Letters to the Editor

2020 resolution: Community needs a holistic response to violence

I read somewhere that the reason resolutions usually fail is because we don’t make them specific enough. Over the years I have spent a lot of time helping clients clearly articulate the vision for their organizations. It’s the vision that inspires employees, investors, and consumers and is the life-source for the organization. Les Garner, President & CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation said it best when describing the work of the SET (Safe Equitable and Thriving) Communities Fund, “We are working to create a seamless network of care for those who are most impacted by violence in our community.”

When I picture this network of care, I envision community members (mothers, fathers, doctors, educators, clergy, nonprofit executives, elected officials, law enforcement, social services, retirees, and our youth) committed to implementing a holistic response to community violence. We won’t shy away from difficult and uncomfortable conversations. We are honest about why some of our youth feel hopelessly disconnected. We work to redesign systems that are causing harm and we focus on community-centric restorative justice. We invest in developing young leaders and building powerful connections and opportunities through mentoring, coaching, teaching, and counseling. I can see this vision, can you?

Rachel Rockwell is program officer at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

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