New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, the Bernalillo County Community Health Council, the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, and the District Attorney’s Community Based Crime Reduction (CBCR) grant partnered to host a gun violence reduction event at the end of January. The sign-making event was part of a strategy which aims to engage youth and create a public campaign for community safety and wellness in the International District.
Approximately 20 youth residing in the International District as well as some from organizations like Together4Brothers, and others participating in the Second Judicial District Court’s Young Adult Court program gathered to create signs with slogans such as “Don’t shoot, let the kids grow up/ No dispares deja que los niños crezcan” and “Don’t shoot, kids at play.” Attendees then hung the signs around the neighborhood as a temporary message to their fellow community members about the ramifications of gun violence.
New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV) is an organization working to mobilize communities to prevent gun violence through educational work about gun safety and the high costs of gun violence. Sign-making events have previously been held in Chicago, and are likely to continue in Albuquerque as part of a “pop-up” model. For future sign-making events, the goal will be to post the signs in a single specific location such as a park or a documented crime hotspot. CBCR plans to partner with NMPGV on community beautification, mural painting projects, and gun buy-backs as part of the violence reduction prong of its mission.