issues ranging from gun violence to the role of churches in urban community outreach. The Rev. Bernice Powell-Jackson is president of the World Council of Churches, and says the problem has many aspects.

“There are young people who don’t know who they are or their history," she says. "Guns are too available in our community. There are gangs that prey upon young people.”

More outreach
Powell-Jackson says one solution is more outreach from churches. Bishop Tony Minor, executive director of the United Pastors in Mission, knows that can be problematic with young people. He says churches in Cleveland are doing well addressing emergency needs with food and clothing programs,

"But there’s a need for people to go beyond that. (To) get into people’s homes. (To) talk to them and be more concerned about engaging people in transformative ways. Young people need to bring their talents into the church (and) the church needs to be open to bringing new and younger people into their work.”

Rites of passage

Minor says rites of passage are one way churches can reach out to young people – especially young men. Rashad Byrdsong of the Pittsburgh-based Community Empowerment Association explains.

“You take young men and put them through a developmental process to learn (what) their social role is – the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ in life. Being respectful of adults. What to achieve in school.
“We also do a lot of cultural type things where young people can get a greater understanding of their culture and their history, develop a sense of pride and self-respect for who they are.”

Back into the community
Byrdsong and others -- like Bishop Minor -- aren’t sure what will emerge from this weekend’s dialogue. 

“I don’t think coming out of this is some comprehensive plan that’s going to save the world. But I think that people are going to be inspired to go back and do the work in the areas that they come from. Multiple approaches, multiple paradigms that people will walk away with. And if we’re doing that, then I think the time we’ve put in is certainly valuable.”

The International Urban Peace, Justice and Empowerment Summit is free and open to the public, running at Cleveland State and nearby venues through Sunday.
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Charter reform bill includes controversial change for some teachers
I work for a former White Hat charter school; it was sold to another (for-profit) company this past summer and we were told that they would not pay into STRS/PE...

Bhutanese resettlement has had a big economic impact
Informative especially for nonmembers of North Hill. I appreciate the fact that you mention that the younger generation has an easier time than the elders but t...

Ottawa County Commissioner sworn in as new house member
Congratulations on your new appointment to the Ohio House. I'm certain you will do an outstanding job in your new role representing our district. When you have...

Holden Arboretum opens a new canopy walk and emergent tower
Visited the Holden Arboretum today to witness the incredible work you did constructing the tower and bridges.WOW! Very impressed. Knew the build had to be great...

Local club works to bring back the once-prevalent American elm
I would love to help! Where would I get some of the new Strain so I could plant them?

Four Geauga school districts consider consolidating on the Kent State campus
Berkshire was smart to merge with Ledgemont because it had shrinking enrollment and excess capacity at its high school. Now that Cardinal is dragging its feet ...

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri sworn into office and hopes to look for 'middle ground' with colleagues
Welcome back to the Statehouse, John. You are a terrific representative in the truest sense always representing the people's voice in teh district you serve. ...

Lawmakers call for indefinite freeze on Green Energy standards
It's a shame the Hudson Rep. Chooses to mimic the words of the extreme right senator on his way out to join ALEC when we know the Pope was just here because of...

Youngstown Schools file suit against the Ohio Department of Education to stop the implementation of an academic distress commission
Voters should ask WHY this plan was rushed into law under the cover of darkness. What clues point to the beneficiaries of this plan? Both Patrick O'Donnell of...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University