Our POWER comes from our people. The POWER to make change. The POWER to inspire. The POWER to reduce youth violence. Learn more about YVPRC and those who channel the POWER and resilience from the silenced marginalized warriors who came before us to inspire you to channel your POWER into changing the norms surrounding youth violence and advocate for systems change to reduce youth violence.

Before you get started, here are some guiding definitions:

Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Youth are individuals between the ages of 10 and 24.

We believe, in line with the CDC, that health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.”

Structural Violence is the violence of injustice and inequity – “embedded in ubiquitous social structures [and] normalized by stable institutions and regular experience (Brady & Burton, 2016).” “These structures are violent because they result in avoidable deaths, illness, and injury; and they reproduce violence by marginalizing people and communities, constraining their capabilities and agency, assaulting their dignity, and sustaining inequalities (Brady & Burton, 2016).”

Systems of power – like racism and sexism – which shape how people experience root causes of health equity like housing, employment, and youth violence. These systems of power are embedded in history and our present day policies and practices.

Root causes can range from food systems to neighborhood development. Differences in root causes include whether or not we have grocery stores in our neighborhoods or the ability to get a housing loan. For us, it tells us why youth violence is higher in some neighborhoods than in others. Root causes lead to health outcomes, such as youth violence, and have to be addressed to make a difference in individual health.

Check out our partner, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness’ Health Equity Report 2017 to learn more about how systems of power and root causes impact a variety of health outcomes, including homicide in the city of Louisville (link).