The I Want To Live Movement is the belief that gang violence involving youth is caused, in large part, by the notion many youth believe that being in a gang is “cool.” When that aspect of youth culture in our community is changed, gang violence will decrease, as a direct result of less people joining gangs. According to the San Diego Police Report in June 2007, there were 2,187 juvenile arrests from January to March 2007 with 1,507 arrested on misdemeanors; and 680 arrested for felonies. Over the past year, there have been 18 gang related homicides in our city. County Probation reported, in June 2007, that there were 1,864 juveniles in the City of San Diego on formal probation of these 789 had gang conditions as part of their formal court orders.
The Movement will be beneficial to our community, schools and peers by encouraging students to take charge and advocate for positive change within their own community. The impact of gangs on our communities will be reduced as the gangs themselves are marginalized. With our partners we will implement an outreach program to local schools, churches and youth groups through forums.
The Movement’s primary intent is to, through a variety of community events; encourage youth to actively make the choice to not join a gang and to discourage their friends and family from joining a gang as well. The notion that being in a gang is “cool” makes the youth want to join, so we plan on making the movement “cool” so that everyone will want to take part in what we are doing. We plan to target gang members, youth involved with the community and youth who do not participate in anything. Through this process the youth participating in this Venture will gain a different perspective on life by witnessing other youths’ struggles and situations.
Our plan for involving our peers is to provide programs that allow youth to express themselves, (i.e. Positive Images Created by Students aka PICS, SAT Prep Monthly Workshops, Youth Job Fairs, youth days, etc.) We will be providing a variety of programs and activities to keep the youth on the right path and detour them from gang violence.