Experts Speak On Stopping Youth Violence
I encounter youth violence almost five times a week in west Oakland. At a recent panel event, I spoke with some interesting people about the subject and ways they are working to stop youth violence.
Teresa Goines, Founder and Executive Director of Old Skool Café, opened her shop in response to the young people she encountered while working as a correctional officer. “I asked them what they needed,” she said, and the young people said: jobs and a place to call home.
I also spoke with Pastor Michael McBride, Director of the Lifelines to Healing Campaign, and Gonzalo Rucobo, Founder and Executive Director of the Bay Area Peacekeepers, Inc.. Rucobo grew up as a member of the Norteno gang, running the streets. “My wife and kids almost got shot over it,” he said. He told me that was a wake-up call.
I never knew these programs existed before this event. It was enlightening, knowing there are people out there trying to help my city get better.