Radical means Root.
May of 2016, was the date of a now historic roundtable that convened an intimate array of community organizers, activists, faith leaders, concerned citizens, and committed volunteers to discuss what appeared to be a crime epidemic in the city of Shreveport, Louisiana. The data showed that 30% of both victim and perpetrator were under the age of 29 years old. We came to the conclusion that organized action with sustained results would be the best approach to this community crisis. Through that deliberative dialogue, four key root causes of crime and poverty emerged as unifying principles; lack of employment, inequity in education, health crisis, and economic disparity.
Systemic crime and poverty do not cause themselves, rather they are caused by the presence and combination of variables or root causes that exacerbate symptomatic ailments such as high crime rate and pervasive poverty.
Through a series of democratic decision-making assemblies within our target communities (high crime, high poverty neighborhoods and schools within their proximity), we were able to develop a policy and programmatic platform that has been in implementation phase since that summer. Thus far, we have been able to impact over 1000 Shreveport, Louisiana citizens through our Summer Job Training Program, Canvassing Project (Door to Door for Justice), and our Fill the Chamber campaign for education. In March of 2018, we had a policy win with the Caddo Parish School Board in our struggle to engage democratic decision-making partnerships with our education representatives. This work affects the lives of our children