This Saturday, March 24, 2018, the Intergenerational Change Initiative (ICI) will join young people and their families at the March For Our Lives Movement in New York City. We join in unison with other young people and their allies who are also marching in Washington DC and across the country. This movement is to propel leaders, officials, and policymakers to prioritize the safety and well being of young people in schools. Throughout history and tragically very recently, there have been numerous mass school shootings and many young people have lost their lives to gun violence. Researchers at ICI will join the march this Saturday to help amplify the voices of the movement to end gun violence in schools and push back for immediate change.
We are grateful to take part in a movement that correlates with our data and research initiatives including the ChangeFocusNYC Project. The ChangeFocusNYC project within ICI provided a platform for other young people throughout the city to tell us about their experiences with city agencies. We collected data through focus groups and analyzed our findings with the goal to bring young people’s experiences into policy conversations and support policy makers to better listen to the recommendations from young people about how to improve the institutions that serve them.
The work of our research collective is being used to inform a broader cross-agency, data-sharing initiative between the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and the Department of Education (DOE). Our data and coding methodology speaks directly to the systemic problems that cause gun violence and lack of justice for young people. Our data shows numerous instances in which young people express disappointment and face detriment situations that include unsafe environments in schools. The data we collected exhibits that young people see themselves as resources, even if not understood or utilized by agencies. And we support it.
You can learn more about the genesis of the movement by visiting the official March For Our Lives site here.