Words are powerful. Words can give life or bring death. We must consciously think about the words we use every day and choose wisely what we say.
Years ago, when Urban Success began mentoring youth, we found that many of them lacked the ability to verbally express themselves, which resulted in them trying to resolve things with their fists. Violent conflict was their way of life.
In an effort to change this daily reality, we started spending time with young children and teenagers and even coaching their parents on proper conflict resolution techniques to avoid violence. We stress critical thinking and problem solving skills. We don't believe fighting is the answer to most conflicts. Clear communication is the answer to resolving most conflicts.
We have witnessed countless conflicts due to simple misunderstandings, which turn into gossip, that lead to, insults, causing people to get uncontrollably angry. We must learn to control our anger and harness the power of our words. In the streets, your reputation is everything. When insults fly, people feel the need to prove themselves and show their power so there is often severe retaliation. What we specialize in is teaching people coping skills like how to clearly communicate and use their words for good.
We will continue to mentor the children we have been working with, as this is a long-term commitment. We are expanding our program to reach new families in communities that show strong occurrences of violence and gang activity.
The violence prevention part of Use Your Words, will be focusing on preschool aged children, giving them the vocabulary and critical thinking processes to grow up differently.
It is much harder to fix a broken child, or generation of people, than it is to bring them up with the skills they need to communicate effectively.