Call to Action -- Get Involved
The Vision Quilt team, like the rest of the country, is in deep mourning for the recent losses in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, and elsewhere. We also know that 100 people die every day from gun violence. We invite you to become involved in violence prevention in whatever actions you are led to do. We also welcome your support of our work. We believe preventing violence is a community issue and in this newsletter we highlight some of our community work from this summer.
Highlights from Summer 2019
June was Gun Violence Awareness Month, and Vision Quilt ventured to Portland, Oregon and Oakland, California for some inspiring community events.
The month began with the “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" exhibit at the Portland City Hall. The exhibit showcased Vision Quilt panels from students at Northwest Academy in Portland. Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, visited with youth during the opening (pictured above).
Vision Quilt panels were also displayed at Oakland City Hall throughout the month of June (pictured above). The exhibition began with an opening reception on June 6th, which also served to feature Oakland’s Violence Prevention Coalition. Coalition co-chairs Melvin Cowan and Almaz Yihdego as well as Reverend Melva Fonteno spoke about the Coalition, its role in Oakland, the new Department of Violence Prevention, and the needs of the Oakland community.
On June 7th, Lighthouse Community Charter School's seventh grade class displayed the results of their three month study of gun violence. This student curated show was a fantastic success; it was so inspiring to see the students sharing such powerful work with their families. Stay tuned for more footage from the event!
On June 8th, Vision Quilt participated in the daylong SAFE Oakland Summit, organized by the City's Violence Prevention Coalition. With 300 people in attendance, the event was an opportunity for Oakland community most impacted by violence, to voice their perspectives and experiences, and to help shape the work of the newly appointed Chief of Violence Prevention, Guillermo Cespedes. Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney spoke about the importance of community solutions to gun violence. Vision Quilt is honored to be a part of the City’s Violence Prevention Coalition, and we look forward to future events with the Coalition.
Catholic Charities of the East Bay Partners with Vision Quilt
In late June, Vision Quilt led a training for the staff of Catholic Charities East Bay. We are excited to partner with Catholic Charities and are pleased that they want to integrate the Vision Quilt model into their work with the youth and families they serve.
Following this training, Vision Quilt was invited to the Peace and Justice Academy, a youth-led restorative justice-based program in Richmond. We joined the Academy for their summer program, co-leading a three-day workshop for 21 youth. The outstanding Vision Quilt panels these youth created will be used by the staff and students in their upcoming school year!
Youth ALIVE!, Moms Demand Action, Adamika Village & Vision Quilt Team up for Day of Action
On July 1, teens from Youth ALIVE! created Vision Quilt panels in preparation for their July 13th Day of Action hosted by Youth ALIVE! and Moms Demand Action. Vision Quilt worked with youth and survivors to create art dedicated to stopping the violence. It was an inspiring day, and we are grateful to stand in solidarity with such powerful community members and leaders.
Vision Quilt Prepares for Another School Year
As the summer school break continues, Vision Quilt and Lighthouse School teachers are busy preparing for the 2019-2020 school year. Together we have created an advisory Teen Council to review our previous years’ curriculum, and make improvements for next year. The youth on our council are thoughtful and caring, and we are inspired by their feedback and participation!
We also have exciting plans for work in West Oakland schools this year, so stay tuned for updates. Wishing everyone a safe and happy end of summer!
News, events and announcements from Vision Quilt