KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — An organization in Kalamazoo will host a day camp tomorrow to address gun violence.
Urban Alliance typically focuses its outreach on adults. Now, the focus has shifted to youth ages 11-16 to break the cycle of gun violence in the Kalamazoo community.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to gather local youth and begin to shift the narrative about the usage of guns,” Chris Pompey, Urban Alliance executive director, said. “Guns can be used safely and legally, but that requires having conversations and expectations about what safe, legal and acceptable gun use is and how to prevent the loss of life and criminal repercussions.”
The first camp was offered last month and about 35 youth participated. The theme of the camp is “Hands are Meant to Heal, Not Kill”.
The next camp will be held on July 11 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Tree Life Social which is located at 2001 Cameron St.
Attendees will hear from victims and perpetrators of gun violence in storytelling sessions. Parents and guardians are welcome to attend the camp though it’s not required.
Youth will also take part in a youth-led community march and drumline that will begin at 3:10 p.m. at Tree Life Social. It will last about an hour and will end at Urban Alliance. The community is welcome to attend this portion of the camp.
The camps will award up to $150 to attendees who excel in leadership during activities including laser tag, paintball target practice and water gun fights.
There will be another camp on Aug. 16 at Fredrick Douglas Community Association.
The free camps include breakfast, lunch and all needed materials and equipment.
Registration for the July 11 event at is required by Sunday. You can register at the Urban Alliance’s website.