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Saturday, May 17, 2008

End Latino Youth Violence Initiative

This group was conceptualized by Efren Paredes, Jr. to generate support for a global call to end the existent tide of Latino youth violence wherever it may exist in the world, and to create unity amongst our youth.

Latino youth are being vilified in the media and depicted negatively daily in an attempt to erase their true identity, as well as their rich cultural and historical legacy.

The social milieu of our youth has been contaminated with destructive notions and behaviors that are ravishing our communities. They are destroying the moral and social fabric that has held us together as a cohesive unit.

The prevalence of youth violence is turning neighborhoods into dangerous war zones and resulting in the loss of lives of innocent men, women and children caught in this vicious crossfire of ignorance and self-destruction.

Our youth desperately need our support and to know that we have not abandoned them. They need to be taught that they represent the future of Latino people and they wield the power to create positive change.

As socially conscious adults the onus is on us to reach these youth. They are dependent on us to provide intervention and foster the emergence of a new consciousness that will liberate them from the destructive ideologies holding their minds and bodies captive.

There exists a major disconnect between our leadership and youth. Many of our leaders have grown fearful of our youth and avoid contact with them. This vacuum forges self-destructive attitudes and a reliance on adverse guidance, consequently leaving them ill-equipped to lead productive lives. A proven nexus between the neglect of youth and their adoption of dysfunctional characteristics is well-established.

We reject the notion that our youth are incorrigible or indispensable and advocate that this philosophy should be immediately jettisoned. Instead, we emphasize the reality that all children have the potential for change, redemption, and healing.

If provided the essential elements for their proper growth and development a change in their life trajectory can manifest.

Through this group we hope to provide the contours for a framework to increase awareness about issues afflicting Latino youth and formulate progressive concepts that are cognitively intelligible. Among our objectives to help Latino youth will be:

• develop new programs aimed at rescuing our youth which youth will be instrumental in creating;
• share studies and successful program models in this field;
• build alliances within the community;
teach the value of respect amongst peers, respecting elders in the community, and the appreciation of life;
emphasize the value of teaching, learning and preserving our culture and history;
• invite the various institutions to participate in our endeavors and become proponents of our objectives;
• devise ways to produce constructive paradigm shifts; and
• teach the process of cognitive development and the control of thought and behavior.

This list will continue to evolve with input from group members and youth who will benefit from our mission.

By joining this group you express your support to end Latino youth violence, your concern for Latino youth, and a desire to protect our future. Help send a strong message to Latino youth that they have our love, support, and that they can depend on us to help guide them during the tribulations they encounter in their daily lives.

"El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz"
("The respect of the rights of others is the meaning of peace.")
—Benito Juarez—

As of May 8, 2008 the Facebook group has 1,152 members. To join the End Latino Youth Violence Initiative you are invited to join one of the following networks:

Facebook Group:

MySpace Group: