In celebration of youth leadership, the Boston Public Health Commission's VIP program produced its second annual Youth R.I.S.E Rally. The rally was spearheaded directly by Boston youth as they Realize, Interpret, Stop, and Empower their peers to prevent gun violence. The rally featured Boston youth poets, musicians, and activists who shared their perspectives and personal experiences on gun violence. The rally highlights the role young people play in preventing gun violence in their communities. It also served as a space for organizations to share violence prevention resources provided throughout the city of Boston.
In small groups Angelica was able to provide an introduction to the Coalition and offer support to the youth interested in learning more about advocacy, public policy, and community organizing. The youth noted that organizations must prioritize youth and BIPOC voices to further advance our fight against gun violence. By creating intergenerational spaces we allow innovative ideas and new ideologies to be shared and further develop our advocacy and civic engagement. When youth are included at the table we allow those most affected by the issue and living the realities of its aftermath to be leaders, and change-makers in addressing violence.