Parents of Slain Son Spread Anti-Violence Message to City’s Youth—And It Seems to Be Working

Organizers say Shooting4Success—created after the death of Roxborough High’s Shawnee Anderson—is reaching youth in ways the city never has.

By Michael Alan Goldberg
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Feb. 13, 2012

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Brandt says attendance and graduation rates are up this year, and RHS was removed from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Persistently Dangerous Schools list for 2011-12 (it had been on the list the two previous years). While hesitant to directly correlate those improvements with the wake-up call that was Anderson’s death, Brandt says that “all those things are impacted by our more positive culture and people moving forward in a unified way.”

Brinkley believes the S4S model can be duplicated across Philadelphia if the city adopts a different perspective when dealing with black and Latino youth in particular. “I’m not questioning the sincerity of the mayor [in combating violence], but the way he goes about it is all wrong. Stop lecturing people or sending in the cops to harass them. There are a lot of good, bright kids out here who want to make a difference, so reach out to them and bring them on board instead of pushing them away.”

Mincey hopes S4S will get some financial backing from the city, since she believes her group can accomplish things the city and the police simply can’t.

“I know there’s things they try to do, but to me it has to start with the community,” she says. “These parents have to learn to step up, and these kids need to step up and start coming together and leaving the hatred and the violence behind, and that’s exactly what you’re seeing right here.”

“If it keeps working,” Mincey says, choking up, “then Shawnee didn’t die for nothing.”

Donations to Shooting4Success can be made to any Wells Fargo bank branch.

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1. Thomas said... on Feb 20, 2012 at 11:22AM

“To the families affected by this horrible incident, and those in other neighborhoods hoping to make a difference toward a non-violent society, please consider getting involved in the growing world-wide initiative known as the United Nations International Day of Peace, observed in all 193 countries each September 21and, recently, prominently in Philadelphia.
The Peace Day-Philly 2012 is being redesigned, but to see all the initiatives Philadelphia sponsored in 2011, please visit

http://www.una-gp.org/peacedayphilly2011.htm

It's not just about that day, but a means to raise awareness on an ongoing basis about non-violence. Here's another way to get involved in making our communities safer.”

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