Art Sphere’s Non-Violence Resources

Gun Violence in Philadelphia

Background

Gun violence is unfortunately a part of daily life in Philadelphia. As a serious public health concern, gun violence is an epidemic that severely harms our communities through injury, death, trauma, and stress. This past year has seen a significant increase in gun violence. As of September 6th, there have been 363 homicides, a 17% increase from last year.

Philadelphia how has a higher homicide rate (at 19 homicides per 100,000 residents), compared to New York City and Chicago, which have 1 and 15 homicides, respectively, per 100,000 residents. As of July 2021, 3.5 times as many children have been killed by gun violence, and 50% more children have been shot compared to 2020. For many children, growing up in this violent environment takes a heavy toll on their mental health and their ability to learn and form relationships. The cycle of gun violence continues when this i all people are used to.  

 

Ways to Help

At ASI, we want our students and communities to learn and use other, nonviolent methods of dealing with problems and stress. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.” At ASI, we believe in the power of using nonviolence to create safer communities. By helping our youth learn how to handle their feelings and maturely cope with conflict, we can end the cycle of gun violence in Philadelphia. We encourage you to take our nonviolence pledge below, and together, we can work towards building safer communities. 

“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.”

Mohandas Gandhi

ASI Non-Violence Pledge

  • I pledge to respect my family, friends, and community through acting with kindness and empathy.
  • I have the power to think about and process the things that upset me, and I will move to a safe place to protect myself from negative responses

  • If something upsets me, I will center my actions around the things I love so that there is no room for anger and violence

  • I will listen to others, even if I disagree, and we will talk about our disagreements patiently and respectfully.

  • I will never use a gun or violence to address the problems I face, and I will not harm another person. 
  • I pledge to be free of violence and be a kind, respectful member of my community. 

Handout

Pledge with us! Share your pledge on social media and tag Art Sphere using #loveartsphereinc