Recently, Jan. 17, Carlow University launched its Social Justice Institutes. Through its Educating for Justice series, the project will partner with community groups in an effort engage input from leaders and members with hopes of providing “resources that will allow community members to become stronger advocates that are more effective at identifying priorities and interventions that can create systematic change.”
With disheartening homicide totals for Allegheny County that include 114 in 2015, 105 in 2016 and five, thus far, in 2017, it is no wonder that the Institutes’ inaugural issue of focus would be gun violence and ways to reduce it. This issue will be its focus through 2020.
“Gun violence is a social justice issue as it disproportionately affects young people, lower-income people, people of color, and women,” Social Justice Institutes director Jessica Ruffin said in a release. “The Social Justice Institutes’ multi-year, interdisciplinary approach will allow for curricular and co-curricular programming as well as community outreach and education.”
Also, in 2016, the American Medical Association declared gun violence as a public health crisis, said Ruffin, who adds that more research is needed.
During the launch, attendees took in an exhibit as well as viewed a brief video that featured individuals from the Carlow community who have touched by gun violence.